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

Lesser of two evils ?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/10/2013 Category: Health
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,075 times Debate No: 42018
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)




Is cigarette smoking a greater vice than cannabis use?
My personal opinion is that both are negative traits.
They both damage the health and although they both give a temporary "high" they are deleterious in the long run.
Many countries adopt double standards in this regard.
Pot smoking is frowned upon whereas with cigarette smoking, governments simply turn the blind eye.
According to me a peccadillo is as much a transgression as a larger offense.
Both are on the same side of the Law (the wrong side).
My stand is that both these should be unequivocally condemned.
Please refute or support.


I accept.
Thank you Pro for offering an interesting debate topic.
I will be pro - status quo (cannabis outlawed & nicotine allowed).

These are both vices. I will attempt to show why nicotine is the lesser of the two evils.
Granted smoking anything is bad yet cannabis harms one's system more drastically than nicotine.

"... marijuana has 3 times the amount of tar as tobacco, and its carbon monoxide levels are 3-5 times that of cigarettes. Be aware that pot has 50% more cancer-causing hydrocarbons than a tobacco cigarette. Every time you inhale, you"re accepting all of that poison into your body because joints do not have filters. Also, most pot smokers inhale the smoke and hold it in their lungs longer than they would for cigarette smoke."[1]

Nicotine seemingly curbs can curb one's appetite by deadening the taste buds whereas cannabis enhances appetite a.k.a. the "munchies". And let's face it, America, in general, needs less intake of food. Obviously not the healthiest option yet I think you may understand my point.

Nicotine adrenaline is released into the body which helps pump more blood to perhaps a fatigued truck driver which enhances alertness on the road. [2] Cannabis creates a foggy brain and even the most intelligent person, over time, is reduced to a damaged brain.

And oh yes, smoking cannabis/marijuana is against the federal law. [3 & 4]

Debate Round No. 1


Cigarette smoking is a vice. There are no two ways about that.

Please refer the link

It strains personal relationships, damages health, leads to unwarranted expenditure and harms others as well. (passive smoking harms others).


To err is human; to forgive, divine. Alexander Pope
In that sense you are asking for people to be god-like. And we know humans are flawed.
So if humans are naturally flawed, liberally applying the Christian creed "born into sin" here, why can we not forgive the minor vices instead of judging the person smoking and compounding guilt upon guilt?
Life is short. Sometimes some lives only get meager joys: orgasm, cigarettes, cookies, et cetera, why begrudge them that wee habit?
Con states that smoking strains personal relationships, not if both smoke or if both quit smoking. Teamwork is key.
Con states unwarranted expenditure; I can see how someone might consider it "burning money" yet, now this specifically nicotine, not cannabis, is legal and is a simple pleasure for the smoker.
Both are NOT on the same side of the law; Cannabis is illegal as cited in my Round 1 (plus 3xs the tar, etc.) and nicotine is legal.
Cost for the nicotine is roughly $7 a pack & cheaper when sold in cartons. How much was that daily turbo-frappa-latte-chino? Or golf? Or video game(s)? Or just one more tool for that project?
Smoking nicotine is a recognizable desire and natural thrill which is completely subjective as a vice. And as one of the earliest cash crops the United States had was tobacco so it can be argued that the smoker is helping the US economy. [1 & 2]
Con states that it damages health. The high cost of living is death. Just by existing, we age and that damages health. "We begin to die as soon as we are born, and the end is linked to the beginning." - Bret Harte
In the 2nd law of thermodynamics entropy is a measure of disorder. The flow of energy maintains order and life. Entropy wins when organisms cease to take in energy and die [3] & that everything is eventually running downhill or out of gas. When a person is running out of energy, a nicotine adrenaline rush combats fatigue.
Damaging health? How about dodging bullets? Our U.S. military runs 365 days a year at a 24 hr a day job. There are few perks when forward deployed and smoking can allow a release in which one cannot seem to find a way out. With cigarettes, you always have a friend. And others, who smoke, tend to gravitate towards other smokers thereby creating more friends. One is never alone when they are a smoker.
Persons attempting to extract Intel, e.g. spies, note that people let their guard down when they smoke. The smoker thereby gleaned Intel & saved lives by smoking.
Life is not so black and white. People struggle with vices. Some people can over-come life"s obstacles and some relapse while some never leave their vices.
I do not believe that smoking nicotine harms others. This is a literal smoke screen most likely put on by the uber hyper greenies of the left, "the anti-tobacco groups, & its pharmaceutical partners are pushing instant addition." [4]
"Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke could not plausibly cause a 30% increase in risk of coronary heart disease," they said. "It seems premature to conclude that environmental tobacco smoke causes death from coronary heart disease and lung cancer. The recent release of a massive study showing no risk to non smokers from second hand smoke has brought forth the vitriolic denunciations the anti-tobacco enterprise so dearly loves." [4]
People are smart yet if you force someone to do something without them coming to their own realizations, you may have some swing to the other side of the pendulum. Why not recognize that smoking nicotine is a minor vice and allow the adult to use their discernment?
*I do not intend to encourage anyone to smoke any substance.*
Debate Round No. 2


My worthy opponent prescribes to the view that cigarette smoking is less harmful than use of marijuana.

I would like to draw attention to two very interesting studies ..



To condense and summarize the findings :
Marijuana is not more dangerous than tobacco. Research has shown that marijuana causes far less harm than tobacco.

You simply cannot overlook the demerits of tobacco smoking.
It is like a storm in a teacup.
Just because the overwhelming majority of people are apathetic towards it's harmful effects, does not ameliorate the suffering that it causes.

Please note.


Thank you Con for the concise points yet neither one of the two very interesting findings that does not addresses the fact that cannabis has three times the amount of tar that is in tobacco. That cannot be refuted.

Your condensed & summarized findings is interesting in that the studies were not done on anyone older than the 18-30yr old group. Hum…sounds fishy. Probably because their brains fry out at 40 and cannot be “included” in these marijuana studies and yet one sees 60 yr old die-hard, cognizant smokers most all the blooming time.

Obviously neither habits are healthy but it does support my Pro stance that tobacco smoking is the lesser of two evils.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Input 3 years ago
Gadzooks! I was too quick to type my round 1 & Con wants to outlaw both. I kept thinking Con wanted to allow cannabis. *bangs head*
Yes, Con wants to OUTLAW BOTH nicotine & cannabis. Please be patient & thank you. I'll re-work my future argument. :)
Posted by Input 3 years ago
*face-palm* I thank CON for offering an interesting debate topic. der not Pro (me). Sorry.
Posted by petrushka.googol 3 years ago
yes that is my stance. thanks for your comment.
Posted by Input 3 years ago
petrushka.googol - clarification please
Is you stance is that both smoking nicotine & cannibus should be outlawed?
I will be pro - status quo (cannibus outlawed & nicotine allowed) if that is the case.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by The_Tom 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Although I agree with con's stance, pro made a much better argument.