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Here are some topics that you can gain your knowledge about smoking.
1) Reasons to Smoke
2) Contents of tobacco smoke
3) Effects of tobacco smoke
4) Benefits of not smoking
5) Islamic Perspective of Smoking
6) How to Quit

Reasons to Smoke:
  • Pleasure: 'I enjoy smoking', 'Relaxation'
  • For a boost: Mental or physical
  • Habit: The being used to doing things while smoking
  • Addiction: to satisfy nicotine cravings
  • Peer/Social: Pressure or to feel part of the crowd
  • Emotion: Feelings such as stress, anger, upset, anxiety etc.

Contents of Tobacco Smoke:


Tobacco smoke contains over 4,000 different chemicals. At least 43 are known carcinogens (cause cancer in humans).


Benzene (petrol additive)

A colourless cyclic hydrocarbon obtained from coal and petroleum, used as a solvent in fuel and in chemical manufacture - and contained in cigarette smoke. It is a known carcinogen and is associated with leukaemia.


Formaldehyde (embalming fluid)

A colourless liquid, highly poisonous, used to preserve dead bodies - also found in cigarette smoke. Known to cause cancer, respiratory, skin and gastrointestinal problems.


Ammonia (toilet cleaner)

Used as a flavouring, frees nicotine from tobacco turning it into a gas, found in dry cleaning fluids.


Acetone (nail polish remover)

Fragrant volatile liquid ketone, used as a solvent, for example, nail polish remover - found in cigarette smoke.



Particulate matter drawn into lungs when you inhale on a lighted cigarette. Once inhaled, smoke condenses and about 70 per cent of the tar in the smoke is deposited in the smoker's lungs.


Nicotine (insecticide/addictive drug)

One of the most addictive substances known to man, a powerful and fast-acting medical and non-medical poison. This is the chemical which causes addiction.


Carbon Monoxide (CO) (car exhaust fumes)

An odourless, tasteless and poisonous gas, rapidly fatal in large amounts - it's the same gas that comes out of car exhausts and is the main gas in cigarette smoke, formed when the cigarette is lit. Others you may recognize are :


Arsenic (rat poison), Hydrogen Cyanide (gas chamber poison)




Effects of Tobacco Smoke  

         Smoking KILLS

         Every year hundreds of thousands of people around the world die from diseases caused by smoking.

         One in two lifetime smokers will die from their habit. Half of these deaths will occur in middle age.

         Tobacco smoke also contributes to a number of  cancers.

         The mixture of nicotine and carbon monoxide in each cigarette you smoke temporarily increases your heart rate and blood pressure, straining your heart and blood vessels.

         This can cause heart attacks and stroke. It slows your blood flow, cutting off oxygen to your feet and hands. Some smokers end up having their limbs

         Tar coats your lungs like soot in a chimney and causes cancer. A 20-a-day smoker breathes in up to a full cup (210 g) of tar in a year.

         Changing to low-tar cigarettes does not help because smokers usually take deeper puffs and hold the smoke in for longer, dragging the tar deeper into their lungs.

         Carbon monoxide robs your muscles, brain and body tissue of oxygen, making your whole body and especially your heart  work harder. Over time, your airways swell up and let less air into your lungs.

         Smoking causes disease and is a slow way to die. The strain put on your body by smoking often causes years of suffering. Emphysema is an illness that slowly rots your lungs. People with emphysema often get bronchitis again and again, and suffer lung and heart failure.

         Lung cancer from smoking  is caused by the tar in tobacco smoke. Men who smoke are ten times more likely to die from lung cancer than non-smokers.

         Heart disease and strokes are also more common among smokers than non-smokers.

         Smoking causes fat deposits to narrow and block blood vessels which leads to heart attack.

         Smoking causes around one in five deaths from heart disease.

         In younger people, three out of four deaths from heart disease are due to smoking.


Benefits of Not Smoking:

20 min.

Blood pressure and pulse return to normal

8 hrs

Nicotine and carbon monoxide levels in blood reduce by half. Oxygen levels return to normal.

24 hrs

Carbon monoxide will be eliminated from the body. Lungs start to clear out mucous and other smoking debris.

48 hrs

There is no nicotine left in the body. Ability to taste and smell is greatly improved.

72 hrs

Breathing becomes easier. Bronchial tubes begin to relax and energy levels increase.

2-12 weeks

Circulation improves

3 - 9 months

Coughs, wheezing and breathing problems improve as lung functions are increased by up to 10%

5 yrs.

Risk of heart attack falls to about half that of a smoker

10 yrs.

Risk of lung cancer falls to about half that of a smoker. Risk of heart attack falls to the same as someone who has never smoked.

More Benefits


Quitting smoking is a challenge. Once you have quit, you will know you can succeed at difficult taks and take more control of your life. Quitting helps you believe in yourself.


Smoking makes it harder to exercise and reduces the benefits to your body. Smokers have more coughs and colds than non-smokers and take longer to feel well again.


In a way, giving up smoking is like getting a pay rise, as much as 1500 a year if you smoke 20 cigarettes a day.


Skin starved of oxygen by smoking becomes dry and grey.
Wrinkles around the eyes and mouth develop much earlier and the tar stains your teeth and fingers.


Men who smoke may suffer impotence due to damage
to the blood vessels in the penis. Sperm quality and density can also be affected by smoking. Smokers may produce less sperm and their sperm may have more abnormalities.

Women who smoke take longer to conceive and are
more likely to have a miscarriage.


Babies born to mothers who smoked in pregnancy are more likely to be premature, stillborn or die shortly after birth. A baby exposed to tobacco smoke has a higher risk of dying from cot death.


Children whose parents smoke are more likely to get pneumonia and bronchitis in their first year of life, to suffer from more frequent and more severe asthma attacks and to become regular smokers themselves

 Islamic Perspective of Smoking:

Islamic scholars have historically had mixed views about tobacco, and until recently, cigarette smoking has not been unanimously forbidden or even discouraged.

The mixed views on the subject came about because cigarettes are a more recent invention and did not exist at the time of the revelation of the Qur'an in the 7th century A.D.  Therefore, one cannot find a verse of Qur'an or words of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) saying clearly that "Cigarette smoking is forbidden."  However, there are many instances where the Qur'an gives us general guidelines, and calls upon us to use our reason and intelligence, and seek guidance from Allah about what is right and wrong.  In the Qur'an, Allah says, “...he [the Prophet] commands them what is just, and forbids them what is evil; he allows them as lawful what is good, and prohibits them from what is bad..." (Surah al-Ar’af 7:157).  So what are the evils of tobacco use, for your health and for your deen (religion)?

1. Danger to your health

Allah says, "...make not your own hands contribute to your destruction..." (Surah al-Baqarah 2:195); "...nor kill yourselves..." (Surah al-Nisaa 4:29).  It is universally understood that cigarette smoking causes a number of health problems that often ultimately result in death.  Men who smoke contract lung cancer at 22 times the rate of non-smokers.  Smokers are also highly at risk for heart disease, emphysema, oral cancer, stroke, etc.  There are hundreds of poisonous and toxic ingredients in the cigarette itself that the smoker inhales straight into the lungs.  In an authentic hadith, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said that "Whomsoever drinks poison, thereby killing himself, will sip this poison forever and ever in the fire of Jahannum (Hell)."  Over 3 million people worldwide die from smoking-related causes each year.

2. Danger to your family's health:

In the Qur'an, Allah says: "Those who annoy believing men and women undeservedly bear on themselves a glaring sin" (Surat al-Ahzaab 33:58).  And the Prophet (peace be upon him) said that "there should be neither harming, nor reciprocating harm.”  In another hadith, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day should not hurt his neighbor."   Those around the smoker inhale what is known as "second-hand smoke" - the unfiltered, poisonous waste that goes in the air around the smoker.  There are over 4,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke, over 40 of which are known to cause cancer.  Second-hand smoke causes or aggravates asthma, bronchitis, and other respiratory problems, especially in children.

3. Addictive:

The addiction to tobacco is a physical response that often interferes with one's life and worship.  For example, smoking is clearly forbidden during the daytime fast of Ramadan.  Many addicted smokers spend their fasting days sleeping, cranky, and short-tempered, just counting the hours until they can have their fix at sunset.  The most severely addicted will wait outside the mosque door for the adhan, and break their fast by lighting up, before taking even food or water.

4. Noxious Smell:

Muslims are advised to refrain from eating raw onions and garlic - simply as a courtesy to those around them because of the awful smell.  The same goes even more so for the reek of cigarettes, which permeates everything around the smoker - hair, clothing, home, car, etc.  The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:  “Whoever has eaten from such greens as garlic, onions or leek should keep away from our mosque.” Many smokers try to hide the smell by using breath mints or perfume.  This does not get rid of the smell, it only masks it.  Often the combination of smells is even more nauseating.

5. Waste of Money:

Allah says, "...But spend not wastefully (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift. Verily spendthrifts are brothers of the devils...” {Surah al-Israa’ 17:26-27} And in an authentic hadith the Prophet (peace be upon him) said that: "Allah hates for you three things: gossiping, begging, and wasting money." In the U.S. and other countries, cigarettes are taxed heavily in order to discourage this habit and reimburse the government for the overwhelming health care costs to care for those afflicted with diseases caused by smoking.  Smokers often spend thousands of dollars a year that literally just go up in smoke.


Recent Opinions of Scholars

In more recent times, as these dangers of tobacco use have come to be proven beyond any doubt, scholars have become more unanimous in pronouncing tobacco use clearly haram (forbidden) to believers.  They now use the strongest terms to condemn this habit.  For example:  "In view of the harm caused by tobacco, growing, trading in and smoking of tobacco are judged to be haram (forbidden).  The Prophet, peace be upon him, is reported to have said, 'Do not harm yourselves or others.'  Furthermore, tobacco is unwholesome, and God says in the Qur'an that the Prophet, peace be upon him, 'enjoins upon them that which is good and pure, and forbids them that which is unwholesome'"  (Permanent Committee of Academic Research and Fatwa, Saudi Arabia).

For a comprehensive look at smoking in Islam - the history, the rulings, and a full explanation with citations from Islamic resources, the best online article is Smoking: A Social Poison by Muhammad al-Jibaly.

How to Quit:

As mentioned, one of the dangers of tobacco is that it is so addicting.   It causes a physical response in your body when you try to give it up.   Therefore, quitting is often difficult.  However, with the help of Allah and the personal commitment to improve yourself for the sake of Allah, and for your own health, it is possible.  It is first recommended to make the firm intention, from deep in your heart, to give up this evil habit.  Trust in Allah's words: "...When you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allah.  For Allah loves those who put their trust in Him.  If Allah help you, none can overcome you; if He forsakes you, who is - after that - that can help you?  In Allah, then, let believers put their trust" (Surah Al-'lmran 3:159-160).

Secondly, one must avoid situations where you are used to smoking, and people who do so around you.  For example, if you have certain friends who gather together to smoke, make a choice to stay away from that environment for the time being.  At a vulnerable stage, it is too easy to get sucked back in by having "just one."  Remember, tobacco causes a physical addiction and you must stay away completely.  Drink a lot of water and keep yourself busy in other endeavors.  Spend time in the mosque.  Play sports.  And remember the words of Allah:  "And those who strive hard in Our Cause, We will certainly guide them to Our Paths, for verily Allah is with those who do right” (Surah al-Ankabut 29:69).






Created by Rabiatul Faqihah Mohd Ramli, 2006.