Latter-day Saints Reassert Ban Of Vaping, Tea, and 'Anything Ending in -ccino'

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has renewed warnings this August to its younger members reasserting that there's no grey area when it comes to the temptations of caffeine.

"The word coffee isn't always in the name of coffee drinks," warns the August issue of New Era, a Mormon youth magazine.

"So, before you try what you think is just some new milkshake flavor, here are a couple of rules of thumb: one, if you're in a coffee shop (or any other shop that's well-known for its coffee), the drink you're ordering probably has coffee in it, so either never buy drinks at coffee shops or always ask if there's coffee in it."

The guidance went on to say: "Drinks with names that include cafe or caffe, mocha, latte, espresso, or anything ending in -ccino usually have coffee in them and are against the Word of Wisdom." The Word of Wisdom is part of Latter-day Saint doctrine thought to be revelations of God.

A view of Starbucks Frappaccino during Fall 2011 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center on February 16, 2011 in New York City. (Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for IMG)

The newly issued cautions continued to say that vaping is also banned despite the alluring flavors, and that marijuana is firmly outlawed unless prescribed by "competent" doctors.

"Medical uses are being studied, but just like many pain medications such as opioids, marijuana is an addictive substance," the article said. "Such habit-forming substances should be avoided except under the care of a competent physician, and then used only as prescribed."

A section on marijuana seems to show the faith's wish to allow some of its members to use medical marijuana—while reiterating that recreational use is prohibited. The faith worked with Utah state legislators, many of them church members, and medical marijuana advocates to craft a medical marijuana program in Utah last year.

The new guidance in the August issue of the church youth magazine does not include fundamental, or particularly radical changes to the religion's already strict doctrine, but the clarifications are noteworthy as they seem to reflect growing concern about young Latter-day Saints' adherence to the rules.

The warnings come as Starbucks announced plans to open its first shop near the Mormon church-owned Brigham Young University in 2020. As well as this, a 2016 survey found that four in ten active church members under age 51 had imbibed coffee during the previous six months.

Starbucks symbol
The Starbucks logo is displayed in the window of a Starbucks Coffee shop on January 24, 2019 in San Francisco, California. Starbucks will report first quarter earnings after today's closing bell. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Even entering coffee shops was once considered almost taboo for past generations, according to The Guardian on Friday. Assumptions that the church may relax its rules—the Word of Wisdom—as younger Mormons become more familiar with places like Starbucks seem to be mistaken.