Frequently the question is asked, "Should a Christian raise tobacco?"
The tobacco industry is a million-dollar business. Hundreds of farmers supply tobacco for the tobacco consumers. But, is it right in God's sight to be a tobacco grower? This is a question faced by farmers who want to obey God and serve the health of mankind.
Scientific tests prove that the various tobacco habits — smoking, chewing, snuff-dipping — are harmful to those who indulge their lusts in them. Many are cancer victims. Tobacco users are addicted to the habit solely in the interest of satisfying the lusts of the flesh. Even when used as an insecticide on food crops, tobacco is a threat to man's health, because some of it is taken into the body on foodstuffs.
A Christian should grow that which is healthful, and in some way serves the community. Nothing is worth doing if it is done only in the interest of making money.
A close examination of all possibilities will reveal that there is always at least-one good substitute for tobacco in most any area. It should not be difficult to change to a useful type of farming. It is just a matter of becoming willing to depart from old ways and learn new techniques and routines. A new procedure will look difficult at first, but a little mental effort will help one to adjust himself to anything that is worthwhile.
God has promised to supply all the needs of anyone who will put the Kingdom of God first in his affections (Matt. 6:24-34). A Christian farmer who plans his production wisely can claim these promises and look to God for the necessary profit. He must ask God, in faith (Jas. 1:6-8), for the needed guidance and help.
In the tobacco-growing regions there are several reliable products that can be grown for the market. Good quality vegetables are easy to grow and are in great demand in most areas. The best grocery stores pay prices that give the farmer a good return for his labor and a high rate of income per acre. Chickens and other types of poultry are also profitable in some regions, especially for the man who can grow some of his own feed. However, don't try poultry farming unless you can understand, and conform to, the necessary principles of poultry management. Sweet potatoes are also a good market crop in the tobacco-producing area. Many tobacco farmers have already tried these sources of income and have found that, with good management, they are profitable.