For more than a century, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has warned its youth and the general public regarding the addictive and health destroying nature of tobacco smoking.
Cigarette smoking is the single greatest preventable cause of death in the world. One of the firm ethical concepts of most, if not all societies, is that prevention is better than cure. When it comes to smoking, most countries are faced by an ethical paradox: while many decades of research have provided incontrovertible evidence of the hazards of cigarette smoking, the tobacco industry still flourishes, often with either tacit or overt government support. The ethics of smoking is made even more serious by alarming revelations about the cancer deaths and other health risks caused by second-hand smoke.
We believe that the ethics of prevention requires in every country a uniform ban on all tobacco advertising, stricter laws prohibiting smoking in non-residential public places, more aggressive and systematic public education, and substantially higher taxes on cigarettes. These measures would save millions of lives every year.
This statement was approved and voted by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Administrative Committee (ADCOM) and was released by the Office of the President, Robert S. Folkenberg, at the General Conference session in Utrecht, the Netherlands, June 29-July 8, 1995.