Oct 20, 2015
Dating Someone Who Smokes
Illustration photo by Graur Codrin

From the COLlive inbox: A shadchan recently said girls should date bochurim who smoke since they will quit. The opposite is true.

By Raitza Greenspan

I recently attended a talk by a group of shadchanim. One of the issues addressed was that of bachurim who smoke. It seems many girls are putting "non-smoker" on their deal-breaker list.

The shadchan who addressed the issue claimed that doctors, who have studied the effects of tobacco for years and have all definitively concluded that it is an addiction, are wrong. In the opinion of the shadchan, most bachurim can and will quit in time to make a shidduch and it will have no long-lasting effect on them.

I feel that this statement is shortsighted, irresponsible and damaging.

As the wife of a smoker, I feel more than qualified to speak about this. My husband was a smoker when we were dating but I was not aware of that until further into the shidduch process. He assured me that he would quit once we got married, and he did.

For six years -- many years ago.

Once the stress of a growing family, aging parents, tighter finances, and medical issues set in, the addiction (and there really is nothing else to call it) reared its ugly (or smelly) head again.

At this point, I am resigned to my fate. Apparently, there is nothing I can do to control this and trying to will only damage my shalom bayis.

Baruch Hashem, I am blessed with a wonderful, loving husband and family and I daven daily that I should continue to enjoy these blessings until 120.

Yet when it comes to my sons, I do not mince my words. I tell them that smoking is a dirty and expensive habit which can kill people in a terribly painful way. I walk a fine line here, letting them know that Abba smokes and we love and respect him, but I will do everything in my power so they have the strength to not pick up that first cigarette.

If you can avoid that, you can avoid a lifetime of fallout afterward. (Imagine the damage done, the addicts created, just by the custom of giving out chassan cigarettes, or just-on-Purim cigarettes. Can we do away with that one please?)

For a shadchan to encourage girls to date boys who smoke, since in his professional opinion it is something that the bachur can simply walk away from, is mind-boggling to me. That needs to be a decision made by the girl and her parents without any pressure or input from the shadchan.

I have spoken with a number of smokers over the past several months who quit for an extended period of time, like my husband, and almost across the board, at one point or another, they have gone back to smoking.

We non-smokers cannot fully understand the pull and addiction nicotine has over a person. But at the very least, we must acknowledge it so that we can honestly address the far-reaching and terrible effect it has and continues to have on so many frum families.

I do believe that it is up to Hakadosh Baruch Hu to protect my husband but if there is any way I can help someone avoid living with the dread of having a spouse or a child as a smoker, I would do whatever I could to help them, including writing this.

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Opinions and Comments
1
My father went blind from smoking
I grew up with a father that smoked, and in the end he developed macular degeneration from smoking and he went blind, became very depressed, and died of Altzeimer's. My mother developed macular degeneration also from the 2nd hand smoke, and had to have very painful injections in her eyes to keep her from going blind. Her vision is not great, but she can get around yet. There's no end to the health problems smoking causes for the smoker and his family!!
(10/20/2015 11:25:07 PM)
2
AGREED
At this point in time, it is proven that smoking will kill you. Why marry someone that doesn't respect their own life?
(10/20/2015 11:26:42 PM)
3
What about Bochurim Who Drink?
Alcohol is far worse.

What about Bochurim who drink??

(10/20/2015 11:38:13 PM)
4
I agree
My husband A"H quit for a while after we got married and then went on to become a 2-pack-a-day smoker. He died at an early age of the dread disease (not of the lungs, but still the smoking affected his health and ability to get the best treatment). Years ago I wanted to have a video made for young yeshiva boys about the dangers of smoking, featuring frum doctors and some patients with end-stage lung disease who would share their regret for having picked up the first cigarette. Seeing someone with emphysema r"L, who takes one step and then stops and breathes heavily, can scare the wits out of young kids and help deter them from smoking. Years ago I couldn't make it happen. But I bet someone could make it happen now, and I wish they would! B"H smoking is out-of-style in the goyishe velt in America. That's the one "style" I wish would become the style among all Jewish men (and any women who smoke r"l)!
(10/20/2015 11:40:49 PM)
5
How many of bochurim smokers are addicted?
The shadchan is not entirely wrong. The majority? (Or close to that) of bochurim smoke today. But not every bochur who smokes are addicted. Many if not most are not. Would the writer of this article suggest that a girl not date someone who smoked once or twice? Where would the writer draw the line?
(10/20/2015 11:41:14 PM)
6
Smoke
I will not let my children marry smokers or even consider some ones who's father smokes.

(10/20/2015 11:46:54 PM)
7
Right on point
Beautifully written opinion and right on point. I fully agree with you that this is a habit that can return when the tough gets going. I respect the way you have communicated to your sons while still holding their father in the highest esteem. Smoking is a life-long habit and no women should be convinced otherwise.
(10/20/2015 11:49:45 PM)
8
man
as a labavitch young man, i never smoked and my friends did. girls were saying no no no to them. they would get beyond upset when they got rejected and i told them, you only have yourself to blame.
(10/20/2015 11:57:24 PM)
9
Hookah
I would also like to add that HOOKAH smoke is just as bad, if not WORST that cigarettes. It's extremely popular in LA aND im sure in othe places as well.. many do not realize it's dangers. It's a narcotic as well.it can also spread many disease when ppl share the same hook jug... be careful when dating!h
(10/20/2015 11:59:16 PM)
10
"A shadchan recently said"
Shadchonim may say lots of silly thins is your job to use a bit of seichel
(10/21/2015 12:04:32 AM)
11
it's called nicotine
Smoking addiction or nicotine addiction is one of the hardest ones to quit.Ask any addictionologist or counselor.They will tell you.It's a horror.
(10/21/2015 12:11:24 AM)
12
Great article
Thank you for sharing your painful experience!
My father too passed from lung C even though he had quit for a long while before he got the dreaded disease. That does not mean everyone who CHAS V'SHOLOM smokes will become sick. However, knowing we know about smoking today makes it irresponsible to smoke.
The decision to date a smoker vs non smoker is a personal one. A shadchan does not hAve the right to make light of a boy/girls right if they choose not to date a smoker.
It is of serious concern and warrants a serious discussion.
Thank you all those comments for sharing.
(10/21/2015 12:28:20 AM)
13
what's a smoker?
While many Bochurim casually smoke they are not addicted as in they don't smoke in the summer or buy packs of cigarettes in New York, but might buy cigarettes in places that are considerably cheaper.
While the shadchan should report a serious smoker I'm not sure how necessary it would be to do so when the bochur just smokes once in a while.
There should be an honest discussion on the dates about the boys smoking habits, and she'll decide if he would stop or is a real threat moving foward
(10/21/2015 12:32:18 AM)
14
It's in Hashem's hands
A friend smokes about a pack a day and is ka"h 95 years old without any health problems. It's all up to Hashem
(10/21/2015 12:36:11 AM)
15
wrong!
most bouchrim are occasional smokers whether its by a farbrengen or socializing with friends. To say u don't want a bachur that smokes for you daughter is ridiculous. one has to differentiate between one that smokes on a daily basis to one that smokes occasionally . I would say 90% of those bouchrim that are occasional smokers stop once they get married. I am saying this from personal experience
(10/21/2015 12:49:01 AM)
16
It Causes Cancer
I have cancer because of living near second hand smoke. You can not imagine how painful cancer is. It destroys every cell in your body and everyone around you. It is the worst thing someone can do. And anyone who does smoke should drop dead in a slow suffocating death like they are causing the people around them. It is like being a suicide bomber, where everyone around you limbs get thrown and you die a faster death. You harm more the people around you than yourself since it's a long slow suffocating death.
(10/21/2015 12:55:07 AM)
17
U might have a new battle
What about Marijuana?
(10/21/2015 12:58:55 AM)
18
yasher koach to COL for this one
kudos to COL for having the strength to address a difficult topic with honesty, realism, and facts
thank you Reitza for sharing your innermost grief with us
(10/21/2015 1:01:25 AM)
19
#6
i wouldnt do that. what is wrong with smoking? health??? your not downing a bottle of mashke every night before you go to sleep. and maybe you should live with the Amish, just in case a car might run you over when are walking on the sidewalk. IN OTHER WORDS, LIVE AND LET LIVE!!!!!!!!
(or their father that smokes. HAHAH your a joke)

#9 popular in LA ??? what does that mean?? come on!!!
they smoke up a lot more hookah and other stuff in colorado.

I hate when people bring LA up when talking about "chilled" or "fryed" out bachurim. There are more chilled out bachurim in crown heights then LA (ratio wise of course)


BUT WHEN ALL SAID AND DONE, MARRY WHOEVER THE HECK FLOATS YOUR BOAT!
(10/21/2015 1:04:15 AM)
20
Bochur
I love how all these comments written by moms seem to know the ins and outs of bochurims smoking addiction. Bochurim have very few outlets and smoking is just an easy way to cool off a bit after a good few hours of learning. Fact: most bochurim that smoke quit when they get married.
(10/21/2015 1:26:21 AM)
21
Drinking and smoking is heino hach.
Neither respect their own lives and health, and BOTH endanger every innocent person around them.

Don't marry a guy who smokes.
And don't marry a guy who drinks.
Both are addictive and harmful.
Both can be passed on to the next generation.
And both hurt everyone else who isn't interested in suffering the consequences.
Ah, and both drinkers and smokers justify their actions whenever you ask them not to do it around you.
(10/21/2015 2:23:23 AM)
22
no ashtray in my house
When I went on shidduch, I said to my date in my house will not be ashtray. He asked me if it is ok if hè will smoke outside the house . I said ok. After few month he saw nothing in going out to smoken his cigarettes and stop to smoke
(10/21/2015 2:57:28 AM)
23
talking from exprience
I am married, BH with a large loving family, but I also used to smoke. I smoke from when I was 14 years old, until I was 24 and it was time to get married. When I was being "bossed around" and couldn't smoke, I "only" smoked about a pack a day. When I was "free", I went to two packs a day. This went on for ten years. I tried stopping within those times, but just convinced myself I can't stop. I really was scared what it would be like when its time to get married... But then I learned that it is all in your mind. Yes its hard to stop, and it was very very intense, and sometimes still is.. But its in your control. Its a maturity level too. If someone really wants to stop, they will. So if your interested in a bochur, but he also smokes, wait for him to actually fully quit, then go on with the shidduch. Because until they prove it, they can always go back.. Not because they are forced too, but because they aren't really ready to quit yet. Its all about the self control... And don't let the little monster convince otherwise. Stress and all that is not an excuse... I found something else, excersie, sunflower seeds... Play sports... All that helps, and eventually it was gone and I feel great. So unless you really know what it is, don't say anything. Especailly if its not smart
(I haven't touched a ciggarette in 15 years)
(10/21/2015 3:16:17 AM)
24
Bochur
What about girls that smoke?
(10/21/2015 4:54:53 AM)
25
To #6 for real? Please.v
That's extream!
My dad smoked I would never smoke. Even if you were to pay me 1000 which I was offered once no joke!
So you got to chill out lady!
(10/21/2015 5:51:58 AM)
26
just so you know
there is much less smoking among bochrim today, than years ago. I vividly remember Rabbi Simpson announcing about 2 minutes before a weekday farbrengen that everyone should stop smoking. it is hard to imagine this today, or even 25 years ago.

and each man or young lady should make shidduch decisions based on all the learn about a prospective shidduch, smoking included.
(10/21/2015 5:58:50 AM)
27
Not always true., boruch Hashem
My husband smoked when we we first married and boruch Hashem quit and never started again. He asked the Rebbe for a bracha when he quit. He quit when he saw his father (who did not smoke) sick with something else at a relatively young age and told his father he would quit if his father agreed to put on tefillin
(10/21/2015 6:47:56 AM)
28
Crack
Smoking crack is bad
(10/21/2015 6:49:31 AM)
29
Current Bochur
As mentioned in comment 5 id like to reiterate the point. The bochurim the shadchan probably had in mind were those that have a cigarette once in a while not those who are addicted. I know many bochurim who used to smoke a couple of cigarettes a week that stopped completely when they got married.
(10/21/2015 6:57:50 AM)
30
its hard to quit
but my grandfather managed to and he never went back
(10/21/2015 7:05:57 AM)
31
secondary smoke dangerous to children
If you have smoking in the house, car,clothes, it is well documented that it affects the children and can cause disease, etc. CH"V. Are you willing to risk their health? I once had a lovely babysitter who's husband was a heavy smoker. i had to find another place because my baby came home saturated with the smoke odors.
(10/21/2015 7:30:25 AM)
32
To #s 5 and 13
I wonder which doctors this shachan quoted. The shachan was probably quoting skewed evidence from doctors representing companies such as phillip Morris. Any doctor that today would say smoking is not a problem or not an addiction would be disbarred.
Any behaviors that make the practitioner feel good (like sugar) become addictions.
And the rebbe made a bakasha nafshis not to smoke and some young Bochur has a right to pass it off??
For that reason alone it should be a deal breaker!
(10/21/2015 8:08:15 AM)
33
smoking.
Smoking issooooooooooooooooooooooo primitive.why are boys smoking. My son would go up to people at the age of four and say to them why are you smoking ,dont you know its going to kill you.
(10/21/2015 9:20:40 AM)
34
Is lying to yourself mutar?
Social smoking is a form of denial, most people end up addicted.
https://youtu.be/tiE_mrKBstY
(10/21/2015 9:21:29 AM)
35
No smoking
Right on!
If you care about yourself, or your family, who are relying on you to be healthy and take care of them, then do the responsible thing and get help to quit.
(10/21/2015 9:22:21 AM)
36
We don't want smokers or drinkers
We don't want smoking or drinking or any other nasty destructive habit in our homes. It is a deal breaker. Don't even smoke outside and then come to my house, it stinks and stinks up my house. I cannot breathe around people who smoke. The worst is on Kingston near someone smoking. If you smoked even more than once in your lifetime I will not even consider you to join my family. It is so insensitive to people around you who just need clean air to breathe in.
(10/21/2015 9:22:52 AM)
37
To quote a research study:
"The only thing that is relevant is this: If you smoke at all you are at increased risk of cancer and heart disease. Any smoking does that, So if people say, 'I only smoke occasionally,' they have increased risk because this substance is so toxic."
(10/21/2015 9:32:27 AM)
38
disgusting habbit
i would never date a guy who smokes, and never let my kids date guys who smoke. they smell no matter how much they try to wash it away. and the women who claim they don't smell it on their husbands, they're just immune to it.
it's also dangerous too, obviously.
(10/21/2015 9:34:25 AM)
39
To # 25
Yes, I'm serious. As parents we have to interact with our son or daughters in laws a lot. We would want to be close with him sharing simchas, etc If someone smokes, then that smoke smell is on them all the time, it doesn't go away. I am not comfortable with persons who smell of smoke in our home and avoid going into places and homes where there is a smoke smell. It would be very uncomfortable if not impossible to deal with this kind of situation without making someone uncomfortable or hurting a relationship.

Easier to simply avoid it from the start. Wewill ask the question and look into both the smoking habits of a potential shidduch and future in laws.

(10/21/2015 10:10:00 AM)
40
To #23
Wow please SPEAK to to the boys out there....by farbrengens when you meet them....Only someone whose been there understands and can have an influence....Hatzlocha
(10/21/2015 10:34:43 AM)
41
There's a simple solution.
All the girls who don't want their husbands to smoke should encourage them to start using electric cigarettes or band start vaping. Its much healthier that cigarettes, costs just a fraction, and doesn't have any bad smell. Actually smells quite pleasant. I say this because I used to smoke before I got married, and now I use an electric cigarette instead. No it's not a perfect solution, but its a very good and easy way to deal with this issue. I believe its the wife's right to ask her husband not to smoke, with an open mind and some compromise, a good electric cigarette is clearly the best solution.
(10/21/2015 10:45:17 AM)
42
disgusting "habit"
disgusting, self-destructive, and more than that - pure selfishness. I would never date a smoker and I do not understand how anybody does. i guess those who grew up with smoking fathers and brothers may not mind. To the rest of us, it is simply vile and revolting. (oh, and the smell makes many people get terrible headaches)
(10/21/2015 10:59:49 AM)
43
on your own
you have to be ready to stop smoking on your own terms it does not matter how many times a person tells you to stop, I used to be a smoker and my kids hated it they used to tell me, why don't I stop smoking, and I continued to smoke, and one day I cut down and I decided to stop, so you have to want to stop smoking yourself
(10/21/2015 12:04:32 PM)
44
Once a smoker...always a smoker
The best advice I got from a mashpia before i got married was that you marry the person for who they are today. Dont marry someone with the hopes they will change because its not fair to them. If you marry someone who smokes hoping they will quit, you are lying to yourself. I quit smoking over 8 years ago and will never touch another cigarette again but it is an addiction that becomes part of your core. If you dont want to marry a smoker then dont date one!
(10/21/2015 12:17:27 PM)
45
A bochur
Some of the comments are totally off mark. There is no "occasional smoker" it's either yes or no. It is true that some bochurim stop smoking entirely before they date, but more often than not he will resume smoking often in secret if
necessary. Besides the fact that it is proven to give you many health problems and or kill you, the amount of money spent on cigarettes/tobacco adds up over time which can be used for many other necessary expenses. Girls who smoke are just disgusting. Any drug, marijuana etc. is worse.
The bottom line is a girl should never marry a smoker.
(10/21/2015 12:19:28 PM)
46
Underlying issue
From relationship experience, there is always a deeper reason as to why a Bochur would start in the first place. What possible unresolved issues are there...?
(10/21/2015 12:36:06 PM)
47
What about girls who smoke?
Should that be a deal breaker for a guy?
(10/21/2015 1:03:25 PM)
48
Electric cigarettes
May not be as bad, but they're still full of nicotine, addictive, and dangerous to health. Because many are colorful and fruit-flavored doesn't make them a toy or safe.
(10/21/2015 1:24:46 PM)
49
bottom line
The bottom line is that you don't marry someone to change them. To say, right now the boy/girl smokes/drinks/compulsively overeats/uses foul language/sleeps til noon/never learns/whatever, but after marriage s/he will change - that's just foolish.
(10/21/2015 1:27:21 PM)
50
Used to smoke
Hey people as an ex smoker, i want to say that i think its stupid not to date someone who used to smoke, why are you so sure they will go back, if you really want to quit you can, im not saying its not hard, but its not that hard, mind rules over heart and its true because ive experienced that first hand, so if you dont want to date me because i used to smoke, guess what? I dont want to date you because thats a pretty shallow way to look at a prospective shidduch, that if they ever smoked one cigarette you wont date them or let your kid date them, nuff said.
(10/21/2015 1:41:46 PM)
51
The op-ed writer is deluded by personal anger...
First of all:
Most bochurim (in Lubavitch) who smoke(d) quit before or shortly after getting married ... nearly all of them. (This may be different than in the "velt".)
And most of these do not go back to smoking habitually, if at all.

So. what the Shadchan said is TRUE.

But here's one woman who knows of a case where it didn't happen like that (and it is her own husband so her opinion is more likely delusion since she is nogeia badovor...) so she tries to convince a whole community how to date based on her one-case experience.

Op-ed writer, if you could go back in time would you reject dating your husband because he has a habit you dont like?
Would you not date him if you knew he would try to quit and it would be successful for only a limited period of time?

If you are a normal human being certainly the answer is "I would still want to have married him, because ...he is my husband and I value him as such."

What are you suggesting?!
Smokers should quit? Obviously! But you claim that won't change anything!!! Next...
Smokers should not be dated? Obviously smokers should date and marry too, or you wouldn't have children!
Smokers do not deserve a spouse? Obviously not!
Women [girls?!] should be discouraged from dating smokers? Obviously not! Your relationship is proof that AFTER all is said and done, it is NOT a deal breaker (before or after the fact).
Women [girls?!] who date smokers should have more anxiety about it, to decrease the chances of successfully matching and progressing pleasantly in the future like you are achieving with this idiotic op-ed? Obviously not!

So far...
The basis for your objection [op-ed writer] is the shadchan saying most bochurim move on from smoking around the time of their marriage, which is TRUE. Most do stop the habit and don't start up again.

It can be seen that you're trying to force bochurim into doing what you want by manipulating ones who smoke with this op-ed, by trying to hijack their independent growth progress and instead blackmail them by imposing your insane opinion into their dating prospects.

Considering the purported "SHIDDUCH CRISIS" the last thing needed is some bitter woman unhappy with how her reality turned out to start stirring the pot of separation between possibly good matches (your husband and yourself as a case in point.

Get on with your life.
And stop trying to convince a whole community to follow what you want.

Bochurim and women the above op-ed is proof that smoking is not a deal-breaker, even though many try to cast it as one. May you achieve boundless pleasant growth in all areas of your lives and have relationships that are not upended by such peripheral non-starters (smoking) being foisted center stage in the dating process.

Note: Anxiety-based scare tactics (dating manipulation, photos of smoke-damaged organs, terrible medical stories etc) have been proven to reinforce smokers' habits, rather than help them get past the habit.

This op-ed encourages smokers to smoke.
(10/21/2015 1:48:04 PM)
52
It's all in the Mind
I (compromised and) married a (then) smoker. We agreed no smoking would take place in our home. Soon after while pregnant, I really couldn't stand the lingering smells any longer, so that coupled with thought of second hand smoking effect it would have on the (even unborn) child, he quit - COLD TURKEY for many years...
...but as the author so rightly points out, stresses of all types set in and old habits die hard, thought thankfully it was very short lived and he got back on track and he has not looked back or smoked since, many years later B"H.
(10/21/2015 2:06:00 PM)
53
I agree
The shidduch market is very competitive so you and everyone who agrees with you can limit yourselves to the 4% of bochurim who never smoked and leave alot more options of buchurim open for my daughters.
(10/21/2015 2:12:19 PM)
54
smoker guy
Gee this whole page made me go for a smoke!
(10/21/2015 2:19:58 PM)
55
To the writer :
Very well written and completely resonated with me.
I could have written the same thing word for word.
I agree with you whole heartedly...
From someone who is in the same exact boat!
(10/21/2015 2:36:07 PM)
56
Smoking
one of my first date was with a smoker when he asked me if i minded i said yes i did (he did not like that). I watched my father have emphazema, athsma and 3 heart attacks and die. I was not interested in marrying a smoker. needless to say that didn't go anywhere. non of my son's B"H is a smoker. I treated and acted like smoking was the same as walking in dog doo. (did any of you children grow up to walk in dog doo?). I didn't even do that on purpose it was just the way i felt about it. so no smoking should be discouraged at all costs and girls should not marry them. sorry guys do everyone and yourselves a favor. dont smoke.
(10/21/2015 3:13:17 PM)
57
Comment 51
Best comment ever written on col.
(10/21/2015 3:25:38 PM)
58
i once when on a date
and the guy asked if i mind smoking. i said i don't like it and that my grandparents developed emphazema from it. at the end of the date, he whipped out a cigarette and smoked any way! AND HE STILL WANTED TO GO OUT AGAIN!
#someoneneedsarealitycheck!
(10/21/2015 3:32:07 PM)
59
to 53
is that a joke? 4% who never smoked? i bet 85% never smoked! and i don't count trying cigarettes or smoking for a few months. even if the guy did for a year in yeshiva but eventually quit, that's fine with me, as long as he doesn't smoke currently.
(10/21/2015 3:33:38 PM)
60
Bocher
I'm a single guy that went through the entire system I smoked from the age of 15 till the age of 21 I an currently 22 that's six years I smoked a pack a day no one believed I could stop and guess what it's been a year and two months and I haven't touched a cigarette it's not the nicotine addiction it's the action and the fact that it becomes a part of everything its the action as I said that's the addiction and it's hard but the best thing you can do to quit so who ever never smoked don't just speak like you know it's possible to quit and the addiction in my opinion Is the action just ask someone that smokes what he enjoys most about it
(10/21/2015 3:41:43 PM)
61
Athletics Athletics and more Athletics
Bochurim need more healthy outlets and avenues to reduce stress. Athletics can help them in so many ways. If you feel good about yourself than you are more likely to take care of yourself and others around you.
(10/21/2015 4:10:00 PM)
62
Shimon Shak
Tobacco is not Heroin!! I personally quit 15 years ago and have not touched a cigarette since. i also know at least 20 people in my close circle of friends who also have quit smoking for good. It's really unfair to generalize like you are doing in the article. Also you are in a way implying that people should reject former smokers as well (with the assumption that they will never quit and go back to it when the going gets tough). Thus effectively you are telling people to not marry any person that ever picked up a cigarette....
(10/21/2015 4:46:35 PM)
63
Proportion please
Disclaimer - I don't smoke. Started as a bochur, quit the whole time when married for 7 years (yes, I had the occasional friendly cigarette then - and don't now), had a divorce brought on by postpartum (not that I didn't make my mistakes, but it was a good marriage till then), did not want the divorce and started smoking again during very stressful and false actions for a few months and then quit again and haven't started back.

Yes, smoking is harmful with very immediate health effects. But I have no idea whether it's as harmful as habitual potato chip binging and it's less harmful than a constant terrible diet, extreme sleep deprivation and maybe even certain levels of cell phone or internet addiction.

Yes, doctors blame everything on smoking. Comment 1 blaming macular degeneration, R"L, on second hand smoke is a real stretch, even to them (macular degeneration, R"L, has affected far too many and smoking doesn't help and ocular vitamins are crucial for seniors, but to pinpoint the cause to smoking isn't something that can be said with certainty about any one case).

The fact is that most bochurim do quit when married. The fact is that there are a lot of things that can be done to regain health, at least partially, from even years of smoking - such as taking Stinging Nettle, a natural detoxifier. The fact is also that bochurim should clearly be discouraged from starting and the immediate effects should be made known to them. But as far as a shidduch, if you want a happy life, marry someone with yiras shomayim and decent midos. This will prove necessary 1,000 times over in marriage. Be mevater on the rest.
(10/21/2015 6:08:47 PM)
64
Just a Thought
I's not so much the smoking itself, as what the habit represents. People who choose to smoke -- even after having a wife and children, exhibit poor self discipline and self control, which probably manifests itself in other areas of their lives as well.

To me, it's the ultimate act of selfishness. When a person knows fully well that their behavior has a high probability of causing undo suffering for themselves and their families, yet the persist undeterred. It also indicates the severity of the addiction itself.

According to the CDC, 17.8% of Americans smoke. If the comments here are correct, and 50% of our Bochurim smoke, something is seriously wrong with the culture our community.
(10/21/2015 6:55:41 PM)
65
To #19 and others,,,
You have no idea about addiction or the power of addiction.

Anyone who equates smoking with drinking is ludicrous.

Smoking is not good, unhealthy, in fact it stinks. It however can NOT be compared to drinking.

Girls,,,, 4 Crucial things to look for in a husband.
1) Middos - Bain Adam Lachavairo
2) Is he Lazy
3) Does he have a alcohol or other drug addiction
4) His stance on Bain Adam LaMokom.
(10/21/2015 7:17:41 PM)
66
number 32
please bring a makor for the rebbe asking a bakasha nafshis not to smoke the friedike rebbe did but the rebbe never advocated that when asked the rebbe responded either in a sarcastic way such as go make a sign about it or the rebbe told someone in regards to that persons room mate, smoking causes leads to physical issues which can lead to spiritual issues
(10/21/2015 8:34:59 PM)
67
Ex smoker now 60 years old
I quit easily but not everyone can. What i can't even understand in this day and age with all the knowledge about the harm smoking causes would anyone even begin! As a parent of children still in the parsha I would consider a boy who smoked but recognizes it's not okay and is committed to stopping. But no jeans and tee shirts....thanks
(10/21/2015 8:41:50 PM)
68
The most important thing is what the Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach says about this.
I don't have the source handy, but any knowledgeable mashpia can direct you to the source. The Rebbe once said as a general directive, that if you smoke - you should try to quit b'derech iskafiya - ie. a little at a time. If you don't smoke it is assur to start. From the point in time that he said this it should be considered as a chok amongst Lubavitchers to follow his horaa. I can't even see how one could be considered at all mekushar if he started after the Rebbe announced this. I would agree with anyone who would not consider such a person as a potential shidduch for their daughter. If they don't want to conduct themselves according to the Rebbe, MH"M's will in this matter it is likely they won't in other matters and they may as well look outside Lubavitch for their shidduch.
(10/21/2015 8:46:29 PM)
69
Proportion please (cont.)
After reiterating that a lot of the comments are overblown (some people smoke because they saw all adults around them smoke, like in Israel, or because they were FALSELY told as bochurim that it would help them concentrate - the opposite is true, it actually makes deep focus much harder). They didn't start and don't continue necessarily because of a bad middah.

But it is unhealthy and it should be discouraged. The question is how.

One way would be to tell the bochur the truth, in a way that he can relate to. Tell him that smoking causes immediate lack of energy, immediately affects lung capacity, makes him weak, tired and maybe even nervous. Add to that that after mere weeks or months, gums start to be weaker and teeth become more discolored. Then mention that the long term effects are felt eventually and that all regret it - but make that an afterthought, because youth can't relate to it.

Or you can scare him with dread disease stories, emphasize the worst case scenario and tell him what can happen when he's 60 (decades away, that seem like centuries) or 70 or 80 (millennia...) and he'll think that the whole thing is a joke.

Choose wisely, be truthful and speak in a way that they can relate to.

And this is true to much more than smoking...
(10/21/2015 9:00:32 PM)
70
To 68
Here's what the Rebbe (and the Frierdiker Rebbe) said to the public.

Before age 20 - assur
After 20 - Bakosha nafshis (heartfelt request) not to. (I know someone who said that he felt worse about going against the Rebbe's heartfelt request even more than an issur - but of course every issur hurts the Rebbe more than a bakosha).

To people who were quitting, the Rebbe indeed said to be careful about this. Speak with a knowledgeable mashpia who can direct you as to what the Rebbe said and to your particular situation.

As to halacha (based on teshuvos of poskim of the last 40 years), it's not ossur lhalacha (the Rebbe was speaking to chassidim and anyone who'd listen) but it is not encouraged either, obviously.

The point of my previous posts (63 and 69) is to be truthful but firm in discouraging it. Once we start saying rumors and not sticking with what was actually said, we detract from efforts to discourage this.
(10/21/2015 9:25:47 PM)
71
Smoking Causes Cancer continuation
When i say causes cancer i mean I'm in my 20s. And at first i had stroke type symptoms from the second hand smoke. It's not many years later, though it could be, it starts murdering women and children the first second. Also the people who compare it to drinking must not understand the word drinking. We are talking about the air you create for the people around you even if it is just off your jacket not stuff only you yourself ingest. And ofcourse when i say smoke i mean smoke anything, any drug, and device(even hooka), any place. The only people that can claim to be lubavitch and smoke must be over 70 or a bal teshivah to lubavitch. Otherwise no one was ever allowed to start to smoke. Again drink it's your choice what you ingest but smoking is cold blood murder, anywhere, ever.
(10/21/2015 10:51:16 PM)
72
smokers can quit
My husband smoked before our marriage and quit shortly after we were married. my son also smoked and quit. I did not ask them to quit.
(10/21/2015 10:58:39 PM)
73
Health Hazard
I dont think its a secret that smoking is dangerous to ones health, and its unfortunate that young people engage in smoking to appear cool. Interestingly, Reb Dovid Lichtenstein addressed the question on his Headlines radio show, whether a smoker would be considered a mumar to the aveirah of endangering ones health.


I do agree with an earlier comment that alcohol is a greater problem and it greatly disturbs me how so many in Lubavitch feel they have a free license to indulge excessively in alcohol, in the name of lchaim and Chassidishkeit. The Rambam says clearly that one who becomes intoxicated displays disgusting behaviour and is a sinner. And if he does so in the presence of common-folk, he has created a Chillul Hashem (Hilchos Deos 5:3). In so many Chabad congregations including 770, many people under the age of 40 abuse the concept of Lchaim and ignore the Rebbes instructions of limiting alcohol consumption to 4 small glasses.


Just this past Simchas Torah I saw two young men in their 20s staggering home at midnight on the night of Shmini Atzeres, clearly drunk. I mean for goodness sake, Yom Tov had barely started! As I passed them I asked them if everything was ok. They answered in the affirmative as they continued to stumble along the road. I told them its a good thing were finishing reading the Torah, otherwise what excuse would they have to become drunk? (Yeah right)
We need to put a stop to these unhealthy and dangerous practices pronto.
(10/22/2015 1:45:18 AM)
74
Smokers can quit
I definitely think smokers can quit. But just know if you Marry a smoker you have to assume that you will live the rest of your life with a smoker.
(10/22/2015 2:19:39 AM)
75
The REBBE...
The REBBE said someone who smokes can remain unharmed, and that it does not have to constitute a danger or threat to the person or others.

The REBBE said that immodesty is and reinforces moral depravity and is PHYSICALLY dangerous to everyone in the community.

So get off your high (deluded) horse lady trying to challenge the MEN of this community (who smoke or ever did..). It is extremely immodest for you to do so. (Note: You certainly weren't even trying to fill the "mother" role, or you wouldn't have "thrown them under the bus", as you have.)

Rather increase your own modesty, and focus on the real issues: women are looking to build a home with bochurim from our community... while they parade moral depravity all around our streets less than fully clothed as if it's acceptable to physically endanger our entire people wherever they may be, for some style?????!!!!!.

Get on with your life, and leave the management of our community to the men, and step in line, both in the home and outside (no matter what anyone else is doing)!!!
(10/22/2015 12:09:38 PM)
76
Suggestions...
In following with the Rebbe's advice:
To lean one's self away from smoking (when one still smokes) one ought to take softer and gentler pulls (inhaling less with each puff), and find that it is a more enjoyable and graceful smoke, with a breathing pattern that is more like normal breathing, and more passive of an experience..

This can be shared with smokers by others in a MODEST manner.

To increase modesty (in dress and mannerisms) it is incumbent upon everyone (men and ESPECIALLY women) to recite MA TOVU every morning as close to rising as possible, with a sense of grace.

May we see our fellow brothers and sisters each have their own personal redemption.

BiVrochoh leHatzlochoh Rabboh bichol ho'omur.
(10/22/2015 12:37:26 PM)
77
agree 100%
my husband also smoked as a bochur .same story like writterhe said he will stop, we are married for 20 year, he is alway on and off, i have a very hard time with it and dread what will happen if my boys do... a bochur that smokes on a regular basis will not stop just for a shiduch ,unless it comes from himself and he can work on his addiction with help. if the girl really dislikes the smell and habit she should not look into such a shiduch.
(10/22/2015 1:34:46 PM)
78
Be smart
Statisticly smokers are the most well informed with regards to the detriments of smoking, with that being said said, as someone who smokes and is actively trying to quit, it is one of the hardest things to do, ( there's being addicted to the nicotine, and being a habitual smoker,) not to sound condescending but to the younger guys/girls out there, it might seem sophisticated, and "cool", but your going to end up regretting it. If there was one thing I'd take back from my years in yeshiva it would be smoking. Play sports, work out and you'll realize the detriment that you are bringing onto yourself.

P.s to #75, your blatant sexism is repulsive, I hope you don't treat the woman in your life the same way you express yourself in the comment section. And of course all in the name of the rebbe.
(10/22/2015 2:52:17 PM)
79
Smoking, drinking , e cigarettes
All these are a sign of deeper emotional issues.
With so much information on the detrimental effects of smoking (alcohol is not new) anyone who even picks up
A cigarette knowing how dangerous it is has serious issues he's escaping from.
E cigarettes are nicotine fixes. They may not harm others but
They are drugs non the less.
It's safer & healthier to seek professional therapy & medication for emotional issues.
So girls don't date a smoker or drinker because not only are you getting the dangerous habit you're also getting a person with psychological baggage .
In other words - not marriage material .
(10/25/2015 4:20:07 AM)
80
Hi there
Two short comments :
E cig is great solution as mentioned
GET HOLD OF ALEN CARR'S 'Easy Way to Stop Smoking', comes in book /video. Absolutely AMAZING! u need to seriously wanna quit, but no 'willpower' necessary!! Try it with open mind!
(10/26/2015 1:23:54 AM)
81
if it bothers you, don't marry him.
if a woman is bothered by smoking don't marry him. If he gives it up for YOU - not good for Shalom Bayis, if he WON'T give it up for you - not good for Shalom Bayis either.
(10/26/2015 9:15:43 AM)
82
Some of the comments here are wantonly destructive
We see MANY families where the husband and/or wife have a habit or aspect about them that the other doesn't like, including smoking and yet they bring wonderful families into this world and have blossoming relationships.

Welcome to reality.

Your husband or date may have aspects or habits that you dislike, or even find "ugly and smelly" as the op-ed writer put it. but as we see, this is part of Matches made in Heaven.

Build on what you have to start with.

Remember, it's not important how much you like the other person's quirks, especially those which they can work on. What's most important is how two people relate to one another's essence.

L'Chaim: To Good News.
(10/26/2015 12:46:10 PM)
83
Hashem gave you a body, why ruin it with cigarets??
This is so disrespectful to the almighty who gave you a beautiful healthy body. Please don't let your children start smoking, it is deadly!!
(1/23/2016 11:25:58 PM)
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