I’m trying to quit smoking and have a few packs left over. I would like to know if I can give them to a smoker I know or even someone off the street. I would hate to just throw them out - at least someone can enjoy them.

Is this considered under the category and prohibition of “Do not place a stumbling block in front of your fellow man"?

  • @hillel I allowed myself to edit your question to make it clearer. If you disagree feel free to revert the changes. And welcome to Mi Yodeya
    – mbloch
    Oct 15, 2017 at 13:33
  • בתרי עברי דנהרא?
    – kouty
    Oct 15, 2017 at 13:46
  • 1
    Assuming the majority of locations in the world where "someone off the street" isn't Jewish, there are several other factors to consider: Is there any prohibition for a non-Jew to smoke? Does one violate the prohibition of placing a stumbling block when interacting with a non-Jew (I believe this question is also addressed somewhere here on this site)? Oct 15, 2017 at 14:04
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    @Salmononius2 Re: placing a stumbling block when interacting with a non-Jew: "Issues of lifnei iver with non-Jews".
    – Tamir Evan
    Oct 15, 2017 at 14:47

1 Answer 1


Rav Avigdor Nevenzahl שליט״א, one of the foremost students of Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach זצ״ל, and former Chief Rabbi of the Old City once told me that if not for the possible legal issues that may come from it, it would not just be allowed, but it would be a mitzvah to steal, take away from, and ultimately destroy your friends' cigarettes from them, as it has been proven without a shadow of a doubt that smoking leads to cancer.

With this in mind, it seems obvious to apply that if you were to give your cigarette to your friends, though not officially transgressing lifnei iver biblically (as they could acquire their own from the local store around the corner) it would be prohibited rabbinically.

Therefore best to just get rid of them.

  • 2
    Flushing cigarettes down the toilet is a bad idea, when having health of a septic or sewer system in mind. It can clog toilets, it damages the bacteria processing the wastes, and in the end someone has to fish them out anyway. Better to skip middleman, and just throw them away, city will be grateful.
    – charlie_pl
    Oct 15, 2017 at 18:24
  • @charlie_pl point taken Oct 15, 2017 at 18:26

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