WHEREAS, We as Christians know that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, and that we should therefore refrain from defiling our bodies; and
WHEREAS, The United States government has for many years required that tobacco companies state in their advertising and on cigarette packages that smoking is hazardous to health; and
WHEREAS, Cigarette smoking is habit forming and often becomes a physical addiction comparable to other drug addictions; and
WHEREAS, The Surgeon General of the United States, C. Everett Koop, M.D., has described cigarette smoking as “the most important health risk in the country”; and
WHEREAS, Cigarette smoking is causally related to lung cancer and coronary heart disease, as well as other diseases, and is the leading cause of chronic bronchitis and emphysema; and
WHEREAS, The Surgeon General’s report blames chronic lung disease for more limitation of activity than any other type of disease, with more than 500,000 hospital admissions a year attributed to this disease; and
WHEREAS, More than 62,000 Americans have died of chronic obstructive lung disease in 1983 with as many as ninety percent of these deaths blamed on cigarette smoking, and costs the nation forty billion dollars a year in health expense and productivity; and
WHEREAS, The Surgeon General’s report stated that children of smoking parents have a higher prevalence of respiratory symptoms and more frequent bouts of bronchitis and pneumonia in early life; and
WHEREAS, Mothers who smoke during their pregnancy have a higher incidence of congenitally deformed and low birth weight babies.
Therefore, be it RESOLVED, That the messengers of the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Kansas City, Missouri, June 12-14, 1984, encourage churches to give people the facts regarding the physical harm involved in cigarette smoking, beginning with children of an early age; and
Be it further RESOLVED, That we encourage schools to make information regarding the harm of cigarette smoking part of the curriculum for students of all ages; and
Be it further RESOLVED, That we encourage parents by personal example to teach abstinence from cigarette smoking; and
Be it further RESOLVED, That our churches, associations, state conventions, and the Southern Baptist Convention take leadership in encouraging our people, pastors, and SBC leaders to refrain from using tobacco in any form, including cigarettes; and
Be it further RESOLVED, That we encourage Southern Baptists presently engaged in the growing of tobacco, which has no use except for cigarettes and related products, to cease such agriculture and, where feasible, to switch to another cash crop in order to make such products less accessible; and
Be it finally RESOLVED, That we encourage the Congress and Senate to terminate all agricultural funding and subsidies to those who plant, grow, or sell any tobacco products.