News Release

World No Tobacco Day is Every Day for Latter-day Saints

The World Health Organization has declared May 31st of this year to be “World No Tobacco Day,” a day to raise public awareness of the perils caused by tobacco around the world.

For members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, every day is “no tobacco day”. Every day is also no coffee, no tea, and no alcohol day. While this may seem like a menu of items Latter-day Saints don’t put in their bodies, the health code all Church members follow also prescribes how to get the best out of their bodies.

A health plan for the Church was first written down in 1833 by President Joseph Smith, which he then presented to early members specifically as a revelation from God. Today, Latter-day Saints refer to these health guidelines as "the Word of Wisdom” (Doctrine and Covenants 89). Latter-day Saints believe that the body's physical condition affects its spiritual condition, which is why the Word of Wisdom is so important.

Proper sleeping habits and healthy exercise are among the instructions listed in this health code, in addition to the ban on illicit drugs and what the health code describes as “hot drink”. The Word of Wisdom is not, however, just a list of Dos and Don’ts. Latter-day Saints are left to use their own judgment on many aspects of their personal health, told only to use “prudence” and keep a grateful attitude in their hearts.

What are the results of this health code? A 25-year study done at the University of California, Los Angeles by non-LDS professors has shown that characteristics of the Mormon lifestyle help them live longer than their U.S. counterparts. The study revealed Mormon males had a life expectancy of 84.1 years — 9.8 years longer than that of U.S. white males. Mormon females had a life expectancy of 86.1 years — 5.6 years longer than U.S. white females. Significant studies have yet to be done in other countries, but members of the Church worldwide practice the same lifestyle of well-being.

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