Is smoking tobacco/ e-ciggarettes a breach of the 5th precept?

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
Dinsdale
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Re: Is smoking tobacco/ e-ciggarettes a breach of the 5th precept?

Post by Dinsdale » Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:08 am

pitakele wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 12:46 am
To my understanding, there is no way to definitely know there is craving in the mind of someone imbibing tobacco, betel etc. unless one possesses cetopariyāyañāṇa (knowledge encompassing the minds of others).
Nicotine is addictive, and it seems very unlikely that anyone would continue with such an unhealthy habit if there was no craving involved.
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pitakele
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Re: Is smoking tobacco/ e-ciggarettes a breach of the 5th precept?

Post by pitakele » Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:38 am

Dinsdale wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:08 am
Nicotine is addictive, and it seems very unlikely that anyone would continue with such an unhealthy habit if there was no craving involved.
I have never smoked, so am not aware of the pleasurable feelings or hankering nicotine may induce. However, another viewpoint is that an individual* may experience pleasant feelings whilst smoking, but does not experience lingering attachment to those feelings once they have fallen away. Maybe there needs to be a distinction between physical addiction to nicotine and mental craving for it.

The Asian view of these types of habits is probably different to the West. For example, I knew a wonderful meditation monk in Sri Lanka who chewed betel nut at times. He ordained in mid-life and was formerly a rice farmer in a small village. I think it is likely that in his village, most men his age chewed betel nut and it is a habit not frowned on in Sri Lanka. Yet, from my observation, it seems betel nut may be the most stimulating of these types of substances.

Although slightly off track, there was a instance in the vinaya of an arahant consuming alcohol - after which the pācittiya offence was introduced (I could be wrong about this).

* edit - an individual free of kāmarāga
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Re: Is smoking tobacco/ e-ciggarettes a breach of the 5th precept?

Post by Dinsdale » Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:26 am

pitakele wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:38 am
Dinsdale wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:08 am
Nicotine is addictive, and it seems very unlikely that anyone would continue with such an unhealthy habit if there was no craving involved.
I have never smoked, so am not aware of the pleasurable feelings or hankering nicotine may induce. However, another viewpoint is that an individual* may experience pleasant feelings whilst smoking, but does not experience lingering attachment to those feelings once they have fallen away. Maybe there needs to be a distinction between physical addiction to nicotine and mental craving for it.
I think I'm right in saying that nicotine is a physical addiction, and that there are physical withdrawal symptoms when you stop.

I'd assumed that craving ( tanha ) can be both physical ( bodily ) and mental, given that tanha literally means "thirst".
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pitakele
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Re: Is smoking tobacco/ e-ciggarettes a breach of the 5th precept?

Post by pitakele » Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:52 am

Dinsdale wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:26 am

I think I'm right in saying that nicotine is a physical addiction, and that there are physical withdrawal symptoms when you stop.

I'd assumed that craving ( tanha ) can be both physical ( bodily ) and mental, given that tanha literally means "thirst".
I would suggest that the physical withdrawal symptoms are unpleasant bodily feelings which condition taṇhā - craving to end physical & mental discomfort and craving to experience physical & mental comfort from nicotine. To my understanding, craving is always mental, but can be conditioned by physical or mental vedanā.
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Re: Is smoking tobacco/ e-cigarettes a breach of the 5th precept?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Nov 05, 2018 5:22 pm

Both Non-Returners and Arahants are completely free from sensual desire, but if those famous forest monks were indeed highly attained Noble Ones it is possible that they continued smoking out of habit.

See the story of Pilindavaccha. He was an Arahant who persisted in calling people as outcaste (vasala) even after attaining Arahantship. No malice or contempt was intended, though many would take such words as offensive. It was just a deeply ingrained habit.

Those of us who are not highly attained Noble Ones can know for sure that the desire to smoke is due to the unwholesome mental state of craving (taṇhā). While it is probably not an unwholesome deed with the power to throw us into the lower realms after death, there are many other reasons to give it up. It is not difficult, I did it many times. ;)

The last time I smoked was while I was living in Wat Bowonniwet in about 1984, when I used to visit Phra George in Wat Mahādhātu. He was a regular smoker, and dāyakas at Wat Bowonniwet used to offer cigarettes to monks, so they were not hard to get.

After I left Thailand and returned to Chanmyay Yeikthā in Burma cigarettes were never available for monks. I have never smoked since. The mere odour of cigarette smoke on people's clothes is repulsive to me. Be warned, although the strong craving can be removed within a few weeks, the addiction takes many years to remove completely. I stopped smoking in about 1975 when I first became a Buddhist, but nine years later it was still easy to start again when stuck in Bangkok due to visa problems. Almost all foreign monks had to leave Burma in 1982 due to new immigration laws. I think only a few of Taung Pulu Sayādaw's western disciples managed to remain.
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Re: Is smoking tobacco/ e-ciggarettes a breach of the 5th precept?

Post by chownah » Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:58 am

If smoking is merely out of habit then the smoker could easily smoke something other than tobacco....the smoker could smoke something which did not contain any drug. In this way they would be setting a good example which might help others better control a dangerous habit.
My guess is that the only reason to smoke tobacco is its addictiveness.
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Re: Is smoking tobacco/ e-ciggarettes a breach of the 5th precept?

Post by tamdrin » Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:38 am

I really feel that if the buddha were alive today he would have a no smoking rule. With all that we know about how addictive it is and how bad it is for your health. Also, I know that Mahayana and Tibetan monks look down on Theravada monks who smoke. You see a lot of them at Bodhgaya in India and it is unbecoming for a monk to smoke.

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Re: Is smoking tobacco/ e-ciggarettes a breach of the 5th precept?

Post by tamdrin » Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:42 am

The truth is modern educated people from Western countries look down on smoking and smokers as being uneducated and of a lower class. People with education these days don't smoke in Western countries. It looks bad to see monks smoking. At least that is my impression.

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Re: Is smoking tobacco/ e-ciggarettes a breach of the 5th precept?

Post by Samana Johann3 » Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:31 pm

Strive4Karuna wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:14 pm
I have read on this forum that smoking tobacco ciggarettes is not a breach of the 5th precept. Others disagree.

Is smoking tobacco a breach of the 5th precept or not?
No, not at all. The fifth precept encouragesgis abstaining from means which causing heedlessness, better lose of fear and let one easier perform kammic bad deeds (e.g. the 4 precepts) as well as acting without restrain.

Even if still after certain sensual-satisfaction: If all people in the world would be just addicted to this, less wars, harming, destruction and all other painful things would be present out of desire after sensuality. Not even plant-life would be needed to destroy for such.
It's even allowed for Bhikkhus incl. a lot of allowances tools and storage equipment, yet of course not for simple sensual enjoyment.

In relation of such as e-ciggarettes, in regard of precept on it's own, propably not (not really knowing them, of what it is), but thought of how they are produced, etc... they might cause a lot of harm for others.

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Re: Is smoking tobacco/ e-ciggarettes a breach of the 5th precept?

Post by Padipa » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:36 pm

Intoxicants are not allowed--period: hard to believe this can be debated. Nicotine affects the mind's chemical transmissions, is highly addictive and is, therefore, an intoxicant. The traversing of the path (magga) for objective reality through purification (pariyodapana) of ones own mind (sacitta), via ones own mind, is difficult enough! Why introduce chemical variables which promote conditioning, false states of awareness, and jam the brain's synapses?

If you are going to do this, why come here to defend it?

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Re: Is smoking tobacco/ e-ciggarettes a breach of the 5th precept?

Post by Samana Johann3 » Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:19 am

In deed, hard to see ones intentions, hard to overcome certain views and aversion...

One who acts simply to justify ones short comings, spocken of sacca, is really a bad fool. Now not able to leave the mass of house behind to probably be able to get on the path, indoxicated by youth, health and life, isn't it not that hypocratical clincing to rites and virtues not conductive on the path, are what hinders?

Again, smoking tabacco causes not to lose restrain from evil deeds and this matches the topic, this is a matter relevant for lasting benefit. Of what those clincing to house may see as days trendy means to run after, thats not grasped by it, for this is at most a defending of addiction to the three intoxications youth, health and life: marked, feel-good-selling and wellness-politic. So just mentioned for those seeking something beyond views at least, sticking to conductive for gaining it.

And to get it not wrong, smoking is not a path-factor and may effect ones health unnecessary. So don't start doing it, or praise it improper.

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Re: Is smoking tobacco/ e-ciggarettes a breach of the 5th precept?

Post by Laurens » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:28 am

Samana Johann3 wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:19 am
Again, smoking tabacco causes not to lose restrain from evil deeds
I think this is up for debate. I've been addicted to cigarettes in the past and I can tell you that at the point of trying to quit, but still feeling cravings, I would likely have taken a cigarette that wasn't given to me if someone had left a pack behind or something. I also became extremely quick to anger whilst craving cigarettes, if I was of a different temperament I may have acted on this too...

Whilst you are actually smoking tobacco, I agree that there is not much of an effect, although if a non-smoker had a cigarette right now they would have a head rush that would almost certainly feel like quite a big effect. The addictive nature of tobacco, however could easily cause one to slip into evil deeds.
"If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"

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Dinsdale
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Re: Is smoking tobacco/ e-ciggarettes a breach of the 5th precept?

Post by Dinsdale » Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:53 am

Padipa wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:36 pm
Intoxicants are not allowed--period: hard to believe this can be debated.
It's actually intoxicants which lead to carelessness. Nicotine is a stimulant, rather similar to coffee. Is coffee not allowed?
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Re: Is smoking tobacco/ e-ciggarettes a breach of the 5th precept?

Post by chownah » Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:38 am

Dinsdale wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:53 am
Padipa wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:36 pm
Intoxicants are not allowed--period: hard to believe this can be debated.
It's actually intoxicants which lead to carelessness. Nicotine is a stimulant, rather similar to coffee. Is coffee not allowed?
Nicotine addicts are careless in that they carelessly disregard the health effects of smoking cigarettes when the craving for a cigarette arises....at least it did for me when I used to smoke cigarettes....long ago.
I guess the only difference is that some drugs make you heedless when you take them and some drugs make you heedless when you don't take them and some make you heedless both ways.
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Re: Is smoking tobacco/ e-ciggarettes a breach of the 5th precept?

Post by budo » Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:58 am

Dinsdale wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:53 am
Padipa wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:36 pm
Intoxicants are not allowed--period: hard to believe this can be debated.
It's actually intoxicants which lead to carelessness. Nicotine is a stimulant, rather similar to coffee. Is coffee not allowed?
Coffee can lead to carelessness. Coffee increases restlessness, one can become irritable which can lead to agitation, wrong speech, etc..

it's one of the reasons I try to avoid coffee, it agitates me, messes up my sleep, etc.. and I noticed people who drink coffee suffer the same symptoms even though they're not aware of it.

Also if you ask people who are "pure carnivores" who only eat meat, some of them raw meat, they will definitely say that caffeine is a poison, and they would be right, because it is a defense mechanism used by plants to kill insects. It is a natural pesticide https://books.google.com/books?id=MwpQW ... &q&f=false

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