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Smoke Signals

Rabbi Dov Berl Wein16 Cheshvan 5763
420
Question
If smoking has been generally and universally accepted by the world medical community and unhealthy and dangerous, why has there been no p’sak / gezeirah / proclamation by Rabbonim to prohibit the use? It is very sad to see so many people Bizman Hazeh to do so, let alone so many teenagers...
Answer
Many great rabbinic authorities in Israel and America have spoken out against smoking. The peer pressure to smoke in certain yeshivot is just as strong as it is in public high schools and colleges. I know yeshivot that forbid their students from smoking to the pointof expelling smokers and there are yeshivot that turn a blind eye to the problem, figuring that there is not much they can do about it. In any event, a stronger anti-smoking drive in the Orthodox community is certainly in order. Rabbi Berel Wein
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