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Miscellaneous Topics- Essays for young people- Lesson 8: Smoking- The Harmful Effects of Smoking
In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, Most Merciful  

The harmful effects of smoking

 A decade ago, when I was in Damascus, I was one of the establishing members of the Counter-Smoking Organization in Syria, and the head of the organization then was the Minister of Health. On the occasion of opening this organization, a ceremony was held in a cultural centre, and the attendants were very remarkable people. I delivered a speech on that day entitled The Harmful Effects of Smoking.

The harmful effects of smoking:

 The World Health Organization (WHO), an international and highly authenticated organization, mentioned scary facts about smoking.

Scary facts about smoking:

 1- Tobacco companies used to produce two cigarettes to every human being on earth, when the population was 6.000 million people. According to the latest statistics, people on earth are 7.200 million, which means that about 15.000 million cigarettes are produced daily. The bitter truth is that the number of smokers in the Middle East is increasing, while the number of smokers in the west is decreasing. Let alone, the wastes of tobacco raw materials are produced and exported exclusively to the Middle East.

 2- The huge production of tobacco contains poisonous elements, that if they were injected altogether into man's blood, they could end the human race.

 3- The number of people who die because of smoking surpasses the number of those who die because of plague, cholera, smallpox, tuberculosis, leprosy, typhoid and all the other diseases.

 4- The revenues of the great countries from the taxes imposed on producing and selling tobacco are less than the amounts of the money the governmentd spend on treating the diseases resulted from smoking.

 5- Among every three smokers, one smoker dies because of smoking.

 6- The devastating effects of smoking can only be obvious after a long time of smoking.
  7- Cigarettes contain 4.000 chemicals in the form of gases, most of which are poisonous and harmful to health in genreal.

 8- 1000 smokers die every day all over the world because of smoking, and this number is 7 times more than the number of those who die because of traffic accidents, given the percentage of those who die in traffic accidents used to be the highest. This number made the WHO state that "smoking is considered an inevitable cause of fatal diseases."

The harmful effects of smoking on the human body:

  1- Smoking causes weakness in nourishing the nerves in addition to weakening man's intelligence. In fact there is a cause and effect relationship between man's intelligence and the kinds of food he eats, so naturally speaking there should be a relationship between intelligence and the poison that enters into the human body.

 2- Chronic rhinitis and pharyngitis, laryngitis and pneumonia.

 3- Chronic narrowing of the arteries, which may turn into clogged arteries, causing a deadly angina or stroke.

 4- Breast cancer to the female smoker.

 5- If a pregnant woman is a smoker, frequent vomiting and convulsions could occur, in addition to increasing the heartbeats of the newborn.

Passive smoking:

 The people who inhale the gases and other emissions of cigarettes while sitting with their friends at work, with their smoking father or mother at home or with the spouse are not direct smokers, but they are called "passive smokers". These people do not smoke, and they do not want to smoke. Yet, smoking has unbelievable harmful effects on them, and the following are some of these effects:

 1- Asthma, especially asthma that affects little children, which is the effect of living with a smoking father or mother.

 2- Sleep apnea and dyspenea, which follows any muscular effort.

 3- The risk of suffering from heart diseases is twice the risk of those who are not passive smokers.

 4- Lack of reproductive capacity in women who experience passive smoking.

 5- Weak intelligence in children.

 Dear noble brother, these are the harmful effects of smoking on the passive smokers, so how about its effects on the smokers. Usually the smoker's will to quit smoking is weak, but why doesn't he think in a merciful way about his wife, children, and those whom he is close to? Unfortunately, the percentage of smokers in the advanced countries has decreased by 60%, which means that 40% of smokers quit smoking. On the other hand, the percentage of smokers in the backward countries has increased by 38%. Smokers in the advanced countries quit smoking to protect their health and the health of those who are affected by their smoking. In contrast, the percentage of smokers in the Third World countries increased by about 40%.

Commandments that help smokers quit smoking:

 1- Having a strong will.

 2- Taking a decisive decision to quit smoking for good.

 3- Deepening his awareness about the harmful effects of smoking on his health.

 4- If the smoker is a believer, he should deepen his awareness about the Shari'ah ruling on smoking based on the following Noble Ayah:

((…He allows them as lawful At-Taiyibat [(i.e. all good and lawful) as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons, foods, etc.], and prohibits them as unlawful Al-Khaba'ith (i.e. all evil and unlawful as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons, foods, etc.),))

[Al-A'raf, 157]

 5- Giving up smoking while the smoker is young.

 6- Quitting smoking should be done at once and not gradually.

 7- Never lose hope if the smoker fails in quitting smoking forever, but he should keep trying.

 8- Making benefit from the experience of those who quit smoking.

 9- The rate of addiction among smokers is 85 %, whereas the rate of addiction among liquor drinkers is 15 %, what does that mean? It means that among 100 addicted smokers only 15% of them are able to quit smoking, whereas among 100 people addicted to alcohol drinking, 85% of them can quit drinking wine. Keeping in mind the difference between addiction to smoking (85%) and addiction to intoxicants (15%).

The Shari'ah ruling on smoking based on general proofs:

 Allah the Almighty says:

((Those who follow the Messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write (i.e. Muhammad PBUH) whom they find written with them in the Taurat (Torah) (Deut, xviii, 15) and the Injeel (Gospel) (John xiv, 16), - he commands them for Al-Ma'ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam has ordained); and forbids them from Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism of all kinds, and all that Islam has forbidden); he allows them as lawful At-Taiyibat [(i.e. all good and lawful) as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons, foods, etc.], and prohibits them as unlawful Al-Khaba'ith (i.e. all evil and unlawful as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons, foods, etc.), he releases them from their heavy burdens (of Allah's Covenant), and from the fetters (bindings) that were upon them. So those who believe in him (Muhammad PBUH), honour him, help him, and follow the light (the Qur'an) which has been sent down with him, it is they who will be successful))

[Al-A'raf, 157]

 At the end of this lecture, I would like to quote one of the well-known scholars who said, "I have never seen a smoking prudent man."

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