The Salvation Army is totally opposed to the production, marketing and use of tobacco.

Biblical principles

The Salvation Army, as a Christian Church and social welfare agency, believes that human beings are created in the image of God and that therefore the body should be treated with respect (1 Corinthians 3:16). Accordingly, The Salvation Army promotes the welfare of the body, as well as the mind and spirit.

Negative effects

Nicotine is amongst the most addictive substances known. The Salvation Army accepts the overwhelming evidence presented by medical science of the injurious effects of tobacco on the body. This relates to both those who smoke and to those subject to 'passive smoking' through their having to breathe in the smoke exhaled by smokers. Smokers suffer significant financial loss themselves and the cost of smoking in terms of national spending on health care is enormous.

Practical responses

  • Since 1975 complete abstinence has been required of Salvation Army soldiers. This applies to all the forms in which tobacco can be used.
  • The Salvation Army opposes the advertising of tobacco products and the various means employed by the tobacco industry to subvert restrictions on such advertising. In particular it deplores the targeting of youth and of people in third world countries in promotional programmes
  • The Salvation Army supports the provision of smoke-free environments.

Approved by International Headquarters
November 2005