Scaring the Smoker

How far should we go?

See More

Comments (40)

(40) Anonymous, November 29, 2010 8:53 PM

Anyone trying to quit check out the book Alan Carrs Easy Way to Quit Smoking . You need to read the entire book to the end. , I have tried for years to stop . Changing my mind about what it dose for me which is nothing made me quit and im celebrating that.. Gaphics and scare tactics did not help me to quit. .

(39) Keith, Woking. UK, November 22, 2010 12:06 AM

"I Agree.......BUT......"

As you will see above, I live in the UK & over here they already have "graphic" images of diseased lungs, throat cancers, a corpse & various other images & messages on our cigarette packets. Let me be totally honest with you & say that I do still smoke... I also believe strongly in HaShem.. Rabbi, I do agree with you that smoking is indeed harmful & can be my case & also in the case of many that I know who still smoke, the images make absolutely no difference whatsoever in being an aid to stopping.. We know the dangers & yet due to the very nature of smoking & especially the reasons WHY we started smoking in the first place, those pictures have little or even no effect in causing us to stop.. Is smoking of G-d?.. No, of course not so obviously the best thing to do is to stop & that is why I personally am turning to HaShem to take over & help.. I can hear some saying "Surely, it's up to you!".. "Yes...& No".. is my answer to that.. G-d is far morer patient with us than we are with ourselves - or others are, for that matter.. "Others" haven't lived my life & know what stresses I have been under - G-d DOES know, & that's why He is infinitely more patient with each of us than we ever thought of being!!.. Thank G-d for that.. He has been sorting out various other more important things in me first (eg. being massively overweight - & with His help have now lost around 50 kilos).. Smoking is the next thing to go, once I reach my target weight.... As for the adverts on the cigarette packets --- "Forget it!".. They just make you feel sick & carry on smoking.... Conclusion: "HaShem is the answer, the Remedy, the Healer" - not pictures!.... Shalom... Keith :)

(38) naomi, November 20, 2010 4:44 PM

totally agree! btw like the cashmere!

(37) J, November 19, 2010 11:14 AM

# 30 Brilliant! Can someone explain to me???

Normally in any developed country a person killing another, whether directly or indirectly, purposely or by mistake goes into jail -period. Then WHY ARE CIGARETTES BEEN PRODUCED AND MARKETED IN THE 21ST CENTURY?? I mean no one is prosecuting any of these companies producing and marketing tobacco, which are knowingly killing more people than any terrorist would ever dream to. There are tens of food products and by/products which yearly removed from retailers shelves; if there is even as little as 0,001 % chance it will harm public's health. How about removing a product with 90% chances of killing you?? I mean I cant possibly find an answer..!!??? Could it be that the US government is deadly scared of this mafia?? Cant they see judge and act upon these assassins? As for commentators who think that at 18 you are old enough to decide for yourself, well then just ask yourselves why would anyone, specially a teenager embark on a deadly habit in the first place. Do we really have as much free choice as we think we do? I think the "push" of graphic pictures will help. The most successful campaign I'd ever heard of is, as my friend from Australia informed me; Aussie government regulated a minimum of 20 dollars per pack of cigarettes. And apparently, it's working wonders. And how comes rabbis do not come forward with some sort of psak???!!! They are posking on the most ridiculous issues at times and are totally neglecting the life threatening ones at others??

(36) jack Griffith, November 18, 2010 9:53 PM

i agree with you

I think we need it because my freinds grate grandmother never smoked or drank and she is 92 right now. Also Cigarettes cost money and if your addicted you might spend money on cigarettes instead of your family.

(35) Anonymous, November 18, 2010 9:19 PM

We. need to change the mind set about smoking and educate with the truth. . People need to realize that there are no benefits to cigarettes . Whatever people think they are getting out of it ,is exactly the opposite . Smoking =irritability and stress , it dose not relax people . One example. Smoking gives people 0 results . Make them believe that and they wont smoke.

(34) Sara Rothberg, November 18, 2010 11:20 AM

Really Bad Idea

to me, it is common sense. the images and warnings are killing people, and the weapon is the cigarette. Lets say you are a smoker and every minute you are bombarded with the "reality" that this is going to kill you. Of course you are going to start to believe that its happening to you, and you can't stop, so you have no chance. Not everyone dies of smoking. why not? Because its not the cigarette. My advice to smokers is to take deep breaths also while not smoking so you are not so dependent on the cigarette to bring in air and "good feeling-ness." And use that breathing to heal your body so you can smoke if you want. Also, to get a special cigarette holder so you don't have to look at the warning every time you smoke. i bless everyone with health and the knowledge that you are all going to die, its not so bad. I am funny...

(33) Bruce Buchanan, November 18, 2010 2:02 AM

Positive reinforcement rather than scaring people!

I don't know why most people begin smoking in the first place (I started at 16, because of non-stop beratement, & because of rigid, nonsensical discipline); possibly to be "like the rest of the crowd"? -Or maybe because they're continually battered verbally, or physically at home, at school, wherever, & just need some sort of a "pacifier"? At any rate, my feeling is that instead of adopting fear tactics, maybe more positive approaches could be considered: uplifting messages about the individual's self worth, but not just messages to briefly glanced-at! -These should be carefully construed, with catchy slogans, or pictures, that would be etched on peoples' psyches, so that people would truly love themselves more, & in so doing, wouldn't want to harm their bodies! And it could even be taken a step further, in making those messages somewhat "trendy", so people of all ages would actualize those principles, putting them into action, in supporting, encouraging people with even vastly different lifestyles, ages, etc., & making it COOL to honor, respect & generally be supportive of others! Maybe it sounds a little hokey (I hope I'm making myself clear, here!), but I think at the very least, it's worth thinking about!

(32) Avi, November 17, 2010 11:41 PM

Do it to it!

While smokers over 18 have the right to make a decision for themselves, they should have the capacity to make better informed choices. The pictures will allow them to see firsthand the consequences of their actions, and will result in a more efficient cost-benefit analysis of cigarette consumption. (Note: I was a smoker from 15-21)

(31) Anonymous, November 17, 2010 10:14 PM

From Today's "Daily Dose of Kindness"

In the past few years my husband has the following habit: when he sees people in the street who are smoking cigarettes, he blesses them with a "Refu'a shelema" (This expression is normally use when you bless someone that they should get well soon. The literal meaning is "have a complete recovery!") Today an interesting thing happened to him. He was walking in the street when a young man called out to him "Shalom Zaddik!" (Hello righteous person!) The guy then explained "I mean it seriously. Do you know that because of you I stopped smoking? Exactly a year ago you passed me in the street and saw me smoking and wished me "refu'a shelema". And then I thought about it and realized you were right, that I need to put an end to this sick addiction, and since then I haven't smoked at all!!!"

(30) Mati, November 17, 2010 8:51 PM

Let's do it!

GENERALLY SPEAKING, when it comes to smoking, most smokers only think of themselves. They don't consider who they sit/stand/walk near. They don't consider smoking FAR away from entryways and far away from small spaces like stairwells and elevators. They don't consider high rising costs of health insurance and hospital/doctor billings, not to mention the time they use up at such places that can be used by those with nondeliberately caused conditions. They don't consider wind, gasoline/flamable surroundings/ or eating/drinking establishments. They litter: 1)They flick a butt or cig ash anywhere, and 2) because they are already in the habit of littering (I think) they are most likely make up the bulk of litterers, and teach those around them to litter. They don't consider the fires started by cigs that costs enormous amounts of money and animal life. They don't consider the burns they have given to others while they smoke either to their bodies or to their things. (Sometimes they burn them intentionally...even their own bodies) They others by begging everyone for a cigarette or a light. They don't consider the smelly clothes the other person gets when they smoke around them, or the smelly elevator the other must take, or smelly car he must sit in, or smelly bathroom another must use, or smelly entryway, or smelly stairwell, or smelly taxi, or smelly house, or smelly ashtrays. They don't consider the ashtrays that others must clean up after them. They don't consider what they are teaching children and teens. I think I covered some of the problems.

(29) Chavi, November 17, 2010 8:19 PM

Smoking has gone to your brain

To #20: Smoking has gone to your brain and made you insane. All of the nasty, vile things you wrote about non-smokers are actually true about smokers! 'Decent ethics' intact? Don't make me laugh. You think it's persecution to protect the masses from the poison and filth that you are spreading, and you consider yourself the aggrieved party? SMOKING is a sin against humanity!Time for a reality check, fellow. You will protest yourself into an early grave.

(28) David, November 17, 2010 3:28 PM

Go for it

By all means, put the pictures on the packs. If those pictures can convince even one person to quit smoking they may be saving a life. A few years ago at age 50 when I was living in Houston, I wanted to start doing Taekwondo. My doctor suggested a stress test first. The stress test was in the middle of the cardiac unit of the hospital. Wow! For me, seeing all of those sick people up close was the best argument for staying healthy.

(27) BUTseriously, November 17, 2010 8:06 AM


Better than insulting millions of smokers, try to produce a safer smoke. No one wants to live in a clean place where there is no respect for others. No venue must be allowed to forbid smoking unless a clean, attractive smoking area is first installed. If I was a virus I would never attack a smoker's lungs - I would choose to attack those clean lungs which have insulted others: how about you? And judging by the number of non-smokers being infected - this is clearly the message for those who most probably perpetrate worse deeds than all smokers. How clean and how healthy one is - must be measured by how unhealthy a life they can withstand!

(26) Simcha Mendel, November 17, 2010 6:01 AM

Graphic images on cigarette packs!!!

Dr. Salomon is absolutely RIGHT!!! This is what they also should do in Israel. I live in Israel & the smoking rate especially among religious males is very high. They smoke in supermarkets & in wedding halls & due to that problem, I have to make sure there is a table far away from any smoker. One time, I was at a wedding In Israel, and I requested of someone to please not smoke because it bothers me. This is how he answered me; "over there (meaning in the kitchen) they are cooking. That is also smoke." In Israel, they make excuses for smoking. Sometimes, I want to leave Israel because of the smoking problem. If I am walking in a certain direction & someone is either walking in the same direction or even in the opposite direction & that person is smoking, I have to wait & hold my mouth until the smell of the smoke dissipates. I encourage very much to put graphic images on cigarette packs and hopefully it will discourage the smokers from smoking.

(25) Anonymous, November 17, 2010 2:07 AM

Put on the images

I definitley agree that the graphic images should go on the packages. It at least will deter ppl from smoking, but still giving them the room to make their choice out of their own free will. Making a choice requires the knowledge of knowing what your decision leads to. Smoking may lead to cancer and that's something ppl should become more aware about, no matter the means.

(24) Dovie E., November 17, 2010 1:57 AM

A Question Is Half the Answer

To "yael" (#12): I think I answered that. Fast food and alcohol do not directly endanger others. As well, there are benefits to alcohol and a fortiori to food, in moderation. Smoking is simply putting one's lungs on the grill.

(23) Anonymous, November 17, 2010 1:27 AM

The chicken or the egg: Where to stop and educate?

If we as parents smoke in front or behind our children's back, what do we think it will happen? We will be creating and enticing the smokers of the future. If we smoke and we have children, how in the name of God will we have a smoke free future generation?? Like Rabbi Nechemia wrote in his essay, we need to "explore our actions and to see where we're going off course", to be able to educate the future smoke free adults.

(22) Zach Prince, November 16, 2010 8:29 PM

Pictures ineffective

The facts are both that tobacco is highly dangerous and addictive, and that putting pictures of disease on packs of cigarettes is an ineffective solution. Ban smoking is public places and tax them like crazy. Those are methods to reduce smoking that are supported by statistics

(21) Anonymous, November 16, 2010 7:16 PM

I continue to smoke in protest. The methods used to stop smoking are far more dangerous to the people than puffing a smoke. They have tossed people, elders too, out in the cold street if they wish a smoke. They have singled out a group of people for a persecution tax. They have turned non-smokers into the most ignorant, rude, nasty, vile people one could ever encounter. The insane levels of no smoking has turned the country into a cesspool of sin against humanity. I now believe from much experience, that being a smoker means I have not lost my humanity. I will continue with my protest. Better to die with my decent ethics intact, than to join the insanity of persecution to enforce anothers standards on everyone.

(20) Nathan, November 16, 2010 5:28 PM

Think about:

The Torah says that man has a free will.

(19) Anonymous, November 16, 2010 4:49 PM

Whatever it takes to help people to stop smoking

I was a smoker for 20 years and am now tobacco free for 25 years. Tobacco is by far the most addictive drug (including street drugs-witness how hard it is for people to stop), and because it is legal it is masquerading as being innocuous. Alcohol has some health benefits when used moderately, but tobacco is the only drug when used as directed will undermine your health. As a nation we are paying the health costs for bad behavior, something we can no longer afford to do.

(18) Daniel Joseph, November 16, 2010 4:12 PM

Smoke fish not cigarettes

Smoke fish not cigarettes. I totally agree with you well reasoned analysis.

(17) Rafi, November 16, 2010 4:12 PM

electronic cigarette is a good alternative solution

People should be encouraged to seek out alternative solutions to smoking. Electronic cigarettes has come out in the past couple years as a very good and successful alternative solution that is much healthier than smoking regular tobacco cigarettes.

(16) Dan, November 16, 2010 3:23 PM


The wisdom of the Torah is incontrovertible.

(15) Matthew Cohen, November 16, 2010 3:23 PM

Don't think it will help

In Canada they have the graphics pictures on the cigarette packs and as far as I know it isnt very effective. Being a former smoker I would say that I usually just ignored the pictures or made jokes about them.

(14) Daniel Morgenbesser, November 15, 2010 11:58 PM

That is wrong

It is dead wrong to do this. Pardon the pun. Adults know the harm of cigarettes and can make their own decision. There is much more harm caused by alcohol.

(13) yael, November 15, 2010 9:44 PM

to 10

then eating chocolate, fast food and not exercising is too- heart disease is the number one cause of death in US, not lung cancer- how about tanning w/o protection? and driving while on the phone? and walking alone on shabbos in an unsafe neighborhood? You are totally blowing smoking out of proportion. To 8- Banning cigarettes is a BAD idea- why not ban alcohol then? And fast food? Cigarettes can be consumed in moderation and that should be allowed.

(12) Alan Drake Tyree, November 15, 2010 5:08 PM

I strongly agree!

In the book The Tzedakah Treasury, published by ArtScoll, there is a story about a Rabbi who buys a man a pack of cigarettes because he doesn't want him to be humiliated picking up butts off the ground and smoking the leftovers. I was recently asked for money to buy a family memeber cigarettes. Since this person doesn't have a lot of money and is not going to quit smoking because of anything I say I bought him a pack. I didn't want him to do anything that might cause him humiliation. And also because he's my cousin, I love him, and he lowered himself to ask me for money. I just hope that pack of cigarettes that I bought him isn't going to be the one that will tilt the scales and G-d forbid, give him lung cancer. I hope this new stop smoking campaign will truly work and cause people to decide to choose life and stop smoking. May all peoples be freed from the bondage of smoking and not be taken from this world before the completion of their years, (among them are seventy years), in a manner that they be able to rectify anything they have ruined. Amen.

(11) Chavi, November 15, 2010 1:50 PM

Beyond the individual

This question affects not only the smoker but all of the people in his immediate vicinity, who also have rights. I am a cancer survivor, and it makes me angry when I am forced to endure someone else's second-hand smoke that puts me at risk. Also, smokers are like cockroaches who leave their droppings behind. I have yet to see one smoker pick up a cigarette butt that he dropped. It is such a filthy habit. It freaks me out when I go back to the cancer hospital for my yearly MRI and see medical staff, who are exposed to the ravages of cancer on a daily basis, smoking outside the building! Do they really think it can't happen to them? I remember being in 8th grade and hearing my science teacher tell the class that 1 out of every 4 people will get cancer at some point in their life. I remember looking around the room, wondering which of my classmates it would be. I was sure that I would not be among them. Well, guess what! Both my best friend and I were stricken with cancer. Young people think they are immortal; that it will strike someone else, but certainly not them. It's hard to blame older people who have been smoking for years and can't easily break the addiction. But it pains me when I see a young person smoking, thinking it makes him look like a man, virtually certain that he won't be hurt by it. (Personally, to me it is the equivalent of a pacifier in a baby's mouth; not macho at all.) He believes himself to be impervious to the damaging effects; doesn't realize that somewhere down the line he may be leaving his wife an almonoh and his children yesomim (if they don't succumb first to the ravages of his second-hand smoke.) I am 100% in favor of the most graphic displays of the ravages of this horrible disease on all cigarette packages.

(10) steve of beachwood, November 15, 2010 12:35 PM

If sucide is a sin and it is

and smoking kills and it does.... Then smoking is a sin...

(9) Anonymous, November 15, 2010 4:02 AM

I believe the should go down to the source and the cigarette company should no longer produce the cancer sticks. Arenty they the same company that produces the nicotine patch?

(8) Dovie E., November 15, 2010 2:19 AM

Here's a Better Idea

Ban smoking. Yes, BAN it. It's called "public endangerment" as well as "suicide".

(7) lisa, November 15, 2010 12:40 AM

A picture is worth a thousand words!!!

It can't hurt........and while we're at it...why not put a picture of an obese man , woman & teenager on Entenmans & Hagen Daaz.......that might help too!!!

(6) Phil, November 15, 2010 12:01 AM

misguided FDA

If they're going to spend so much money on these warnings, they could've at least studied human nature a bit first. It would've been much more effective to have pictures of cars, TVs, and vacation spots, to let the smokers know what they're missing with the money they're wasting. Yup, sadly, for so many people, money > health.

(5) TMay, November 14, 2010 8:07 PM

Imagine the rest of the story..

The same thing can be said about obesity and I would not like a 5 star system of pictures of obese people's behinds on packages of ice cream and cookies, with three for a normal food and 5 for fattening food and also images of people with limbs cut off, and blind. They almost passed prop 19 which would have legalized marijuana in Calif. Would they have required graphic photos of car crane Metro accidents on the packaging, and the same when they sell cellphones regarding texting or conversations while driving without extra equip, and the same with liquor, and sth similar at airports regarding flying, and sale of autos, motorcycles, tractors, skatebds? How about photos of brown teeth on packaging of coffee/ tea, rotted teeth on candy? Do they show pictures of pregnant women or aborted fetuses on condom packages to show what accidents can look like? What about pictures of dead burn victims on matches, dead hunters on bullets, dead gang members/ criminals on shirts and sweat shirts with the local gang letters or #s or colors, a photo of a child standing on a shrinking ice floe on a thermostat, photo of women dead of cancer on the dark hair color dye packaging and mascara, Crusaders killing peasants on a bible, dead Palestinians on Israeli goods, dead 9/11 Americans splat on the ground on the packaging of a Hadith? Would men have to wear t-shirts with the photos of their ex-wives and children with dates of beginnings and endings? All married men should wear the picture of their wife and children at all times? Women should be required to wear shirts with a computerized balance sheet constantly going up to show $ support of likely children? Maybe elem school children should wear clothing with photos of their grandparents so that they know where they are heading? Imagine the photos at doors of gambling bars and nightclubs, and a photo of Madoff at the entrance to a bank to remind investment people to live properly. Would we be better off if we make that turn?

(4) Sheila Deutsch, November 14, 2010 5:53 PM

Many years ago I attended a lecture given by Rabbi Moshe Tendler, at which he stated that smoking is forbidden by the Torah. If this is so, and I do not doubt him, why do you see yeshivah students, sitting in front of the yeshivah and smoking? Obviously this is not being stressed in their schools. I believe that given this direct command would have a great influence on the number of young men and later older men to either stop or not start smoking. SD

(3) SusanE, November 14, 2010 5:37 PM

Graphic is not 'Graphic' anymore.

Our kids have a fatalistic attitude. "If I don't die from smoking I'll die from an auto accident or be bombed or get some other disease anyway. Might as well enjoy smoking while I'm here. (also, insert the words drugs, drinking, gambling and illicit sex) They all know the dangers of smoking, and the first time they are offered a cig at a party they will most likely take it. HIV didn't scare them into safe sex. Most new births are only one parent families. DUI's didn't scare them into not drinking while driving. Alcoholism is rampant in underage kids in college, they don't care. Gambling is huge everywhere, the money is never ending for kids. (where does it come from?) Tax the price of cigs to $12.00 a pkg and they will still smoke. No picture will stop them. So put the graphic on the pack, we already keep them out of reach and make smokers show ID's to buy in stores. We teach non-smoking to kids in schools. We now are regulated to not smoke in public places. People will still smoke.... more and more and more..

(2) Anonymous, November 14, 2010 5:15 PM

smokers know. . .

I am not a smoker, never have been, but I am almost certain that there is no one who has never heard of the dangers of smoking. Unless someone is not exposed to any media or has never been to the doctor they know the risks and understand them. Smoking is an addiction, and should be treated like one. The addiction overrides peoples common sense and intellect, and therefore well aware of the consequences, light up anyway. I believe the only way to stop the addiction is to take cigarettes off the market.

(1) Debora, November 14, 2010 8:23 AM

Hate smoking coz I can't breathe noramally around it!!!

Smokers don't care nor they want to know about bad things of smoking. However, put those nasty images all around, maybe someone will come to his/her senses, or at least non-smokers will be more determined not to try it.


Submit Your Comment:

  • Display my name?

  • Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comment.

  • * required field 2000
Submit Comment

Receive the Weekly Email

Sign up to our Aish Weekly Update Jewsletter.

Our privacy policy