A Gallup survey conducted in 2012 shows a strong connection between smoking and church attendance.
Gallup referred to the connection as “linear” meaning the more often a person attended church the less likely they were to smoke.
Of the 353,571 people surveyed, Gallup found if they attended church at least once a week only 12% smoked. If they attended “almost every week” 14% of them smoked. Those who attended church once a month, 22% smoked. This trend continued upward to 30% for those who never attended church at all.
Simply stated non-church attenders are nearly three times more likely to smoke than those who attend church at least once a week.
There may be a number of factors at work here. Though smoking is not a sin, in Christian circles it has almost reached sin status. This would certainly encourage people not to start smoking and be an added incentive for people to stop.
However, I believe another factor is at work here. A good friend of mine who smoked before he became a Christian was finally able to break the habit by trusting God. He said he was powerless on his own to stop and each morning he had to purposely trust God for that day not to smoke.
In 2 Corinthians 12:9, Paul who was struggling with his own personal demons said God told him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” It is only as we sincerely own up to our weaknesses that God’s strength can be activated in our life.
Gallup added there were a number of negative emotions attached to smoking. Their surveys showed “smokers have worse emotional health than non smokers, experience more stress, worry, depression, anger and sadness, and are less likely to experience positive emotions.”