Suicide ... By Russian Roulette or Tobacco!

Is There A Difference?

Luther W. Martin
St. James, Mo.

Judas Iscariot committed suicide . . . but he had betrayed our Saviour! Many people today deliberately follow a suicidal course, yet perhaps they never admit it to anyone, least of all to themselves.

Possibly our readers have heard of 'Russian Roulette' . . . a 'game' in which a six-shooter is used . . . with only one live bullet in the cylinder. The participant in this 'game' spins the cylinder of the revolver and then without looking to see where the live bullet is in the gun places it against his temple and pulls the trigger. He has a FIVE to ONE chance of coming out alive . . . but if the snap of the trigger puts the one bullet in the chamber of the gun, then he's no longer in the land of the living.

Doubtless, there's not a single reader of this paper who would be willing to engage in 'Russian Roulette.' At least, I sincerely hope that we all have a greater respect for God's word and God's creation than to try to destroy either one.

But What About The Use of Tobacco?

Numerous men and women who claim to be Christians and who would never consider the above described murderous game, will deliberately flirt with suicide only in a more socially acceptable form and not quite so abrupt as Russian Roluette.

1954 Federal Trade Commission Ruling!

In 1954 the Tobacco Industry was ordered to observe the following rules in their Radio, TV and printed media advertising:

"(1) Should not contend in any way that cigarette smoking 'is beneficial to health in any respect.'

(2) Should not contend in any way that cigarette smoking 'is not harmful or non-irritating.'

(3) Should not 'imply medical approval.' Should not refer to 'throat, largynx, lungs, nose, or any other part of the body, or to digestion, energy, nerves or doctors.'

(4) Should generally be limited to the subjects of 'quality, taste, flavor, enjoyment, and other similar matters of opinion'."

The above Federal Regulation forced some advertisers to cease claiming . . . "Not a cough in a carload." It produced new expressions such as . . . "A treat, not a treatment," etc.

1958 Yearbook of The Britannica Encyclopedia!

Most of our well-known diseases are being reduced by the progress shown by medical science . . . but NOT SO with CANCER . . . especially LUNG CANCER! Please note the following quotation:

"During 1957, about 450,000 new cases of cancer were discovered in persons residing in the United States. Deaths from this disease in the U. S. numbered approximately 250,000 during the year, a rate of 147 per 100,000 population. More men than women died of cancer, a proportion of 52 to 48, and this had been true since 1949. This disproportionately higher death rate was due largely to the greater numbers of deaths from lung cancer in men than in women."

"SMOKING AND LUNG CANCER -- During 1957, additional statistics were made available on the association between smoking of tobacco (especially cigarettes) and lung cancer. Deaths from this form of the disease among men with a history of regularly smoking two or more packages of cigarettes daily were 27 times as high as among those men who never smoked regularly. Among one-pack-aday smokers, the cancer death ratio was 14 to l."

Cigarettes-Pipe-Cigars . . . The End Is The Same!

During the month of April, 1958, scientists at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, released further reports as to the cancerous effects of tars from pipes, cigars and cigarettes upon laboratory animals. We copy as follows:

"Pipe tar produced a 44 per cent cancer rate and it took an average of 15.8 months for cancer to appear.

"Cigar tar showed a 41 per cent cancer rate and average latency period of 11.7 months.

"Cigarette tar produced 37 per cent cancers and took an average of 15.7 months to appear."

"Whereas cigarette smoking has been found to be largely correlated with cancer of the lung and throat (presumably due to the practice of inhalation), pipe and cigar smoking have been associated with mouth cancers, where the pipe stem or cigar butt, and resulting smoke, tar and juices, are in intimate contact with the oral cavity tissues."

Time Magazine, May 5, 1958!

The latest national publication to participate in reporting the dangers of using tobacco is Time Magazine. We copy as follows:

"People who doubt that heavy cigarette smoking is a major cause of lung cancer have argued that there could be no real proof until comparison was made between groups of smokers and non-smokers who are identical in all other major respects. Some have insisted that the villain in the lung-cancer picture is industrial air pollution. This week, under Los Angeles' smoggy pall, researchers reported on a study designed to refute both arguments.

"Dr. Ernest L. Wynder of Manhattan's Sloan-Kettering Institute and Dr. Frank R. Lemon of the College of Medical Evangelists in Loma Linda made a joint report to the California Medical Society. Basis of their study: 8,692 patients admitted to eight Seventh-day Adventist hospitals in southern California in 1952-56. Of these, 564 were Seventh-day Adventists who did not smoke or drink because their religion forbids, while 8,128 were of persuasions that take no stand on tobacco or alcohol, so many, but not all, both smoked and drank. All patients had either cancer or coronary artery disease, or had suffered heart attacks.

"Since the Adventists made up 8.8% of the total, and were comparable in age, sex, occupations, residence and other key characteristics, they might have been expected to be afflicted by disease in the same proportion. Not so, Drs. Wynder and Lemon found. Items:

"Against an expected ten cases of lung cancer among Adventists, there was only one, a man who died of lung cancer in 1955. He had smoked a pack a day for 25 to 30 years before joining the church in 1941, then had sworn off. (As a former metal worker, he may have been exposed to cancer-causing substances.)

"Heart attacks were only 60% as common among Adventist men as among other men (though equally common in women of both groups), and occurred at later ages: only 2% before age 44, as against 8% among non-Adventists; 12% before 54, as against 30%; and 38% before 64, as against 62%.

"Cancer of the mouth, larynx or gullet, which has been associated by Dr. Wynder with a combination of heavy smoking and hard drinking (Time, June 13, 1955) was only 10% as frequent among Adventist males; the single case recorded was cancer of the lip."

Can a Christian afford to injure his or her health, or shorten their lives through the use of toboccos? The above-given statistics should provide an emphatic NO!

"Walk as children of light . . . Proving what is well-pleasing unto the Lord." (Eph. 5:10.)

"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good; abstain from every form of evil." (I Thess. 5:21-22.)

"Know ye not that vour body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have from God? and ye are not your own; for ye were bought with a price: glorify God therefore in your body." (I Cor. 6:19-20.)

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service. And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God." (Romans 12:1-2.)

Suicide by Russian Roulette is merely more abrupt and direct, than through the use of tobacco over a long period of time!

Truth Magazine II:11, pp. 20-21
August 1958