The Instigator
Con (against)
7 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
0 Points

All forms of tobacco should be illegal in the US

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/25/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 802 times Debate No: 49906
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)




BoP is shared. I shall argue that not all/no tobacco products should be banned, while my opponent shall argue that they all should be made illegal for sale.

My opponent argues: All tobacco products should be illegal in the US
I argue either the contradictory or contrary statements: Some tobacco products should not be illegal in the US/No tobacco products should be illegal in the US.

Since contradictory and contrary statements cannot both be true, if I can show one of the two statments above to be true, then "All tobacco products should be illegal in the US" has been proven false.

No semantics.

R1: Pro makes his opening case
R2: My case/Pro's response
R3: My response/Pro's response
R4: My response/Pro posts: No arguments as agreed.

Failure to abide by these rules shall result in a full 7-points loss. Please note the R4 rules.

So if you accept you start right away.

Good luck.



I think that tobacco should be illegal because it is harmful and kills more than1/4 of the world. Plus it wastes money and resources to make.
Debate Round No. 1


I shall maintain two contentions in this debate. Firstly, tobacco products shouldn't be made illegal in the first place. Secondly, even if we should make tobacco products illegal, doing so would result in more negative affects than allowing them to remain legal.

C1: Tobacco products should not be banned in the first place

According to the American Cancer Society, 19% of adults in America smoke cigarettes (1). This isn't even counting the 8.9 million users of smokeless tobacco (ST), 13.2 million cigar smokers, and 2.2 million pipe smokers (1). In other words, we're dealing with a huge percentage of the American society. Banning tobacco would affect approximately 68.1 million Americans! Since this number is so huge, my opponent must have extremely good arguments before we pass a law affecting so many.

If used properly, tobacco only affects the health of the individual using it. Consequently, it is their own business. It doesn't have mind-altering results, and you've never heard of any ads saying "Don't smoke and drive." This asks the question: What business does the government have in this area? Before we can argue something should be banned, it must be an appropriate action in the first place.

Not all tobaccos are equally unhealthy

Listen to what the Oral Cancer Foundation has to say in regards to a quote by the US Surgeon General.

""I cannot conclude that the use of any tobacco product is a safer alternative to smoking. This message is especially important to communicate to young people, who may perceive smokeless tobacco as a safe form of tobacco use." (U.S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona, MD, June 2003 testimony) While OCF agrees with this statement, especially in relationship to young individuals, there may be some harm reduction benefit when traditional loose leaf chewing tobacco is compared snus style products, and certainly when compared to with smoking tobacco where combustion of the tobacco is present. This does not mean that we endorse the use of smokeless products" (2)

So here we have even the Oral Cancer Foundation disagreeing with the U.S. Surgeon General! Of course, they don't endorse tobacco use, but it seems pretty clear that smokeless tobacco may very well be safer.

But is it? Let's investigate further... Let's take a look at Swedish Snus.

According to the American Cancer Society,

"Smokeless tobacco products are less lethal than cigarettes: On average, they kill fewer people than cigarettes. But smokeless tobacco hurts and kills people all the same. Even though they are marketed as a less harmful alternative to smoking, smokeless products can be deadly." (3)

Well lots of things could be deadly. I am not arguing that Swedish Snus is 100% safe. It has tobacco, which may cause cancer. However, just saying "It causes xyz" is not enough. We need to know the chances of getting cancer from the tobacco product to truly know how deadly it is. If 1 out of 1,000,000 people died from a product, we could claim "This product causes death" but it might not be very deadly at all.

So while Swedish Snus might possibly be deadly, we need to know just how deadly "possibly deadly" is.

So how dangerous is this Swedish Snus? The answer is: Not very.

Oral cancer is already extremely rare. In fact, you are more at a chance of getting oral cancer from smoking cigarettes, than you are using Swedish Snus (4). So even if we increase our chances by 2 or 4 times, it's still unlikely to get mouth cancer.

It's as if we were to double or even triple our chances of getting struck by lightning. Well our chances of getting struck by lightning are very low to begin with, so even if we double them, the odds are in our favor.

Drs. Lee and Hamling did a study in 2009 in which they found absolutely no significant relation between Swedish Snus and oral cancer. (5) They state:

"An increased risk of oropharyngeal cancer is evident most clearly for past smokeless tobacco use in the USA, but not for Scandinavian snuff." (5)

Drs. Rodu and Cole also presented a study, after which they declared:

"This study found that use of chewing tobacco and moist snuff were associated with only minimally elevated risks" (6)

Dr. Lee also did a study examining Swedish Snus with heart disease and stroke, concluding:

"The Swedish studies provided little evidence of an increase for heart disease (1.06,
0.83–1.37, n¼5) or stroke (1.17, 0.80–1.70, n¼2)" (7)

He further concluded:

"Any CID risk from ST appears to be substantially less than from smoking, and no clear risk from Swedish snuff is seen." (7)

I could go on and on about all the studies which have been done (there's many more), but I think you get the point. Not all tobacco products are that bad for you. The evidence and studies of Swedish Snus all points towards its relative safety. Why is this? The answer lies in the production. Swedish Snus is produced by steam-heating rather than fermenting (1). This results in less TSNA (cancer causing agents) and explains why Swedish Snus has been proven by countless studies to be safer.

C2: Banning tobacco products would cause a bigger problems

Loss of money
In 2010, the US Government collected $23,958,000,000 in taxes on cigarettes alone. (8) You read that right, 24 billion dollars. Banning tobacco would result in a loss of this money.

It's going to happen anyways
Now banning tobacco products isn't going to stop tobacco users from getting tobacco. It doesn't stop drug users from getting drugs, and tobacco is used much more than any drug. So it seems absurd to ban it, since placing a ban would do essentially nothing. All it would do is create a vast black market. As stated above, almost 20% of adults smoke cigarettes. Would banning tobacco stop them? Probably not.

It would increase DEA costs
Now if we're going to pass this law, we should enforce it. And to combat the resulting black market, we're going to have to increase the DEA. This would result in more money spent by the government.

We've seen good reasons why we should not ban all tobacco products. It's uncalled for, and very unwise. The amount of trouble it would cause would be catrostrophic.

I'll refute my opponent's arguments next round.



broncosfan forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


FF. Extend all arguments.


broncosfan forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


Well that was uneventful....


broncosfan forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by SebUK 2 years ago
Zmike Cuber are you a genius or a genius? I love debating idiots who claim we should make things like tobabco or alcohol illegal
Posted by zmikecuber 2 years ago
Well some people would like to make it illegal... I'm looking for one of those people, lol. ;P
Posted by bettabreeder 2 years ago
How can tobacco be illegal it is the South's biggest crop!
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Wylted 2 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: FF all 7 as agreed.