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by W. John Walsh

Faithful Latter-day Saints do not use any form of tobacco.  This prohibition derives from a revelation known as the Word of Wisdom, which partly states “And again, tobacco is not for the body, neither for the belly, and is not good for man, but is an herb for bruises and all sick cattle, to be used with judgment and skill.” (D&C 89:8)  President Heber J. Grant noted:


“The Lord has pronounced tobacco not good for man, and this should be sufficient reason for the Latter-day Saints to abandon it.” [1]


Latter-day Saints who violate any portion of the Word of Wisdom, including the illegitimate use of tobacco, are not eligible to participate in temple worship or advance in priesthood and certain other callings.  (See Temple Recommend)  While the Lord has never given any official explanation for the prohibition on tobacco, Lyon noted: 


“Tobacco contains nicotine, which is a cerebral and vascular stimulant. The burning of the tobacco leaf also releases and produces a large number of chemicals, many of which are absorbed by the body and are known to cause cancer and other serious diseases.” [2]


(See Daily Living home page; Attitudes Toward Health, Medicine, and Fitness home page)


[1] Grant, H., Gospel Standards, Compiled by G. Homer Durham, Salt Lake City, Utah: Improvement Era, 1943, p. 52.


[2] “Tobacco,” Joseph Lynn Lyon, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1992.


Copyright 2001 by All About Mormons

All About Mormons