Tobacco is an obstacle on the path to liberation. This powerful demon is the summation of all bad omens.
There is a tale of tobacco in Buddhism. In the past, in India, when Buddha sets the Dharma wheels in moition, the demon king Garab Wangchuk, consumed with jealousy, made three attempts to obstruct him.
But at the time, the demon failed. This affair brought the demons to extreme desperation, so unbearable they let tears drop to the ground. As the seventh drop reached the ground, they made the following aspiration:
“May these prayers bring forth a plant which will grow near Vaishali, a plant with flowers flat and blue, a cubit high. Though inedible, when inhaled through the nose, the five poisonous, destructive emotions will surge, and all discipline and vinaya precepts taught in the eighty-four thousand sections of teachings, and by Gautama, will deteriorate!”
This is the strong prayer the demons made at this time.
Some time later, the plant arose from the ground on a land near Vaishali. There was a lady called Dharmasamkarya who, overwhelmed with desire, laid down and embraced by that plant.
Raktavarna, an evil minister, then told Dharmasamkarya: “You’ll please the great king of the maras if you offer him this plant because you’ll have offered the substance invested with the destruction of Gautama’s teachings.”
Indeed, the ruler of the demons was overjoyed, and said: “What a wonder! You have found this supreme substance that can destroy the teachings of Gautama at the end of the five hundred year age. May all Gautama’s students and followers consume it. Through this may their desire, aversion and ignorance increase! May the mass of destructive emotions escalate! May it destroy all the power of the sacred Dharma! Finally, may it wipe out the teachings of Gautama.”
Then, tobacco consumption progressively spreads through India and Tibet.
Venerable Master Hsuan Hua said that smoking is a terrible activity. Not only does it make a person smell bad outside, it also makes the inside of his body smells bad. Bodhisattvas and Dharma-protecting good spirits will not want to protect you when they find out you smell like smoke. No matter how much merit and virtue you may have, they will leave you alone and many unfortunated events will happen to you.
People who smoke will fall into the hell of Flames after they die. The hell of Flames is especially prepared for smokers. Whoever likes to smoke has the chance to go down there. If you refrain from smoking, you will avoid going to that hell. People do not know the seriousness of such matters and do whatever they like. When you understand, you will not do it.
Why didn’t Shakyamuni Buddha prohibit smoking but disallowed drinking? It is because tobacco hasn't existed at that time yet. Standing in the point of view in science, there are more than 4000 chemicals in one cigarette, such as cancer-causing nicotine, tar and other toxins. Do you know that tar is used to seal roofing? So, smokers want to seal their lungs?
If you are a serious Buddhist, please quit smoking. It has no benefit for your health and your path to enlightment.