The Instigator
Soubdboat
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Kinesis
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points

Cigarettes should be illegal

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Kinesis
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/19/2010 Category: Health
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 7,661 times Debate No: 11789
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (2)

 

Soubdboat

Pro

I propose that cigarettes should be illegal.
They contain poisonous chemicals and kill nearly every long-time user.
Kinesis

Con

Thanks to Soubdboat for presenting this topic. I shall present three arguments against the resolution, which will also encompass his (brief) round.

(Freedom of choice)

The government does have a responsibility to protect its citizens. However, it also has a responsibility to protect their freedom of choice. The risks of smoking are well documented and publicised to anyone who looks into it, so the vast majority of people who smoke are well aware of the risks. The government does not ban rock-climbing or parachuting. It does not ban unhealthy foods, taking no exercise or alcohol. Why? Because these are personal choices by people aware of the risks and the government has no right to infringe on them.

(Past lessons)

Exactly the same proposal was made in the 1920's in America - the alcohol prohibition. The disastrous consequences of limiting a recreational drug used by a large percent of the population became vividly apparent then. All banning smoking would do would be lead to crime and contraband, and likely not decrease the amount of smoking at all. Also, the government earns a major source of income from tax revenue from tobacco sales - eliminating it would take away a major source of income for national health and other resources.

(Forbidden fruit)

What would making smoking illegal actually achieve? Drugs are illegal and they are still widely used. People start smoking through peer pressure, and the more risky an action is the more exciting it becomes. Making smoking illegal would make them more attractive if anything. All making smoking illegal would do is increase crime, infringe on peoples freedom and would likely not even decrease the number of people who smoke.
Debate Round No. 1
Soubdboat

Pro

I thank you charizard for debating with me. I shall now refute your points and extend my argument.

On the issue of choice, the governments responsibility to protect it's citizens outweighs its responsibility to protect freedom in this case. Yes, people can inform themselves about the dangers of smoking yet the mere fact that this education is necessary... The fact that there exists a product that effects health so negatively that it requires a warning label should be a screamingly red flag to legislators/the american people. The sad fact is that cigarette companies are too powerful. So powerful that even our schools can't fight them. Most children are taught at a young age that smoking is bad for them ( you do not see anti-rockclimbing or parachuting organizations) I wonder why we must invest so much time and energy and MONEY into warning children about a problem that could simply be eliminated.

To address the blackmarket issue I will begin by agreeing with you. A blackmarket will undoubtably crop up. But since it is the cigarette companies who add addictive and dangerous chemicals to their tabacco (since they are huge and have the money, power & resources to do so) blackmarket tabacco would actually be cleaner/safer than the tabacco produced by companies.

As for peer pressure, we must remember that it is media and ADVERTISING that first influence the peers. I would underline advertising if I could. Cigarette companies finance the idea that smoking is "cool". If cigarette companies were eliminated we can assume that the media portrayal of smoking would be very different. Not just the illegal status would effect film-makers but social opinion as well. And even if it were the case that cigarettes maintained their "cool" status, the illegal product (as mentioned before) would undoubtably be safer.

Cigarettes are also completely useless to society.
Kinesis

Con

Thanks to my opponent for presenting his case!

(Freedom of choice)

Pro contends that in this case, the governments responsibility to protect its citizens outweighs its responsibility to protect their freedom of choice. He gives three reasons to support this conclusion:

1. Cigarettes have warning labels and affect health negatively.
2. Cigarette companies are too powerful.
3. We invest a great deal of time and money into warning our children of the dangers of smoking.

As to the first, there are obvious parallels with other products - unhealthy foods and alcohol being the most obvious. Before we go any further, does pro think we should also make these illegal? Should we live in a sterile society where people are only allowed to buy what does not affect them adversely? What does he say to America's disastrous alcohol prohibition?

Regardless, Pro would present this as an easy way out of the problems of smoking. He says it is a problem that could simply be eliminated. This is not even close to the truth. The fact is, a great deal of people are addicted to cigarettes, and do not see why the government has the right to interfere with their own personal choice. If smoking were eliminated, they would likely continue buying cigarettes from the black market in protest or simply because they don't want to give up the habit. This would funnel huge amounts of money in criminal organisations instead of to the government.

The third point is simply stupid - we also invest time and money into warning children about drugs, which are ILLEGAL. Why would things change if cigarettes were made illegal?

(Past lessons)

Pro concedes that a black market would simply replace the current drug companies, but contend that it would be better! This opinion is beyond belief. Drug companies are restricted by regulations and laws. They are taxed for the good of society. Black markets would not, and are extremely delirious to society. And what makes Pro think that Black market goods would not be addictive? If anything, criminals would work to make their drugs MORE addictive so they could continue selling their product at ever increasing prices. If that makes them more dangerous, they would not care- at least drug companies have a public reputation to keep. Criminals certainly have no trouble making illicit drugs addictive, so why would they have any trouble keeping cigarettes?

(Peer pressure)

Advertising of cigarettes has already been crippled by the government - it is simply no longer true that cigarette companies can promote smoking as cool. All cigarette packets must be covered in warning signs, smoking adverts are not allowed on television or other popular media outlets. Where is this advertising coming from, may I ask? If it is from films, for instance, these have age limits. Besides, the few outlets available to children where cigarettes are promoted generally promote drugs too, so, again, how would making smoking illegal achieve anything in this regard?
Debate Round No. 2
Soubdboat

Pro

Soubdboat forfeited this round.
Kinesis

Con

Thanks to my opponent for this debate.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Atheism 4 years ago
Atheism
Sound could've presented the, "If marijuana is illegal, than so should cigarettes."
Granted, it could be defeated by the "We should legalize both, then." argument, but at least he could've tried.
Posted by shakiisueteen 4 years ago
shakiisueteen
I agree with soubdboat in a way... it would be nice without cigarettes but kinesis is right. Every one should have a choice.... :l
Posted by Xparkz 4 years ago
Xparkz
Charizard? His name is Kinesis and he is a dragonite....get with it! xd
Posted by Kinesis 4 years ago
Kinesis
He isn't Charizard you fool!
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Piffler 4 years ago
Piffler
SoubdboatKinesisTied
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Vote Placed by DontBeRacist 4 years ago
DontBeRacist
SoubdboatKinesisTied
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Total points awarded:04