Many Christians who have been heavy smokers for years can readily empathize with the plight of anyone trying to quit smoking and can fully understand the struggle experienced by those who desire to quit. Quitting is certainly not easy, but it can be done. Many two-pack-a-day smokers are now smoke-free and can attest to the fact that it can be done when we turn the matter over to God and rely on His strength and power.
There are numerous reasons why quitting the smoking habit is a good idea for everyone but especially for Christians. If a Christian is unsure of why to quit smoking and unsure as to whether or not it constitutes sin, our article entitled “What is the Christian view of smoking? Is smoking a sin?” would be a good place to start. The reasons outlined in the article should provide ample motivation to a smoker who is still unsure whether or not to quit. Those who have determined to quit smoking should understand that, humanly speaking, stopping smoking is one of the most difficult things to do. Research has shown that nicotine is very addictive, even more addictive than heroin, some say.
But the addictive nature of nicotine need not discourage us. Paul tells us, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13, NKJV). Even though it is difficult, and full withdrawal may take time before one no longer desires cigarettes, as Christians we are to look to God from whom our help comes. We set our hearts on things above and pray the Lord will give us the strength to gain the victory in this trial. Some people leave the Lord out in their attempt to overcome bad habits, and that is a huge mistake. Prayer helps in these types of situations, and we are invited to take our problems directly to the throne of God and to Him who can solve them (Hebrews 4:16).
Relying on the power of the Holy Spirit does not necessarily mean that medical stop-smoking aids cannot be used as well. Many have received great help through patches, gums, pills, etc. After prayer and consultation with a doctor, if God gives you peace about using a medical stop-smoking aid, there is no biblical reason why you cannot.
God has declared that His grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9). Where we are weak, He is strong. Our desire for cigarettes will be reduced as we grow and gain strength in the Lord. The power of God will work within us to alleviate the pressure to smoke, all to His glory. God will give us the strength to put Christ first and ourselves last. In this we will find that what we give up will be more than compensated by what we gain.
Being immersed in the Word of God is essential for the Christian who desires to quit smoking. Here are some verses to memorize and meditate on—verses that have helped others gain the victory over a smoking addiction:
John 8:32, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 8:36, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
1 Corinthians 6:19–20, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”
Hebrews 12:1–2, “Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”
Romans 13:14, “Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.”
1 Corinthians 9:27, “I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”
Matthew 19:26, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
Ephesians 4:22, “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires.”
Philippians 4:13, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”