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

Exposing children to secondhand smoke is abuse and should be made illegal in every U.S. state.

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/7/2015 Category: Health
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 679 times Debate No: 74895
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




I will be pro for defining smoking near children as abuse and establishing laws against it for that reason. Round 1 is acceptance.

I intend to support the notion that it is child abuse based on the legal definition of child abuse. The definition, according to the CAPTA Act of the United States, is:

"Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation"; or

"An act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm."


I only ask that whomever accepts this debate is repectful (e.g. no long, all-caps rants), does not go off-topic, and does not ignore the provided definition. If you are not willing to treat the definition above as the standard to base your arguements on, please do not accept this debate.



I accept. I would like to thank my opponent for the interesting topic and I promise you will get a serious debate. Anyway, good luck.

Debate Round No. 1


I just want to briefly clarify that when I say smoking, I mean smoking tobacco. I realize that this was probably implied, but I feel as though it was neglectful to not mention that in the debate introduction, and so I apologize for my lack of formality there. And good luck to you as well.

(1) Serious health risks are “imminent risks of serious harm".

The CAPTA definition mentions that any act that causes an “imminent risk of serious harm” is abuse. I will firstly present the basis behind my reasoning that the health effects of secondhand smoke fall in line with that definition.

- - -

(a) For children, secondhand smoke exposure can cause frequent and/or severe asthma attacks, respiratory infections, ear infections, bronchitis, tooth decay, SIDS, and pneumonia.


(b) Secondhand smoke exposure can damage a child’s lung function by hindering lung development as well as place them at a higher risk for respiratory disease and metabolic syndrome (the latter of which will subsequently increase one’s risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes).


(c) Secondhand smoke is considered neurotoxic and exposure is heavily linked to cognitive impairments in children, such as ADHD and conduct disorder.


- - -

Many of these health risks, such as SIDS and severe asthma, can be “imminent risks of serious harm”. If death or permanent damage is a risk, then it must be classified as such. And technically, any serious secondhand smoke-induced damage to a child’s body or brain is a form of “serious physical harm”.

(2) Regarding exemption from the law

Child abuse is, of course, a criminal offense in every state. Since secondhand smoke can cause both physical harm and imminent risks of serious harm through the health effects, exposing a child to it is an act that fits the legal definition of child abuse. Thus, since it fits the legal definition, it should not be exempt from being considered a crime.



I will start by thanking my opponent once more. For a first time debate, I appreciate the seriousness shown thus far. Okay, so I think both Pro and Con agree that secondhand smoke exposure is not preferable, and it is not ideal for children to be exposed to secondhand smoke. On that point, we can agree. Everything else Con will contest. Let’s look first at the definitions provided by Pro because they undermine the first part of the resolution.

Pro claims secondhand smoke is abuse

(1) Justification: because it is a “imminent health risk”: Why Pro’s argument is not supported by Pro’s definition

Imminent means: “about to happen.”

Example of the word imminent in a sentence: "they were in imminent danger of being swept away"

synonyms: impending, close (at hand), near, (fast) approaching, coming, forthcoming, on the way,

as in "a ceasefire was imminent"

Does Pro establish that by that say secondhand smoke will imminently cause all the health conditions?

No, here is what Pro states, “The CAPTA definition mentions that any act that causes an ‘“imminent risk of serious harm”’ is abuse.” [This is the definition Pro suggested and must defend]

But then here is what Pro’s provides as an example, undermining the definition

However, look at Pro’s wording of the evidence provided

(a) “For children, secondhand smoke exposure can cause…”

(b) “Secondhand smoke exposure can damage.”

(c) “Secondhand smoke is considered neurotoxic and exposure is heavily linked to cognitive problems…”

The evidence provided that it “can cause” and “is heavily linked” but nothing leads from this to the inference that “can cause” and “is heavily linked” is the same as stating, secondhand “causes imminent risk”

(2) Second, Con contest the evidence, sources Pro uses to establish the link between the claim, evidence, and resolution:

First, I would like to acknowledge the sources Pro relies on. There are non-smoking advocacy and lobbying groups, whose sole mission to abolish smoking altogether. Advocacy groups and lobbying groups should not be relied upon to provide neutral evidence and require voters to give such evidence strict scrutiny. Pro wants voters to think that everyone in the medical community agrees there is an imminent risk from exposure to secondhand smoke. But that is simply not true.

Let’s look at peer-reviewed research from neutral medical journals

Journal of the National Cancer Institute [a peer-reviewed medical journal] had an 2013 article entitled “No clear link between passive smoking and lung cancer.” As he article notes, “this is the first study to examine both active and passive smoking in relation to lung cancer to incidence in complete prospective cohort of US women.”[1]

Forbes magazine interviewed Gerard Silvestri about this study and he confirmed the conclusion, saying “What this study basically showed is what people kind of knew already: At low passive exposures the risk is not that great, he said.[2]

As Forbes notes underlying problems with the way previous studies have been flawed:

“Previous cancer studies have had mixed results, the researchers said, although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still calculate secondhand smoke is responsible for 46,000 heart disease deaths and 3,400 deaths from cancer a year. The problem is many studies showing the strongest association between secondhand smoke and cancer were case-control studies that can suffer from “recall bias,” or the tendency of people with a disease that can be blamed on a past exposure to be more likely to recall it.”[3]

In a 2003 study by the British Medical Journal [a peer-reviewed study][4] researchers found [see conclusion section of study] “The results do not support a causal between environmental tobacco smoke and tobacco related mortality, although they do not rule out a small effect. The association between exposure to environmentally tobacco smoke and coronary heart disease and lung cancer may be considerably weaker than generally believed.

Moreover, the research Pro uses to sustain the claim that secondhand smoking is abuse was based on an Environmental Protection Agency Report that was a federal Judge invalidated based on serious reservations about the study.[5]

(3) Why the Second Part of Pro’s argument does not add up based on the information above:

Given Con’s demonstration that the evidence, definitions, and arguments there is no reason to move to the second contention that states should make secondhand smoke on par with physical abuse and molestation, a felony charge.

[1] Judy Peres, “No Clear Link Between Passive Smoking and Lung Cancer” Journal of the National Cancer Institute (Oxford Journals, 2013) Accessed on 5/7/2015

[2] Daniel Fisher, “Study Finds No Link Between Secondhand Smoke And Cancer,” Forbes. December 12, 2013. Accessed on 5/7/2015.

[3] Daniel Fisher, “Study Finds No Link Between Secondhand Smoke And Cancer,” Forbes. December 12, 2013. Accessed on 5/7/2015.

[4] James E. Enstrom and Geoffrey C. Kabat, "Environmental tobacco smoke and tobacco related mortality in a prospective study of Californians, 1960-98," British Medical Journal, May 2003. Accessed on 5/7/2015. The PDF of the study can be found:

[5] Dominick T. Armentano, “The Second-Hand Smoke Charade,” Cato Institute September 28, 1998. Accessed on 5/7/2015.

Debate Round No. 2


My thanks as well to my opponent.

(1) “Can cause” implies a risk. It has the potential to cause serious harm, and therefore it is a risk.

Does Pro establish that by that say secondhand smoke will imminently cause all the health conditions?”

If Con means to say, “Does pro establish that by saying that secondhand smoke will imminently cause all the health conditions?” then firstly, Con disregarded the use of the word “risk”. The word “will” should not be used in that context, regardless of the primary definition of “imminent”. This is because “imminent” was used as an adjective of the word “risk”. The word “risk” would cancel out any appropriate use of the word “will” prior to the words “cause serious harm” or “imminently cause all the health conditions”. By the definition provided, child abuse is something that “causes an imminent risk of serious harm, and not necessarily something that “will imminently cause serious harm”.

And since the word “imminent” was used as an adjective for the word “risk”, I believe it would be appropriate to assume that the definition has a contextual variance. “A risk about to happen” lacks clarity. Thus, I think that it would be reasonable to say that the definition is implying an alternative, more contextually appropriate definition of the word “imminent”, which is “hanging threateningly over one's head” (source: In context, it would be an overhanging risk.

(2) Regarding sources

(a) Con states that my sources are all “non-smoking advocacy and lobbying groups”. The first source I provided was the CDC. The CDC, which is not a lobby group because lobby groups are (to my knowledge) interest groups, and the CDC is not an interest group, but rather, a federal agency. Most of the information found in the CDC’s article came from a Surgeon General report: (

Also, one of Con's source quotes references the CDC ("...the researchers said, although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still calculate...") which implies that despite Con stating that all of my sources were unreliable, Con finds the CDC a reliable source.

The second source I provided ( is a site run by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which is also not a lobbying group. The American Academy of Pediatrics sourced to themselves, which is lacking, of course, and I included the source simply because I believed that organization was seemingly reliable. I confess that this was shortsighted of me. I find it understandable if Con wishes to disregard any information found exclusively in that article (that information being that secondhand smoke can cause tooth decay) as uncertain, simply because said article did not source to specific medical studies.

The third source that I provided was an anti-smoking interest group. However, said source sourced to external scientific articles as a basis for the information they provided. However, I now realize that such sourcing is indirect and far from preferable. Thus, here is a list of the direct sources of the relevant information found in the third source:

Cognitive impairment:

Button, T.M.M.; Thapar, A.; and McGuffin, P., "Relationship between antisocial behavior, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and maternal prenatal smoking," British Journal of Psychiatry: 2005.


Potera, C., "Secondhand behavioral problems," Environmental Health Perspectives: 2007.



Woodward, A. and Laugesen M., "How many deaths are caused by secondhand cigarette smoke?" Tobacco Control: December 2001.
(PDF) -- (

McMartin, K.I.; Platt, M.S.; Hackman, R.; Klein, J.; Smialek, J.E.; Vigorito, R.; Koren, G., "Lung tissue concentrations of nicotine in sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)," Journal of Pediatrics: 2002.

Lung development/function, metabolic syndrome, and adult respiratory disease

Svanes, C.; Omenaas, E.; Jarvis, D.; Chinn, S.; Gulsvik, A.; Burney, P., "Parental smoking in childhood and adult obstructive lung disease: results from the European Community Respiratory Health Survey," Thorax 59: 2004.


Weitzman, M., et. al, "Tobacco Smoke Exposure Is Associated With the Metabolic Syndrome in Adolescents," Circulation: 2005.


Skorge T D, Eagan T M, Eide G E. et al, The adult incidence of asthma and respiratory symptoms by passive smoking in utero or in childhood. Am J Respir Crit Care Med: 2005


(b) Con provided sources with evidence that secondhand smoke exposure does not cause lung cancer. I claimed that secondhand smoke could cause many specific health issues. However, I did not claim that secondhand smoke causes lung cancer. Therefore, any claims that secondhand smoke exposure during childhood does not cause lung cancer lack relevance.

(3) Distinguishing between the different forms of abuse

Con stated, "Given Con’s demonstration that the evidence, definitions, and arguments there is no reason to move to the second contention that states should make secondhand smoke on par with physical abuse and molestation, a felony charge."

Clear-cut physical abuse and sexual molestation are not the only forms of abuse. "Child abuse" is an umbrella term for a number of crimes with differing consequences. I did not suggest that all forms of abuse are equal or that each form of abuse should be subject to the same legal consequences, which is why I believe that Con's use of the idiom "on par" is misplaced. For example, a person who regularly brutually beats their child will likely be given more time in jail than a person who places their child's life in danger by leaving their child in a very hot car, simply because of intent. However, both acts strip the child of their right to safety and fit the legal definition of child abuse.



Thanks again for the debate. It was been a lot of fun.

Con (1): Why we should believe secondhand smoke is a criminal act comparable to sexual molestation or physical abuse of a child:

(1) The CDC and other government agencies believe smoking should be treated as an addiction, and should work to treat the addiction to tobacco rather than punishing the family and the child[1]

(2) Criminalizing secondhand smoking would lead to unintended consequences, including breaking up families, siblings from other siblings, children from their parent’s

(3) Criminalizing secondhand smoke would mean placing children into foster homes, which my opponent “does not take into account the traumatic nature of out-of-home placement in foster care as another harm that needs to be weighed when considering how to intervene to keep children safe.”[2]

(4) A better solution than treating parents that smoking as criminals would be, as the CDC suggest, allowing them to enter smoking cessation programs.[3]

(5) Instead of punishing the entire family, studies have found that providing services to parents that smoke much more effective, however there are few available resources for such programs.[4]

Con (2): What child actual means based on the CAPTA:

The CAPTA definition of child [Pro and Con agreed to CAPTA definition at the outset of the debate]:

“This definition of child abuse and neglect refers specifically to parents and other caregivers. A "child" under this definition generally means a person who is younger than age 18 or who is not an emancipated minor.”[5]

Let me take the opportunity to take two pictures from popular culture that exemplify child abuse based on the definition Pro and Con agreed to.

This picture is from the FX series The Americans. Keri Russell smokes inconspicuously but potentially exposing her children to secondhand smoke. Elizabeth, played by Keri Russell is smoking a cigarette inside a closed garage. Paige, her daughter, comes home early and goes into the garage. [By the way, Paige is hard to see in this picture but she is there, see episode: “Born Again”] Elizabeth continues to smoke, thus exposing a child to secondhand smoke, which according to Pro the legal system should treat as child abuse.

Since BOP is 100% Pro’s I would like some explaining as to why voters should think scenes like these, specifically The Americans example where the child (according to the agreed to CAPTA definition) should be treated as child abuse and explain the “imminent risk of serious harm.” Keri Russell’s character is like some parent’s today, that do not go out of their way to smoke in front of their children but in fact try to hide that part of their lives from their children.

To be clear about Pro’s (3) point last round “Distinguishing between the different forms of abuse” Con was simply sticking with the agreed upon definition and language from the Round 1. Let me quickly provided the definition:

“Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation"; or "An act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm."

Then here is what Pro stated in Round 1:

“If you are not willing to treat the definition above as the standard to base your arguements [sic] on, please do not accept this debate.”

Con will continue to use the definition provided as the standard for debate and would like Pro to honor that standard. Pro definition includes the following:

(a) Death

(b) Serious physical or emotion harm

(c) Sexual abuse or exploitation

(d) Act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm [secondhand smoke to Pro]

The definition does not treat some of these categories as more serious or less serious but as extreme forms of abuse. Con now wants to say well secondhand smoke should be treated differently. This seems like an odd way to treat the standard agreed to if most of the information was superfluous or implicitly assumed to be less serious.

Con (4) quick points: research and similarities with examples:

(1) Slate has a very good article, noting that secondhand smoke studies do not include to wide-open spaces.[6] This is important, since it is unclear whether such exposure, in a wide-open space is a risk. We can all imagine a situation where a seventeen year old [child] might walk outside to ask the parent a question and based on conditions like wind, weather, and other variables be exposed to secondhand smoke. Con simply doesn’t understand how a single instance like this constitutes abuse on the parent of the parent.

(2) If voters accept that secondhand smoke exposure is abuse then it follows that they would also conclude that air pollution should be treated similarly since Lancet[7] and the World Health Organization[8] have found air pollution to be worse than secondhand smoke.[9] [footnote 9 has a summary of the two studies].

[1] Taryn Lindhorst, “Is Exposure to Secondhand Smoke Child Abuse? No” Annals of Family Medicine March 2015. Accessed on 5/8/15 available:

[2] Taryn Lindhorst, “Is Exposure to Secondhand Smoke Child Abuse? No” Annals of Family Medicine March 2015. Accessed on 5/8/15 available:

[3] Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Cessation Materials for State Tobacco Control Programs, accessed on May 8, 2015.

[4] Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. Smoking Cessation strategies for women before, during, and after pregnancy: recommendations for state and territorial health agencies. Accessed on May 8, 2015.

[5] U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Definition of Child Abuse and Neglect in Federal Law. Accessed on 5/8/15.

[6] William Saletan, “Secondhand Smokescreen: Are outdoor smoking bans scientifically justified?” Slate Magazine, September 17, 2009. Accessed on 5/8/2015:


[9] Christina Larson, “Air Pollution Is More Harmful Than Passive Smoking, Two Reports Find” Bloomberg Business October 21, 2013. Accessed on 5/7/2015:

Debate Round No. 3


Thanks for the debate! Agreed--it was fun.

(1) Respective laws that concern different forms of child abuse will, in reality, interact with the definition—the range of severity within the definition was implied.

It may be structurally irritating that I am putting this first, but I believe it would be best to clarify this prior to point 2:

The definition does not treat some of these categories as more serious or less serious but as extreme forms of abuse.”

Con stated that my acknowledgement of the varying degrees of severity between different forms of abuse undermines the definition.

The definition is of child abuse, is that of a category, and not of exclusively “extreme” forms of abuse. Yes, it used the words “serious harm”, but that was referring to the outcome and not the cause. Realistically speaking, the cause/intent (e.g. “failure to act”) influences the extremity of the crime. There was not a point in the definition at which it stated that all forms of abuse mentioned as being part of the category are considered equal. The range of severity was implied because of the application of differing legal consequences in reality.

As an example, sexual assault is an umbrella category that, like child abuse, has its own legal definition. A rapist will typically face for more jail time than a person who engages in non-consensual groping. However, both acts are legally defined as sexual assault. Both acts are also legally defined as rape and “unlawful touching” (with the latter, the term seemingly differs by state), respectively. Their respective other definitions do not cancel out the broader category in which they are also placed and fit the definition of (sexual assault).

If something fits the definition of child abuse, then it should be defined as child abuse. This does not mean that the definition lacks an implied range. The implied range of extremity exists because the legal system recognizes that not every act defined as child abuse is equal in terms of severity and establishes separate laws to deal with different forms of abuse. The subcategories of the broader category must be acknowledged.

(3) Repercussions of criminal behavior—“treating like criminals” is vague.

Not all repercussions of criminal behavior are the same. Courts will often offer drug addicts a chance at rehabilitation and/or community service instead of prison. Another alternative consequence happens to be court-ordered classes.

I suppose that it would be reasonable if mandatory, court-ordered parenting classes that focus on child safety and avoiding negligent behavior were offered to parents that have exposed their children to the secondhand smoke risks. This would, of course, still be a repercussion of breaking a law.

I do not have an issue with people smoking as long as it does not take place in a no-smoking zone or pose a threat to others, and therefore I do not think that they should be required to enter rehabilitation programs if convicted of inflicting risk on another by smoking. It is not that they should not smoke altogether (regardless of how terrible smoking is for their own health, it is their choice), but that they should not smoke near children.

(4) Unintended consequences for families

Con stated that illegalizing smoking near children would disrupt families (by splitting them up) and end up punishing the child as well. Child abuse in general does lead to unintended consequences—the degree of which would be determined by the form of abuse prosecuted and the intent. Because consequences differ, it is inaccurate to assume that the children involved will, by default, be placed in foster homes in every instance of child abuse.

A person who regularly brutally beats their child will likely never be allowed to be that child’s legal guardian again. However, the legal system is less strict with negligent guardians and drug offender guardians. Consequences for them are often impermanent (e.g. impermanent stay in kinship care or foster care for the children) if the guardian can manage to clean up their act, so to speak. I am not attempting to state that impermanent consequences are inconsequential for families, but simply that such consequences are relatively favorable.

Adults who smoke near children are willing to risk the safety of their child for the sake of sating their addiction in a convenient location, and as such, are placing the child’s safety in a position of secondary importance. No solution is perfect, but I believe the most favorable solution is one that places the child in the safest position. If a child is unsafe, then he or she must be placed into a safer environment, and if the previously unsafe environment has become safer and legally recognized as such, then chances are that the child will be placed back into that environment. If the guardian has done something extreme enough to lead to permanent consequences, then the child is likely better off in an alternative environment.

Furthermore, alternative repercussions of criminal behavior would relatively minimize the negative effects on families. As established, I believe it would be reasonable if such repercussions became more commonplace in situations wherein the adult lacks malicious intent.

(5) Major vs. minor secondhand smoke exposure

Con stated that inconspicuous and/or (?) incidental secondhand smoke exposure is not comparable to secondhand smoke exposure wherein the adult directly decides to expose a child to secondhand smoke. I find this point entirely valid. The risks related to secondhand smoke exposure must be imminent—overhanging—in order to fit the definition of abuse. My stance/arguments and the medical articles I used as sources have been based on scenarios of consistent secondhand smoke exposure, but I acknowledge that I did not explicitly state this as such.

(6) The occurrence of a similar outcome does not make air pollution an appropriate comparison.

Con stated that air pollution could be treated similarly. Exposing a child to secondhand smoke is a directly avoidable act, whereas air pollution is not—it is an issue that requires global cooperation to solve. Smoking near a child is one person’s choice. Air pollution cannot be treated similarly to secondhand smoke exposure because it cannot be solved in a similar manner.



I’ll begin my thanking my opponent for a very enjoyable debate. She has proven to be one of the most challenging opponents I’ve debated since joining DDO. So, I sincerely thank my opponent for that intellectual challenge and seriousness with which our debate was conducted.


Con (1) Round (4): defining abuse

Pro’s definition of abuse is largely, if not solely based on a handful of medical ailments [pneumonia, respiratory problems, ear infections, ADHD] [see Pro Round 2] linked to secondhand smoke exposure.

Con (a): If secondhand smoke exposure is child abuse based on the illnesses Pro provided in Round 2, then it would hold true when exposing children to common household cleaning products:

By adopting this logic then a parent exposing a child to numerous household cleaning products are abusing their children. Medical evidence has shown cleaning products heavily can cause or are heavily linked to the same medical ailments used to justify secondhand smoke expose as child abuse.[1][2]

Like [pneumonia, respiratory problems, ear infections, ADHD, heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes]

Con (b): Pollution would be an apt analogy because Pro is arguing for a one size fits all 50 state solution to secondhand smoke

Pro reached the pollution comparison but the rejection is very revealing. Pro’s argument has been that every U.S. state should make secondhand smoke exposure to children abuse. That is a one-size fits all solution, so if we can establish [as I did that pollution is just as harmful] a 50 state solution would be the right solution. By banning various kind of chemicals and kinds of pollutants, you could drastically change the exact kind of diseases that when done by a parent are called abuse. In both pollution and smoking you are using the state to regulate social norms and practices. So, Pro is incorrect in assert that smoking is a personal choice but not pollution, because the kinds of behavior, chemicals, etc. is a choice, rather than a necessity.

Con (c): Reminder of CAPTA definition

Pro is simply wrong about the CAPTA statute governing this debate. I will provide the definition from the website Pro and insisted Con use. Voters can read there is a minimum standard based on the statute


Federal legislation provides guidance to States by identifying a minimum set of acts or behaviors that define child abuse and neglect. The Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) (42 U.S.C.A. § 5106g), as amended by the CAPTA Reauthorization Act of 2010, defines child abuse and neglect as, at minimum [emphasis mine]:

  • "Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation"; or
  • "An act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm."

This definition of child abuse [emphasis mine] and neglect refers specifically to parents and other caregivers. A "child" under this definition generally means a person who is younger than age 18 [emphasis mine] or who is not an emancipated minor.[3]


Con (c) + (d) Elizabeth/Paige example from last round

My opponent failed to explain how a concrete example like the Elizabeth smoking in a garage with her daughter in the garage constitutes abuse. Moreover, while Pro states that when are talking about secondhand smoke, we are talking about the studies cited, but the studies Pro cites do not take into account a case like the Elizabeth/Paige example. So, I am at a loss about to make of it. Elizabeth is continues to smoke in the garage as she talks to Paige. Based on all the information Pro has provided I don’t know whether this single instance would be enough to be considered abuse and if a single case is not abuse, then what number is the minimum. Pro has failed address how this is abuse.

Con (e): Pro consistent equivocation of the word abuse

Throughout the debate and based on the definitions, Pro has equivocated on abuse, making comparisons to sexual abuse and physical abuse and then moving away from those thinking about secondhand smoke exposure. Con has said all along, common forms of child abuse like beating a child or sexual assaulting a child are not the same or even in the same ballpark as secondhand smoke exposure. That is a fundamental disagreement. Con disagrees based on the definition Pro and Con agreed to at the beginning of the debate. I will let voters decide whether

This is abuse

But so is this?

Pro has failed to full 100% BOP based on the arguments Con has provided and reiterated throughout the debate.

Vote Con!

[1] Bronstein, Alvin C., Spyker, Daniel A., Cantilena Jr, Louis R. Green, Jody, Rumack, Barry H. and Heard, Stuart E. (2007) '2006 Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers' National Poison Data System (NPDS)', Clinical Toxicology, 45:8, 815 – 917. PDF available:

[2] U.S. CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION "2007 Performance and Accountability Report" 2007. PDF available:

[3] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect in Federal Law,” or the exact website page Pro used in Round 1:

Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by jprice19 1 year ago
I would have to agree with Pro, as the fact of child abuse being "An act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm.", more specifically the word "risk" was never properly challenged.

You both had valid points yet I must say that Cons' came out far too late in the debate for me.

I do like the structure of Pro's arguments.

Just a few tips for Con. I believe a smaller text size would be far more appealing and increase your chances. Several friends and myself all dislike when debators end their debate with "Vote Con/Pro". Just something to consider.

Well done!
Posted by Lukeirwin46 1 year ago
no that is controlling we will be like new york
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Jack.Jameswood1 1 year ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Good debate?Conduct points are tied because both debaters kept it cordial, meaning no personal attacks or forfeitures. Spelling and grammar are tied. Both debaters had coherent arguments that were easy to read and separated by number or letter. Both sides used reliable sources that were came from varied sources and respected sources. Points for more convincing argument goes to Con because even though Pro provided a thoughtful and articulate stance it was under clear exactly the conditions would be required for smoke exposure to be illegal or overcome the full burden of proof for why all states should ban it. Con?s arguments were ultimately more convincing.