Free Cigarette Tobacco photo and picture


Banning Tabacco Sales….

Over my sixty years of life, there has been a dramatic change in our attitudes to smoking.  When I was young it seemed that almost everyone smoked.  My parents didn’t smoke, but all grandparents did.  On my father’s side, my grandfather smoked a pipe.  As the health problems associated with smoking became clearer, my grandmother was quick to give up.  I never remember seeing her with a cigarette.  She nagged my grandfather to give up his pipe, which he did for a while.  But there were lots of problems with him being bad tempered, coming out in boils and not eating properly.  Eventually she was asking him to restart his pipe which he was relieved to do.  Then, more than 20 years later, he completely gave up smoking of his own accord.

Since 2007 smoking in public places has been illegal in the UK.  And now it looks as though there will be a ban the sale of tobacco to younger people, and eventually to everyone.

I certainly think that public policy should be discouraging tobacco sales, but I worry that an all-out ban might lead to a black market.  I also worry about what people will do instead of smoking.  We have plenty of concerns about vaping, obesity, drugs, alcohol, gambling and sex additions, some of which are fuelled online.  Many of these problems have grown over the same period that smoking has declined.  It seems to me that human beings have some self-destructive tendencies which public policy needs to honestly acknowledge before it can find good ways of responding. Tabacco sales should be made unprofitable rather than banned.  We need to stop the financial exploitation of human weaknesses.

In the church we use the word “sin” for our tendency to do damage to ourselves, and others.  It is important that we make the best choices we can to minimise the damage done by sin.  But also we have to humbly acknowledge that our sin goes very deep we can’t overcome it in our own strength.  We need God’s grace and forgiveness and the healing that comes from him.

With prayers and best wishes,

Fr Patrick


Father Patrick Writes