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RCA Prohibits Smoking in Presence of Others
Recognizing dangers of second-hand smoke, RCA bans smoking at its events and urges Jewish community to do same.
Policies Headlines
Jun 13, 1991 -- Whereas it is an established fact that Halacha prohibits the inflicting of injury on another and

Whereas it is an established fact that the inhaling of secondhand smoke constitutes a real and present health risk and a serious public nuisance and in many places is forbidden, thereby making smoking a violation of public law and

Whereas it is the opinion of a preponderance of poskim that one may not smoke in the presence of those who would thereby be offended or harmed, thus making smoking a chillul Hashem

Therefore, the Rabbinical Council of America, in convention assembled, resolves
1. that all smoking will henceforth be banned from all public RCA functions and meetings.
2. the Rabbinical Council of America urges its members to sensitize their congregations to the severity of this halachic prohibition of exposing people to secondhand smoke and accordingly to establish by whatever means are appropriate to the particular congregation a smoke-free environment in the synagogue precincts at all times.
3. we call upon all Orthodox organizations and institutions to ban all smoking from public functions and meetings.
4. the Rabbinical Council of America calls upon its members in positions of influence in Jewish schools and youth groups to endeavor to establish a smoke-free environment therein since impressionable children are present.
5. the Rabbinical Council of America calls upon its members to set an example for their congregants by not smoking.

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