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

Cigarettes should be illegal

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/26/2012 Category: Health
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 847 times Debate No: 23191
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




First let me be clear, this is not a debate on marijuana being safer than cigarettes I use marijuana as a comparison throughout the debate since its a drug that is currently illegal. There are so many things in our lives that the government put restrictions on and deem as illegal that are not as hazardous to our lives as smoking. There are many laws, and crack down on the use of marijuana as a dangerous drug that leads to bad behavior, bad habits, and even death. We have a rating system that limit how much violence, sexual content, and verbal language can be shown within a certain movie or television show that is being viewed by members of a certain age group. It is illegal to drink liquor in public, and those that do can be faced with fines and even jail time. Though marijuana leads to circumstances that can lead to death, just as getting high and driving, smoking a cigarette does not need a second step to cause death, the act alone can lead to it. It is a fact that smoking is a main contributor not only to the leading cause of death in the United States of America, but contributes to the top four (CDC). Still with all the known harm that smoking can do to not only the person smoking, but to those in its surrounding it is legal.
We like to think that our government creates laws to prevent acts or circumstances that can cause harm to ourselves and our community. We have gun laws that protect people from buying guns that will then be used to kill others and the innocent. We have speed limits that are set to lessen the chance of death in an accident. We have laws that protect the innocent from being falsely accused of a crime they did not commit. But what greater harm is there than an item that is accessible to almost anyone, causes unreversible disease, as well as disease to the innocent bystanders. Sure there have been more provisions made to limit where a person can smoke, but nothing has been done to stop it all together. Marijuana though still illegal has been approved to be used for medical situation as a medicinal product. There has been no studies that I know of to date that has shown a benefit to smoking or to the uses of nicotine, but is it still legal. Why not make it illegal, and attempt to save a life? Why not prohibit it since it cause so much turmoil?


Greetings, I will be negating the resolution and ultimately prove that cigerettes should not be illegal. However, I do realize that this is a five round debate so, I will state my case and save the rebuttels for the following rounds in an effort to stretch the debate out a bit.

===>Contention 1: Constitutionality of a banned on cigerettes<===

The Constitution of the United States is the law. I am sure my opponent will not object to this. However, the Constitution does not just govern the people, but also the governmnet itself. It represents the core values of what makes this country so great, and what our founding fathers fought so hard to establish. In the Declaration of Indepence it states that all men are endowd with certain enalienable rights among these being the rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness [1]. In the Constitution it states that we are given the rights to Life, Liberty, and to Private Property (basically the same thing) [2]. In the very first amendment there are laws that state the areas that the government can't be in. Among these is Privacy [3]. A ban on cigerettes would violate all of these. Life, Liberty and Pursuit of happiness are fundemental rights that would be taken away if a ban like this would go into affect. The Constitution grants us the rights to do as we please as long as it doesn't take away from the rights other citizens around us, and the constitution itslef bans governmnet from do something like this.

===>Contention 2: Self-Ownership<===

My second contention goes hand and hand with the first. It's really simple to understand. It is that everyone has the right to their body. If they want to hurt it that is their choice, and not anyone elses [4]. This protected by the first amendent of our constitution.

===>Contention 3: Do Bans Really Work?<===

It is clear that the governmnet would have no authority or right to take away cigerettes from the public. However, lets use our minds for a little bit and take a look at what would happen if the ban was constitutional and passed. I will start by stating bans like my opponent and others like her is proposing is not a new concept. Governmnets and people alike have tried and in some cases succeeded in banning things they saw as socially harmful or hazardous to public health. But they have all literally failed. For example: In the U.S. itself in the 1920's there was a huge movemnet to ban alcohol. And they evetually were able to pass the prohibition laws, which totally banned alcohol from the public. However, a few years later the ban was repealed. Why you ask? Well, do to the fact that it was not found in stores it became higher on demand and organized crime rose to supply the need and fought over where to supply it. There were litterally wars on the streets and the gangster even started to attack cops. These gangs were very successful in getting the boose to the public and the ban was later decided to be a failure [5]. Now it present we are seeing a repeat of history. The U.S. governmnet has banned and openly declared war on drugs. This has lasted decades and has costed the public hundreds of billions of dollars in their taxes to fund this to no end [6]. It has even been proven that the use of drugs has increased in recent years in spite of this 'war' [7]. Now after saying this and taking a look at then and now; I would like to ask my opponent a question: Would a ban of cigerettes really even work? History says no.

I will now await my opponent's response. Thank You.







Debate Round No. 1


Argument against Contention 1:

My opponent is correct that I agree that the Constitution is the law of the land. However, as we know many laws are enforced based on a persons interpretation (i.e. the judge preceding over a case, or the person condemning the law) on what it means, and differs from state to state and so on. To say that by the government making cigarettes illegal will be a violation of our Constitutional rights and goes against our first amendment is false. In fact making cigarettes illegal would be the government enforcing the first amendment, and preserving our constitutional right "to do as we please as long as it doesn't take away from the rights of other citizens around us...". From what my opponent stated the only time the government is allowed to step in to our private life's is when we are doing something that takes away or affects the rights of others. Smoking as I stated in my initial statement does just that, with second hand smoke. Smoking doesn't just harm you, second-hand smoke from your cigarettes is a serious danger to your children, family, friends, and strangers. (1.). As a citizen of the United States of America it is my Constitutional right to breathe air, while not having to worry about lung cancer, emphysema and other serious diseases. Thus, by allowing someone the right to smoke, you are allowing them the right to hinder my life and pursuit of happiness.

Argument for Contention #2:

Everyone has the right to there own bodies, but we have countless laws that protect ourselves from self harm, even though self harm it self is not illegal. Suicide is the ultimate self harm, before the Suicide Act of 1961, it was a crime to commit suicide and anyone who attempted and failed could be prosecuted and imprisoned (2.). To justify the argument by saying we have a right to our bodies, therefore we have a right to smoke since we are only hurting ourselves, brings into question the laws that are currently enforced. Why then is it illegal to not wear a seat belt, since I have the right to not protect my body in case of an accident? Why then is marijuana illegal since I have a right to partake in activities that effects only my body, and some (usually users) may argue is instrumental in my pursuit to happiness? If the government can enforce these laws without going against our Constitutional rights, than the government has the right, and duty to ban cigarettes to prevent harm. Once again, which unlike the seat belt example will not only be preventing harm caused to self, but also harm being caused to others.

Answer to Contention #3:

My opponent asked, Would a ban of cigarettes really even work? Obviously I do not know if it would work but I would like to hope that it would work, and will decrease the number of people that do smoke, which in turn will lessen the effects that come with smoking. As my opponent pointed out in his initial argument, "the core values of what makes this country so great"is that we do not give up. To not move forward with the ban on cigarettes due to past things that were banned not having an effect, will be going against the core values of The United States. If the Wright brothers gave up on their pursuit to fly, where would we be now. Though my opponent gives example of bans that have not work as reasoning for why the ban on cigarettes may not work, there have been other bans that have been passed by the government that have worked. Since a ban simple means to prohibit, forbid, or bar (3.); an example of a ban that has worked is the prohibiting of operating a bicycle without the use of a helmet, which been estimated to reduce head injury risk by 85 percent (4.).



Deathbeforedishonour forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


I forward my previous argument and wait for my opponent's response.


Deathbeforedishonour forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


tishawnna forfeited this round.


Deathbeforedishonour forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4


I hope my opponent is well.

In conclusion: I consider cigarette to be a drug, due to its high addiction rates, the damage it does to the smoker and those around him/her. The effects of smoking mentioned above are like that of some drugs, and beyond. To reiterate the government has ban drugs that cause lesser effects, by banning cigarettes it would be a step forward in the war against drugs. For a more extreme approach weapon can be described a anything used against an opponent, adversary, or victim (1). When people smoking around can cause physical damage to you, you are then their victim. Thus, it is suffice in calling cigarettes a weapon, which are also banned. The government enforcing a ban on cigarettes will be more of a benefit than harm, we will be saving life's.



Deathbeforedishonour forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by tishawnna 4 years ago
lol. im not sore loser..but we shall see
Posted by Deathbeforedishonour 4 years ago
WHAT??! Are you serious? I shall totally win..
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: FF