“Prove All Things… Hold Fast That Which Is Good…” (1 Thess. 5 21-22)

By Luther W. Martin

In our modern age of new religious doctrines, new medicines, new inventions, new chemicals, new habits a n d recreations, the scripture that is used as title for this article, needs to be stressed more than ever.

By inspiration, the Apostle Paul states: “…Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (I Cor. 6:19-20.) “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God ” (Rom. 12:1.)

In view of the above scriptures, man does not possess the right to abuse or harm his body, any more than he has any right in the sight of God to end his life. Judas committed suicide and we know from the scripture that he “went to his own place.” (See Acts 1:25.)

Surgeon General of the Public Health ServiceSpeaking for the United States Government in an article which appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, and is more recently copied in part in the Congressional Record, March 19, 1962, pages A-4141-42:

“The Public Health Service believes that the following statements are justified by studies to date:

1. The weight of evidence at present implicates smoking as the principle etiological factor in the increased incidence of lung cancer.

2. Cigarette smoking particularly is associated with an increased chance of developing lung cancer.

3. Stopping cigarette smoking even after long exposure is beneficial.

4. No method of treating tobacco or filtering the smoke has been demonstrated to be effective in materially reducing or eliminating the hazard of lung cancer.

5. The nonsmoker has a lower incidence of lung cancer than the smoker in all controlled studies, whether analyzed in terms of rural areas, urban regions, industrial occupations, or sex.

6. Persons who have never smoked at all –cigarettes, cigars, or pipe–have the best chance of escaping lung cancer.

Unless the use of tobacco can be made safe, the individual person’s risk of lung cancer can best be reduced by the elimination of smoking.”

Royal College of Physicians

Advertising Age, a trade journal published in the U. S.’ reported the findings of the British Royal College of Physicians on the matter of lung cancer and its causes, in its March 12, 1962 issue:

“London, March 7–The Royal College of Physicians claimed today that cigarette smoking is a- cause of lung cancer’ and urged the government to restrict tobacco advertising.

In a report (immediately labeled by the Tobacco Institute in the U.S. as ‘admittedly a review of old data without any new research findings’), the college proposed that tar and nicotine content be printed on each pack of cigarettes.

The medical committee, which drafted the report, was set up in April, 1959, to investigate smoking and atmospheric pollution in relation to lung cancer and other illnesses. Today, it reported that cigarette smoking is a cause of bronchitis as well as lung cancer and probably contributes to the development of coronary disease. It also might be partly responsible for tuberculosis morbidity and mortality in elderly men, and it has an adverse effect on the healing of ulcers, the report said.

Sir Robert Platt, president of the college, presented the report, which went on sale today. He said there is a ‘reluctance to believe the facts’ because big financial interests are involved

The report claimed that health hazards associated with cigarette smoking are so great that prompt preventative measures should be instituted. It proposed restricting advertising, further restricting tobacco sales to children, increasing cigarette taxes, and educating the public to the hazards of smoking.

It said that if cigarette smoking were to end, deaths from lung cancer would decline to some 10% or 20% of its present rate…”

Changing Times–The Kiplinger Magazine

The March, 1962 issue of Changing Times, gives a comprehensive report on the findings of current studies of the relationship between cigarette smoking and the incidence of lung cancer. We copy only a brief excerpt:

“In just one generation, lung cancer, which is fatal 9570 of the time, has changed from an uncommon disease to one that causes by far the largest number of cancer deaths among men. In 1930, there were only 2,500 deaths from lung cancer recorded in the United States; last year, 36,000 persons died of the disease; in 1962, it is predicted that there will be 45,000 new cases and 39,300 deaths.

At this rate, according to the American Public Health Association statistics, a million children now in school will die of lung cancer before they reach the age of 70.

More than a decade ago investigators began the search for the cause of the big increase in lung cancer. Since then, 28 separate studies have been conducted by

scientists in eight different countries. The findings, remarkably alike in result, all point to cigarette smoking as a prime culprit–probably THE prime culprit, though not the only one–in causing cancer of the lung…”


In view of the above quoted factual data, Christians cannot afford to engage in that which endangers their health or which without need or reason, shortens their lives. “But the man who has doubts–misgivings, an uneasy conscience — about eating, and then eats (perhaps because of you), stands condemned…” (Rom. 14: 23.)

Truth Magazine VI: 8, pp. 7-9
May 1962