Marlboro recently announced the release of a new kind of cigarettes: Marlboro Intense. For people who feel that normal cigarettes don’t pack quite enough punch, the new Intense cigarettes will be far more potent than the normal kind. What Marlboro’s parent company (either Philip Morris, Altria, or Kraft Foods, depending on the day) won’t tell you is that the new product is an affront to the church, according to Dr. Elizabeth M. Whelan, writing for BustedHalo.com. Whelan believes this new kind of cigarette will “mean hundreds of millions of new cigarette addicts and the inevitable surge in the full spectrum of devastating cigarette-related diseases.”
A necessary step to stem this tide, according to Whelan, is for Churches to condemn cigarettes as a sin. Whelan asks, “Where, for example, is the voice of the Roman Catholic Church which is apparently so committed to a “pro-life” position?” The article is pretty short on evidence for why this product and sales blitz will inevitably lead to more smokers. She also mixes in a dose of hyperbole saying: “Cigarettes are the only product that, when used as intended, are deadly.” (How are they different from alcohol?) But she does bring up an interesting question: Are cigarettes really a sin?