The Instigator
Vinsanity
Con (against)
Losing
13 Points
The Contender
threelittlebirds
Pro (for)
Winning
38 Points

Cigarette taxes

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 8 votes the winner is...
threelittlebirds
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/20/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,553 times Debate No: 7906
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (8)

 

Vinsanity

Con

The Government has once again raised taxes on smokers. Two years ago cigarettes were about 6 dollars or less, but now because of highly unfair tax increases their are almost up to ten dollars per pack. I am not a smoker, however it is very unfair to place such A high price on cigarettes.
threelittlebirds

Pro

I'd like the thank my opponent for the opportunity to debate this topic.

First of all, I seriously doubt that cigarette prices in 2007 were at 6 dollars unless the price has gone down. The average, national price of cigarettes per pack is currently $4.97 (including taxes), while the average tax on a pack of cigarettes is $1.23. (http://tobaccofreekids.org...)

Personally I think the average tax on cigarettes should be higher and that the states ought to do something about it because if the price is raised then less people would smoke, and maybe my parents would quit as well.

Death rate extrapolations for USA for Smoking: 440,000 per year, 36,666 per month, 8,461 per week, 1,205 per day, 50 per hour (http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com...).

"The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention estimates that smoking-caused health costs total $10.28 per pack sold and consumed in the U.S." (http://www.tobaccofreekids.org...).

I wish my opponent good luck.
Debate Round No. 1
Vinsanity

Con

This is freaking America. (A free country) If people want to smoke then they can. But here's the thing. If you raise taxes on cigarettes, people that are addicted to them aren't going to just quit. Here is a quote that very much defines what I'm saying. "From the standpoint of equity, few existing taxes can be held to be more reprehensible than the cigarette tax. . . .Tax-bearing cigarette smokers typically do not smoke less when rates go up; they and their families consume less of other things." (Professor Harvey Brazer of the University of Michigan.)http://www.mackinac.org... So, there for we could be causing more poverty with all this nonsense. Your turn opponent
threelittlebirds

Pro

"This is freaking America. (A free country)"

Some would say otherwise; we have a large amount of government intervention in our economy, so its not entirely free, economically speaking.

"But here's the thing. If you raise taxes on cigarettes, people that are addicted to them aren't going to just quit."

Raising the price of a product doesn't effect the consumption of that product at all? Is that what you're saying? From just a few minutes on Google I've found many sources stating otherwise. In fact the raise of cigarette taxes mostly effects the age group most prone to starting smoking: Teens.

Here are some quotes contradicting your argument:

"There have been several studies concerning the consumption of cigarettes and the explanatory variables associated with that consumption. All of the studies have shown that taxes can be significant in reducing smoking." (http://org.elon.edu...)

"When the tax goes up, industry loses volume and profits as many smokers cut back." -Philip Morris
"If prices were 10% higher, 12-17 incidence [youth smoking] would be 11.9% lower." -RJ Reynolds
(http://www.tobaccofreekids.org...)

I wish the best of luck to my opponent.
Debate Round No. 2
Vinsanity

Con

First of all, my opponent needs me to clarify what we're debating about. I think there should be a sales tax on cigarettes but just a sales tax. I think cigarette taxes should not be higher than other goods.

You make a very convincing argument. Think about it this way: The government exists to protect our life, liberty, and property from other people. It does not exist to save each person from their self. If legislators raise taxes on cigarettes then they are basically forcing people to quit. I mean you don't make someone "religious" by holding a gun to their head. Besides if people start smoking less cigarettes they will try to hold down more smoke for a longer time which will cause more cancers and diseases. http://www.healthcentral.com...

http://www.mackinac.org... The Congressional Budget Office concluded ("The external costs of smoking are already covered by existing taxes")a calculation that includes treatment of cancer, lung disease and the vast array of other health problems directly linked to cigarettes.http://www.time.com...
Congress and legislators are contradicting themselves with these taxes. The congress and legislators say we need the revenue from cigarette taxes, and it makes some people quit. But if people quit smoking than we don't get that revenue from cigarette taxes. When people are smoking they have to buy lighters, matches, ashtrays, and other things that go along with smoking. So the external cots of smoking exceed the cigarette taxes when people start to quit. So smoking pays for itself and then some.

In conclusion, raising cigarette taxes can cause more disease, less revenue, and a loss in civil rights.
I wish my opened luck.
threelittlebirds

Pro

Thank you for better stating your resolution, that might make this last round a bit more to the point.

Cigarettes have higher taxes for a reason: Cigarette addicts will be more willing to pay higher for these products because they are so addictive, and the higher the tax, the greater the revenue. Also the people addicted to cigarettes are harmful to the rest of society just by smoking these addictive products; therefore it is a problem that should be tended to by raising the tax and reducing the amount of people suffering (while raising the tax, revenue will raise until a large amount of people quit).

Governments purpose is defined by the state of itself: In the beginning our government surely existed to protect property over life and liberty (take slavery for example), but many laws have been put into place to protect us, not from our selves, but from others just like you said. Our government exists to protect our rights to property and liberty, but at the same time exists to protect us from exploitation and suffering caused by other people like the CIGARETTE COMPANIES (all according to the laws of this land).

Religion isn't a very good example because it IS often forced upon children by their parents when they're to young to distinguish logic from fairy tale (just as teens are often pressured to start smoking by their older "friends").

Health Care costs per year usually amount to about $72.7 Billion per year. And what is that paid with? Taxes. We need cigarette taxes to pay for the average smokers Health Care, which is 40 percent higher than the average non-smoker.
(http://berkeley.edu...)

I'll state my conclusion: Cigarette Taxes provide a steady amount of income to pay for the improvement of society and the large amount of Health Care that addicts require. Cigarette taxes should also be raised to reduce the amount of people suffering from these Cigarette related problems:

- 440,000 in the United States alone die from smoking related deaths per year.

- Cigarettes kill more Americans than alcohol, car accidents, suicide, AIDS, homicide, and illegal drugs combined.

- Cigarette smoking accounts for at least 30% of all cancer deaths.

(http://www.cancer.org...)

Finally I'd like to thank my opponent for the opportunity to debate this topic.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Angrypants66 7 years ago
Angrypants66
No offence intended to you RoyLatham, but I hate the arguements about how prices have gone up on cigarettes or they are unhealthy. I'm pretty sure we had that message shoved down our throats till we vomitted then spoon fed that vommitty mess. We can all agree its unhealthy, right? We can all agree its an expensive habit right? And we can all agree that people will smoke even knowing the 'dangers', right? The arguement isn't about 'health', it's about freedom. The freedom to chose what I want in my mouth whether that be a salad, a BigMac, or a cigarette. I don't smoke, but if I wanted to, am I harming you at all?? No. Say pollution and I'll get on you for driving because that it severals TIMES worse for the enviroment. Say 2nd hand smoke and I'll shoot you. You may not have a "filter" so its worse, however I'm not trying to suck in 2nd hand smoke so I'm going to breathe normally, not trying to inhale all this random smoke. If you smoked pit with a stoner and blow weed smoke at them you'd understand, because they try to inhale that lol! Anyways, there are sooo many places you can't smoke now days so those neat freak liberals will be away from the smoke.
It's my freedom to harm my body without logic. My choice may seem unethical to you, stupid to you, but nonetheless it is my choice as an American and you don't you dare my freedom from me! Especially when there are things out there that are so worse. Alcohol anyone?
In conclusion, it's my right to harm my body, just like it's your right to believe in your God. I think your choice is a waste of time, money, and effort, yet I deal with it and respect your choice. Do the same eh? Besides, smokers don't have any "Cigarette missionaries" to harass you lol.
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
The dollar cost of smoking has been studied repeatedly. Smoker tend to die young and saving the health costs of older age completely offsets the added costs of the health problems of smoking, so it is wash. The high costs are obtained by deliberately ignoring the cost savings.

Dying young is not a good thing, but it is up to the individual to make the decision as to whether the risk is worthwhile or not. Pro argued the case well.
Posted by Angrypants66 7 years ago
Angrypants66
The sad thing is that I agree with Con but voted Pro. Because Pro had a WAY better arguement, coming from someone who thinks this 'cigarette revolution' is a bunch of BS. It is my right (if I did smoke) to smoke, it does not harm people especially since they have forced smokers into little habitats, like a cage. True it is harmful, but so is over-eating, so is excessive television, so is cutting yourself. Yet these are legal and ok why? Because if you do it its your own fault and your stupid right? Well, so is smoking. And I swear the 'under 18' BS has to stop too. It is illegal, so therefore everyone can shut up about that. It's wrong if a kid steals, I'll scream at the kid for being an idiot; I won't sue the store for beacause the kid stole because the kid broke the law, not the store. Same thing here. Well I'm done with my rambling lol.
Posted by DeadLeaves93 7 years ago
DeadLeaves93
Good debate Forrest =)
Posted by I-am-a-panda 7 years ago
I-am-a-panda
Cigarettes are addictive, and guarantee a steady income in taxes for the government. It also reduces smokers if cigarettes cost more, and it doesn't cost them as much money as a rehabilitation centre.
Posted by threelittlebirds 7 years ago
threelittlebirds
I dont know much about the topic but let me see if I can learn more about it and then I'll accept.
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by The_Booner 7 years ago
The_Booner
VinsanitythreelittlebirdsTied
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Vote Placed by RoyLatham 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by Mdal 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by sorc 7 years ago
sorc
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Vote Placed by Angrypants66 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by rougeagent21 7 years ago
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VinsanitythreelittlebirdsTied
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Vote Placed by DeadLeaves93 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by threelittlebirds 7 years ago
threelittlebirds
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