“I smoked my first cigarette when I was 12 years old.
I have to be honest, I felt like I was king of the world.

By the time I was getting ready to enter my senior year of high school, I was smoking cigarettes with a mouthful of dip to try and get the most nicotine into my system as I possibly could. I thought it was awesome…until I tried to quit.

When I was twelve years old I never thought I’d be the guy who couldn’t quit smoking. I just tried it. Next thing I knew, I couldn’t put them down.”

What you just read is the real life story of a friend of mine. He no longer smokes but the craving is still strong now, many years later.

The Hard Truth
Nicotine was first introduced into the main market as an insecticide. Meaning, people used to extract the nicotine from tobacco plants and concentrate it down to be used to kill bugs. It is poison in its purest form.

Electronic cigarettes, although they don’t use real smoke from real tobacco plants, concentrate this nicotine down into the water vapor that is in the flavor packets, and some of the flavor packets have even been proven to have more nicotine in them than actual cigarettes.

The hard truth is this: they are every bit as bad for you as regular cigarettes, and some of them are even worse. An addiction to “just nicotine” is still an addiction.

Non-Nicotine Options
Lots of people might opt to enjoy the taste and experience of vaping without the nicotine. Sounds like a good options, right?

Not so much. Scientists are saying that they are greatly concerned about this new trend that is growing rapidly among middle and high school students. They say that while the ingredients in a non-nicotine product are generally recognized as safe (GRAS), this recognition is based upon consumption, not inhalation.

When you eat something, it goes into your stomach and is mixed with gastric juices, then goes into your intestines where the broken down food is passed into your blood system. It is then filtered by your liver.

With inhalation, the chemicals go into your lungs and pass through to your blood system and are pumped to your brain. Inhalation is the quickest way to get any substance to your brain. This blood is not filtered by the liver and your lungs are more delicate tissue than your stomach.

God’s Will For Me Is Freedom
“Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.” Galatians 5:1 (MSG)

It is not God’s will for you to be addicted to anything. The decisions that you make today create the life that you will inherit tomorrow, and God’s plan for your tomorrow is that you inherit a life that is filled with freedom. Freedom from sin is such a serious thing that Jesus was willing to give up his life to make it possible for us.

So What Should I Do?
If you are a Christian, the next time you’re tempted to smoke a cigarette, whether electronic or real, ask yourself this question, “Why am I doing this?” Anything in life that is worth doing should have a good reason behind it. If your answer is stupid or you don’t have an answer, that should be a good sign that you probably shouldn’t do whatever it is.

IF YOU HAVE TO TRY TO KEEP IT A SECRET FROM PEOPLE THAT YOU RESPECT, IS IT REALLY WHAT JESUS WANTS YOU TO BE DOING?

After all, your body doesn’t belong to you anymore. Jesus paid for it with his blood, so He gets to call the shots.

If you’re not a Christian, it’s still wise to ask yourself if you’re addicted. It’s also still wise to ask yourself “Why am I doing this?”

Jesus gives us the strength we need to make better choices which results in better lives. At Relevant Youth, we want to encourage you and challenge you to live better lives. If you need help to make the right decision or help in overcoming an addiction, the first step we recommend is sharing your struggle with someone who cares! At Relevant Youth, we are a family of leaders who really do care for our family of students. Let us help! You can email us at youth@gorelevant.com, connect with us on social media @gorelevantyouth, or hang with us in person on Wednesday nights at Relevant!

Adam Thacker

About Adam Thacker

Adam is passionate about loving and pursuing Jesus, his wife Brandy, and impactful opportunities. From the fall of 2014 to the summer of 2016, Adam & Brandy led the student ministry at Relevant Church, as they learned and prepared to plant a church in their home city of Roanoke, Virginia, in 2017. Adam and Brandy have one son. They also love their dog, Jersey, craft coffee, and creative traveling.

4 Comments

  • Chris says:

    Hi Adam, I’m not sure of you are of the same denomination as a dear friend of mine whom I want to get a(n) xmas gift for. She belongs to Church of Christ. I do not, but want to respect her faith. Anyway, in my travels overseas I brought back for friends each a hookah. I bought a pack of non nicotine, non-tobacco, mint flavored gel stones which burn and melt in the hookah. With the hookah, one does not inhale the vapor. It is brought into the mouth cavity, held for a second then exhaled as just mint smelling vapor. Since there is no nicotine, no tobacco and no inhaling, would this be considered going against Church of Christ doctrine? Thank you in advance for your insight. I’ve left my email down below.

    Chris

    • Hey, Chris, thanks for your question. Adam returned to his hometown of Roanoke a couple years ago to launch a new church, so he is no longer at Relevant.

      Regarding the hookah, we cannot speak for the Church of Christ, as we are not a part of that fellowship. However, we would caution against putting anything into your body beyond healthy food and drink, or something prescribed carefully by a certified professional.

      Hope this helps.

  • Tara says:

    Well I know I have quit smoking because of our Lord Jesus, and vaping. I do not suggest vaping if you have never smoked. A lot of misinformation is being circulated in the news. I know for a fact that since I’ve been just vaping I do not get even half as much. I have not caught bronchitis. I also feel better. I am preparing to completely quit everything. It will be much easier to quit one addictive chemical, instead 400! I have never been able to quit smoking before. I’ve smoked since I was twelve. I’m not saying it’s right to vape. However I believe if it helps you quit that’s at least moving in the right direction. Yes it’s not good to put bad stuff in your body. Here’s what gets me. Churches all across America and beyond serve all kinds of sugar and junk food every single Sunday! Why is that right?!?! It’s not. They probably don’t realize what they are doing I’m sure. So what I am saying is yes quit smoking, quit vaping, take healthy in. However you may have to quit, quit! Smoking and vaping is wrong. However if that’s how you must quit then that’s it. I don’t understand why it “ok” to eat unhealthy and over eat in the church, but not smoke ect? I think they have about the same health concerns. Please tell me why? God bless all.

    • Thanks for sharing, Tara. You raise a very good question that reminds us to pay attention to Jesus’ words in Matthew 7. There’s always a tendency to point to shortcomings that are easy to pick on while ignoring others. Thanks for the reminder. Best wishes to you and blessings for the days ahead.

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