Mormon man smoking vapes
Vapes are an extremely popular trend amongst young people, Mormons included, and many falsely believe vaping has no adverse health effects.

Young Mormons lured into believing tobacco-free vapes had fallen under their church's radar have just watched their mango, mint and watermelon dreams go up in smoke.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints scriptures already prohibits alcohol, tobacco, illegal drug, and even coffee/tea consumption. Now they've officially come down on e-cigarettes in this month's edition of its official youth magazine, the New Era.

"Electronic vaporizers or e-cigarettes are devices people use to inhale mist, usually with various flavors. One study showed that nearly two-thirds of teen e-cigarette users thought that the pods they were vaping contained only flavoring. That's way, way far from the truth. Most vaping pods contain nicotine, which is highly addictive, and all of them contain harmful chemicals. Vaping is clearly against the Word of Wisdom."

Vapor Madness

The move comes as vaping continues its meteoric rise in popularity amongst young people-- something that has watchdogs worried. Though not quite as toxic as tobacco, nicotine the Center for Disease Control deemed e-cigarettes dangerous to the "developing adolescent brain", particularly those areas governing important functions like self-control, attention, and mood. Medical findings have also found vaping can damage the lungs and increase the risk of strokes and heart attacks.

However, those facts haven't stopped young people from their mistaken belief that vapes are harmless. The level of nicotine in a single JUUL pod is equivalent to that of an entire pack of cigarettes. And they are often sold in a form that resembles a USB flash drive, which makes it particularly challenging for parents and teachers to spot.

Interestingly, the LDS church has anticipated similar historical health hazards.

When church founder Joseph Smith first opened his School of the Prophets in Kirtland, Ohio back in January 1833, some 25 elders from all corners of the country would pack that tiny, dingy room, "light a pipe and begin to talk about the great things of the kingdom and puff away," before proceeding to chew tobacco and spit it all over the floor.

It's here that the Mormon Church prophet attempted to teach these men to become holy, "without spot," and worthy of the presence of God, creating the Doctrine and Covenants 89, known today as the Word of Wisdom, which forbids the consumption of alcohol, drugs and hot drinks, cautions against eating too much meat and favors "wholesome herbs, fruit, and grains for pure, healthy and holy living."

Ban It Like Brigham

The LDS church continues to catch a lot of flack for their prohibition of certain foods and beverages. Students at Brigham Young University had to fight for the right to simple canned caffeinated sodas back in 2012. And more than a few Mormons still can't understand why antioxidant green tea remains a banned substance.

Interestingly, LDS leadership has also shown some willingness to bend its own rules lately. Last year's decision to back legislation allowing the sale of medical marijuana in the traditionally conservative state of Utah.

On its face, this would seem a rather rational decision based on solid scientific evidence.

What are your thoughts? Has Mormon leadership made the right call by officially coming down on vapes? Or is their judgment clouded?


  1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

    It does appear that there is an increase in lung related health issues, especially with teenagers that vape, so it doesn't surprise me that the LDS church is clamping down on it.


  1. Lori's Avatar Lori

    It's not wrong to promote good health. That green tea thing has me a bit puzzled. That's one of the good ones. I don't know much about vaping, but I did smoke back away. I'm very glad I quit. It's too bad these products are so popular with the kids. There will always be substances out there that will mess people up. You just have to raise your kids with the knowledge of what can hurt them. What else can be done? Government enforced bans? That could get out of control as well.

    1. John's Avatar John

      The “trend” factor doesn’t help as currently like back in the 50’s it’s seen as what the “cool” kids do.

  1. Bennie Fulghum's Avatar Bennie Fulghum

    Vaping for anyone is bad and worse than smoking because when you vape you actually take in liquid chemicals not just smoke. Yes smoke gets into the lungs but the chemicals eat the lungs. No even speaking of the fact vaping the quanity of 20 packs of cigerretts in one vape. This is not even taking into consideration of the people who catch fire when the battery explodes, if I were going to have a choice between Vaping or smoking it would be smoking.

  1. Preacher Man's Avatar Preacher Man

    I can understand why the Mormon Church banned vaping. Unfortunately, human nature has blessed each and everyone of us with a pernicious stubborn streak. As soon as something is banned, the more everyone wants it. An informational campaign would have probably yielded better results than an outright ban. But, more people.would have ended up with respiratory issues in the interim.

  1. Jen's Avatar Jen

    How about people stop listening to the Mormon Church and their goofy outdated "banned" list and actually start thinking for themselves.

  1. Secretary3rd's Avatar Secretary3rd

    Studies show that it will cause lung problems. Those who sell illegal drugs love it because they can lace the vapor with their own products and the police is not any wiser.

  1. Robert A Segesman's Avatar Robert A Segesman

    Such a grey area, as caffeine is not the only substance "possibly" bad for you in coffee. LDS members are now allowed to drink it in beverages other than coffee. Nicotine is not the only bad substance in tobacco, the word of Wisdom specifies tobacco, not nicotine, as it states coffee and not caffeine. As for Tea, it's not mentioned. Only "Hot drinks", so I think warm or cold "tea" should be fine. At the time of writing of the word of wisdom, tea was always hot, so an assumption was made. Hot "Postom" should be drank either. Any non hot beverage should be acceptable (Except coffee, named specifically.) Is vaping deemed bad by "revelation" or consensus?

  1. Daniel's Avatar Daniel

    Vaping is probably not good for you. Just like any number of other things that are less than ideal for promoting physical health. However, I cant help but think that religious based bans are contrary to what jesus taught. I know there's something in the new testament that basically says it's not what goes into a person but what comes out of a person that makes them "dirty" or "unclean". So, based on that, vaping would be okay - as long as you dont exhale LOL. Still, religions should not overly focus on matters of the flesh when the flesh is just the vehicle driven by the actual being. Improve the Being by helping to remember our true selves and the rest will not be an issue. As I have a cigarette and cup of coffee while writing this, knowing that who I really am is unaffected either way by either one.

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