The Master has included tobacco in his list of products to be avoided by satsangis as part of their observance of the four principles. A recent Dera publication, Caring for Your Health, explains why this is necessary:
Keep away from tobacco in any form.
Being a non-smoker is one of the best ways to stay healthy.
Tobacco smoke has over 4000 harmful or poisonous chemicals like nicotine, tar, carbon-monoxide and many others. Cigarettes, bidis, hookahs, chillums, and pipes are all harmful.
Nicotine is an addictive substance like cocaine, heroin, and other addictive drugs. Once nicotine captures a person, the person is dependent on it and cannot give up the habit easily. That is why many smokers find it difficult to stop smoking. Tobacco damages your body and creates lung, throat, and other cancers, heart disease and chronic lung diseases like bronchitis, asthma, etc. It causes loss of stamina. It may also lead to infertility and to still-births in pregnancy. If you wish to stay fit and healthy, say ‘NO’ to smoking, Do not get influenced by your friends or advertisements for cigarettes. Do not give in to the curiosity to smoke. It is just not worth it.
A smoker harms the health of others around him too. The burning tip of a cigarette or bidi releases smoke into the air. Moreover, when a smoker exhales the smoke he has inhaled, he increases the smoke level in the room. The persons sitting in the same room become ‘passive smokers’. This means that although the others are not smoking themselves, they may have their lungs and heart damaged by cigarette smoke. This way a smoker harms his family members, friends and others around him.
Of 1000 teenagers who smoke today:
500 will eventually die due to tobacco-related diseases
250 of these will die in their middle age. Compared to non-smokers, they lose 22 years of life on average.
250 will die in old age but will have suffered ill health due to tobacco-related diseases in middle age.