Smoking Is Not for Me!

THAT topic was provided to hundreds of students participating in a statewide writing contest sponsored by the Missouri State Medical Association (MSMA) in the United States. Some 675 students from 42 schools submitted entries. The award went to 12-year-old Breanna, and her winning poem was printed in the MSMA journal Missouri Medicine. Breanna also had opportunity to read her poem to delegates attending the annual convention of the MSMA. Before doing so, Breanna told her audience:

“I am one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and all the facts in the poem came from Awake! magazine. As a matter of fact, the idea for one of my favorite lines of the poem came from the front cover of this issue. It shows a skull with a cigarette hanging out of its mouth and says: ‘Death for Sale.’ Over the years Awake! magazine has published many articles about the dangers of smoking.”

Jehovah’s Witnesses shun the use of tobacco. They believe that deliberately using any product that pollutes the body shows disrespect for the gift of life as well as for the Creator. (Acts 17:24, 25) Hence, they follow the Scriptural admonition: “Let us cleanse ourselves of every defilement of flesh and spirit.”​—2 Corinthians 7:1.

Like other Witness youths, Breanna strives to live by Bible principles. Certainly all such young ones make the heart of their Creator rejoice.​—Proverbs 27:11.

[Picture on page 31]

Breanna (now 14 years old) holding her poem