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Can anyone tell me when the adjustment was made for Witnesses not to smoke especially for brothers who wanted to be appointed? A topic that has come up for discussion among us who are getting up in age.)

Thanks

Dolores

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I remember an Uncle of mine having to give it up - he used to pop out of the meeting in the middle song for a quick smoke! Until 1973....  June 1st 1973 Watchtower:

 

*** w73 6/1 p. 340 Keeping God’s Congregation Clean in the Time of His Judgment ***  NEED FOR DECISIVE ACTION NOW

Paragraph 36 states: "Therefore, with a feeling of a deep sense of responsibility to Jehovah God, these instructions are issued. It is accordingly the duty of the elders, as spiritual overseers of God’s flock, to see to it that such undesirable elements are not accepted as approved, baptized members of congregations of Jehovah’s Christian witnesses."

 

Although previous articles discussed tobacco, such as w71 11/1 p. 670 Questions From Readers "Does the Bible indicate that a person who wants to serve God should refrain from using tobacco?", the 1973 issue states "these instructions"!  And it was followed up by the Kingdom Ministry 11/73 p. 7 Tobacco Users.

 

Although I don't know if there were specific instructions before 1969 - it's not on the WT CD!



 

 



 

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Thanks for this article link!  Although I have never smoked--I don't even remember ever smoking one cigarette--this is something that I am dealing with now.  After one year and a DF'ed love one is still not back all from smoking.  The best thing about thisexperience is what I have LEARNED about MY relationsheip with Jehovah.  I thought it was all her problem but I am humbled by all that my kind brothers have helped me learn in this regard.

 

If anyone has encoutered this experience I will be gald to share with a PM all my elders have taught me!  I could not even begin to phamptom how many aspects of your spiritual life this problem is rooted in. Smoking was just a  side effect of what really was wrong.

 

Thank You Jehovah for being patient with me and helping me to see things deeper than the surface.  I love how Jah teaches us through his "chain or command" and our brotherhood!

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Prior to 1973 many smoked in he congregations. Some of these even held some positions before the Elder arrangement came in to existence - yes, even as late as 1969 there were appointed "servants" that smoked. However, by the early 1970's it was getting pretty rare to find an appointed Brother who smoked - it seems more and more Brothers were coming to the conclusion that smoking was not "exemplary" and ones who did smoke were not appointed when the Elder/MS arrangement called for "new" appointments in all the congregations in 1972.

 

But, when the information was updated in 1973 many still did not quite "get it" and letters had to be sent to the congregation stating clearly that smoking and other uses of tobacco were disfellowshipping offenses - at first, some thought only "smoking" was a disfellowshipping offense and they did not think it included "chewing" tobacco or snuff.

 

When the matter was made clear, it included tobacco and betel nut in any and all ways it was used.

 

However, since there was a "6 month" time period for the Brothers to make sure the congregation was "clean" from this problem, many felt that it gave them 6 months to quit. They then thought that after the first 6 months, the Elders needed to give them another 6 moths after they were personally spoken to about their use of tobacco.

 

It ended up taking a few years to clean this filth from the congregations - and even today, some still try to hide this dirty habit from the Brothers, forgetting that Jehovah can see what they are doing.

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This may fit in here and then perhaps not, but for 2 cents, here goes:

 

*** w06 7/15 pp. 30-31 Questions From Readers ***
Gross uncleanness entails more than sexual sins. For instance, a baptized boy might smoke a few cigarettes in a short period of time and confess this to his parents. He is determined not to smoke again. This is uncleanness, but it has not escalated to the point of being gross uncleanness or “uncleanness . . . with greediness.” Scriptural counsel from an elder or two along with support from the boy’s parents should suffice. But if the boy is a frequent user of tobacco, this would be a deliberate defilement of the flesh, and a judicial committee would be convened to consider this case of gross uncleanness. (2 Corinthians 7:1) If the boy is not repentant, he would be disfellowshipped.

 

 

(I guess it falls under uncleanness)

Edited by allabord4jah
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Oh yeah, one more for the road:

 

*** jv chap. 13 p. 181 Recognized by Our Conduct ***
Long before government agencies agreed on the extent to which they should alert people to the harm from tobacco use, The Watchtower, in its issue of March 1, 1935, made it clear that no one who was a user of tobacco could be a member of the headquarters staff of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society or be one of its appointed representatives. After all servants in the congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses were appointed by the Society (which arrangement began in 1938), The Watchtower of July 1, 1942, stated that the prohibition on tobacco use also applied to all these appointed servants. In some areas a number of years passed before this was fully implemented. However, the majority of Jehovah’s Witnesses responded favorably to the Scriptural counsel and the good example of those taking the lead among them.

As a further forward step in consistent application of that Bible counsel, none who were still smoking were accepted for baptism from 1973 onward. During the following months, those who were actively involved in tobacco production or in promoting the sale of tobacco were helped to realize that they could not continue to do that and be accepted as Jehovah’s Witnesses. The counsel of God’s Word must be applied consistently in every aspect of life. Such application of Bible principles to the use of tobacco, marijuana, and the so-called hard drugs has protected the Witnesses. With the use of the Scriptures, they have also been able to help many thousands of persons whose lives were being ruined by drug abuse.

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  • 3 weeks later...

  I remember when these changes where made. We have one dear sister whose husband smoked and had

only been coming to the meetings somewhat irregularly. After that he stopped for many years. ( He had a

number of other issues I later learned that went along with it. ) Finally several years later he came back into

the truth. We were all happy to see this as we all loved him greatly.

 

                                                                                                                                           GStorrs46

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My Grandfather was disfelowshipped for smoking in 74. He tried and tried to stop smoking. When the watchtower told us to stop associating with DFed family we faithfully followed the direction we were given. I was very proud when my Grandfather decided enough was enough and he quit. He started studying with an elder. A year later he was reinstated. I was so excited to be at the kingdom hall with him. He got to meet my wife and told me how great she was even before we got married. He was at our wedding in the front row. He started going down hill about 10 years later. Alzheimer's robbed him of his cognitive ability. He is asleep now waiting for Jesus call. I miss him a lot. So much it hurts sometimes. 

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  • 5 months later...

As an ex-smoker who smoked for about 14 years in total, had several failed attempts to quit and two successful attempts to quit, I'd like to add something to this topic.

 

Smoking tobacco is by far, hands down, the most underestimated, dangerous drug in our society in my opinion. I can't tell for sure if alcohol or nicotine are worse. What I find so dangerous about tobacco in hindsight, is that alcohol lets you know when you've had too much. You get an embarassing speech impediment, start swaying from side to side, and get a massive hangover the next day. The side-effects of tobacco are trickier, they don't manifest themselves until you quit and do some serious thinking about your addiction.

 

You see, you don't realise that it is also a mind-altering substance, simply because you don't get stoned off of it. It doesn't make you think trippy thoughts or enjoy music and movies in a more intensified way. All it does, is "relax you". This, however, is also a ploy. The first cigarette you smoke doesn't "relax you". It just causes carbon monoxide poisoning and the nicotine drugs you to a point where many people actually feel sick. The thing is, that the mind quickly gets accustomed to the high level of serotonine in your blood. In the course of time, the more cigarettes you smoke, the more your mind becomes adjusted to this chemical imbalance. After a while, you get withdrawal symptoms within minutes of finishing a cigarette.

 

In my case I was always snarky, easily annoyed, more edgy and nervous when it had been a while since my last cigarette. I notice this with some people who smoke from an objective viewpoint today. Minutes after their last cigarette, they are generally most relaxed and easy-going. Depending on the person, the difference in attitude between withdrawal and non-withdrawal can be different. Some people handle it better than others, but it affects everybody.

 

One of my favorite authors on the subject of smoking is Allen Carr. As concerns this, he claims that anybody who smokes is an addict and constantly experiencing withdrawal. It's just that the people who smoke a cigarette or two a week have developed different coping mechanisms as concerns their withdrawal phases than, say, chain-smokers, who have zero coping mechanisms. As a smoker, you have to balance your smoking habit with issues such as health, money, opportunity (are you allowed to smoke at work, in the car, public transport etc.). Some smokers just sit out a feature length film with no problems, they have developed a coping mechanism. Others go out for a minimum of one cigarette break and prefer to miss 8 minutes of the movie. "Did I miss anything?"

 

One of Allen Carr's greatest analogies is that of the "ambivalent cigarette". You see, cigarettes are miracle drugs!

Feeling hungry? Smoke a cigarette to ease your hunger.

Feeling stuffed? Smoking a cigarette will help your digestion.

Feeling stressed out? Smoking a cigarette would help you clear your mind and focus.

Feeling bored? Why not pass the boring minutes till the bus comes by smoking a cigarette?

Feeling anxious? Calm yourself down by smoking a cigarette.

Feeling mellow? Man, I need to celebrate this moment by lighting up a well-deserved cigarette.

By now you may have noticed that some of these issues (hungry/stuffed,stressed/bored) are pretty much complete opposites. And yet, a smoker will use anything as a reason to light one up. Your mind is playing a huge trick on you and telling you that smoking is in some way necessary in any situation, but the fact is, that it is the cause of 50% of your problems, namely, the 50% of your problems that AREN'T REAL!

Feeling hungry? Well, you haven't eaten. But you could at least soothe your withdrawal symptoms.

Feeling stuffed? That's a bit of an awkward feeling, being this bloated. At least soothe your withdrawal symptoms.

Feeling stressed out? Work is hard, so many people don't know how to communicate. Can't change that. But you could go soothe your withdrawal symptoms?

Feeling bored? Yeah this stinks, nothing to side-track me from my WITHDRAWAL-SYMPTOMS!

You get the picture.

 

This is just one aspect of a very, very, complex addiction. The tobacco industry has fervently been looking for ways at getting mankind addicted mentally but also physically to this drug. They have the best marketing experts and chemists working to continue to find ways of getting young people to take up smoking.

 

If you have let yourself be programmed by media, friends, advertisement and your own, wrongful thinking for years, it is obvious that kicking the "habit" isn't going to be easy. What I find sad is that, although Jehovah helps so many to give up this addiction and lead a clean life, there is always this occasional case of a person who has a hard time despite much prayer and bible study. And this is a bit of a complex situation. Smoking makes it hard to maintain a good relationship to Jehovah, who you need to help you stop smoking.

 

Anyhow. If you have a bible study who has an issue with this, please don't give up on them if they have a problem. It's such a horrible addiction that some individuals have such a hard time in fighting. But no matter how hard it is for them... remind them that eventually it can be done with Jehovah's help! If they have such a hard time, it may make sense to consider smoking as what it is... an addiction to a drug! And seek professional support if available. In any case, I recommend the book "Allen Carr: Easy way to stop smoking" for the beginning. It has some interesting insights.

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My cousin said to us in no uncertain terms it was the hardest thing he ever did was to stop smoking. He said it was easier to stop doing cocaine and other hard drugs than it was to stop smoking. 

 

I can second that opinion, despite the fact that the addictive effect of cocaine really isn't to be underestimated! Then again, I'd never touched crack (too much respect and not available), nor "ordinary" cocaine for more than four days in a row (too expensive)

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Anyhow. If you have a bible study who has an issue with this, please don't give up on them if they have a problem. It's such a horrible addiction that some individuals have such a hard time in fighting. But no matter how hard it is for them... remind them that eventually it can be done with Jehovah's help! If they have such a hard time, it may make sense to consider smoking as what it is... an addiction to a drug! And seek professional support if available. In any case, I recommend the book "Allen Carr: Easy way to stop smoking" for the beginning. It has some interesting insights.

 

Thank you Ruben for this post. I have a student who smokes and right now we have arrived to the chapter in the book about the holiness of life. He wants to stop smoking and I want to help him, but to be sincere none of us knows how to do it. That's the bad part of having never smoked. :)

 

I do appreciate any information such as this you have posted.

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I have heard that stopping smoking is easy, just don't put another one in your mouth. Dealing with the withdrawals is another thing. The craving never goes away but it does lessen a bit. It is like alcoholism in that it only takes one puff to loose it. Your desire and determination to quit has to be strong enough to prop up your ability to endure the withdrawals. They say that the first three weeks is the hardest. I have known ones that have smoked practically right up to the day of baptism and it was their desire and determination to get baptized that helped them quit for good. It will be really tough for them but having a dedicated relationship with Jehovah exceeds the discomfort of quitting.

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Thank you Ruben for this post. I have a student who smokes and right now we have arrived to the chapter in the book about the holiness of life. He wants to stop smoking and I want to help him, but to be sincere none of us knows how to do it. That's the bad part of having never smoked. :)

 

Do you have a brother or sister in the Hall who used to smoke? I always got the feeling that any exchange with anybody who knows that an ordeal it is, is helpful to them. But just listening and understanding is always a good start.

 

The craving never goes away but it does lessen a bit.

 

LOL I just remembered before the meeting yesterday, I briefly caught myself patting my pant pockets out of an old reflex to check where I have my smokes. Go out for a brief puff before my bible reading? Uh... no?? I heard these things happen to brothers that haven't smoked for decades. So I don't take it seriously when it happens.

 

Another thing, though, is dreaming that you're smoking. That really bothers my conscience for quite some time after waking up.

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I had an Uncle who used to smoke (mind you he was not a Witness - Mormon, not a real good one) and he explained how he quit.

 

He had tried to quit many times. He would stop buying the things and smoke what he had and then quit. Sounds reasonable, right? Well, he would do OK for a while but then get in a panic some evening because the urge to smoke was so strong and he had no smokes he would finally rush out and buy some - then, there he was, back smoking.

 

He finally took a different approach. He bought a new pack, brought it home and put it in the middle of the table and, when he finished his open pack, he quit. When he would get panicked in need of a smoke, he would go and look at that sealed pack. Sometimes he even picked it up and held it ..... but he resisted opening it because he knew that would end his being "smoke free". He said the panic would go away with the knowledge he was not out cigarettes and he put the pack back on the table.

 

He was telling us this after many. many years of being smoke free. He no longer had the pack on his table, but he got that same, really old pack, out of a desk drawer and showed it to us .... still unopened!

 

--------------------------

 

My mother has a study with a woman who had an opposing husband. He was so opposed to the Witnesses that he would not even allow them in his house. However, since I was the nearly the same age as his two oldest sons, he allowed us to come - when he was not home.

 

The woman was a smoker as was her husband. She decided to quit. When she tried her husband would make sure she had plenty of "her brand" around the house. He would light some for her and leave them burning in the ashtray. He would sit near/across from her and blow smoke in her direction - made it very hard for her.

 

She finally quit and was baptized. Some time later she told us that, even after baptism, she would "sneak a smoke" when she was hole alone. She had some cigarettes hidden in her underwear. She would get one out, sneak up the hall to the bathroom. Lock herself in and smoke. She said one day she was in there smoking when it was like the ceiling and roof had been removed and Jehovah was looking right at her. She asked herself, "Who am I kidding?" and threw the lit cigarette in the toilet.

 

She not only never smoked again, she never even had the desire to smoke again!

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  • 2 weeks later...

This world beats people down so much and the explosion of drug use is just a hidden prison around the whole world. Being a slave to a substance I view as idolatry to Jehovah. I have had a hefty past with addiction. Still a struggle everyday since you will never forget how something feels.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I rather enjoy reading these articles about smoking, and it brings to mind the trip we took as a family to NYC, in1953. Imagine, nine (9) children, ages 1- 17, both parents, in a Ford "woodie" station wagon, pulling a trailer with camping equipment, headed for Tent city, in the suburbs of NYC. Thinking about it, I am amzed that dear, old Dad, who had armed himself with a box full of Lifesaver mints, which we were told, "Do Not Touch!" We didn't and he succeeded in giving up cigarettes! One memory of that full stadium, really brought this 13 yr old into reality. So many people! Absolutely amazing. The memories are precious, and part of a heritage, priceless.

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Hi, Vernalee. Do you recall the rain? My poor Mom! Gary, Mike, and Joe werd @ the "stinker" age. Lol

So happy to be back in the world of kindred souls. Still dealing with the chemo treatments, but have reached the breaking point. Not willing to continue destroying my body. Way too many weird happenings, but the nosebleeds are scary.

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