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

Resolved: The USFG should ban smoking in restaurants and bars nationwide

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/8/2016 Category: Health
Updated: 9 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 460 times Debate No: 84720
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (2)




Background: Though secondhand smoke is known to be harmful, 16 states still allow smoking in restaurants, and 20 states still allow it in bars.

As Pro, my burden is to prove that a federal ban on smoking in restaurants and bars would be a good idea.

Round structure:
1. Acceptance
2. Arguments
3. Rebuttals
4. Defense

All arguments, including kritiks, are allowed.

This debate is part of the January Beginners' Tournament.


I thank my opponent. I would like the resolution to change into anywhere. I accept.
Debate Round No. 1


I must decline Con's request for a change of the resolution. It is too late to change the resolution, because DDO does not allow me to change the resolution after the challenge has already been accepted. I will be advocating for a ban on smoking in restaurants and bars, because a universal ban would be extratopical.

In this debate we will be evaluating the hypothetical effects of a nationwide ban on smoking in bars and restaurants through the lens of net benefits. If I can prove that the benefits of a smoking ban in restaurants and bars nationwide outweigh the costs, I will win this debate. If Con proves that the costs are greater than the benefits, he will win.

Contention 1: Secondhand Smoke Is Dangerous
There is overwhelming scientific evidence that secondhand smoke is harmful. According to the American Cancer Society, secondhand smoke causes cancer, heart attack, stroke, asthma, depression, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. It is particularly harmful to children, who are more likely to be exposed to it if people smoke in restaurants. Cigarette smoke releases 7,000 toxic chemicals, 70 of which are known to cause cancer. There is no safe level of secondhand smoke. The only way to avoid its harmful effects is to completely avoid exposure. Secondhand smoke is particularly dangerous in enclosed spaces such as bars and restaurants.

According to the National Cancer Institute, secondhand smoke kills 46,000 Americans each year. According to the Mayo Clinic, secondhand smoke affects a non-smoker's blood vessels in as little as five minutes, causing changes that increase the risk of heart attack.

Contention 2: Smoking Bans Are Effective
An analysis of 33 different smoking bans showed that they caused a 15% reduction in heart attack, a 16% reduction in strokes, and a 24% reduction in hospitalizations for respiratory disease. Local smoking bans also save millions of dollars in health care costs, an amount that would be much greater if it was imposed nationwide. In addition to protecting people from secondhand smoke, smoking bans discourage people from smoking, as there are many smokers who think of quitting but have trouble doing so. Being unable to smoke in certain areas will provide more motivation for smokers to quit, and in a world where millions die every year due to tobacco, anything that reduces tobacco-related death is a good thing.

A study conducted by the Mayo Clinic concluded that a smoking ban in restaurants in Olmstead County, Minnesota caused a 17% drop in sudden cardiac deaths. Since the Mayo Clinic provides health care for most of the people in that county, and it is one of the most reputable medical organizations in the world, this provides conclusive proof that smoking bans save lives.

Contention 3: Federal Action is Best
In the status quo smoking bans are determined on a state level, but this is not good enough. 16 states with 22.5% of the American population allow smoking in restaurants, and 20 states with 34.5% of the population allow it in bars. Most states that allow smoking bans in restaurants have conservative political views, and because this is a partisan issue it is likely that these states will continue to allow smoking in restaurants. Only a federal ban will ensure that everyone will be protected from secondhand smoke when they go out to eat.

Another advantage of federal regulation is that it creates a uniform and consistent code for businesses. If national restaurant chains know that there is a single regulation about smoking in restaurants in the United States, they will have an easier time complying with it than a patchwork of different state laws, reducing compliance costs.

The United States is currently the world's only superpower, so it has unparalleled influence over other countries. For this reason, if the US passes a federal ban on smoking in restaurants and bars, other countries will be encouraged to do the same. This will save many lives on an international scale.

To conclude, the United States Federal Government should ban smoking in all restaurants and bars to save thousands of lives and millions of dollars in medical costs both here and abroad.



I thank my opponent for his arguments, and thank Rosalie, fire_wings for being the hosts of the January beginner's torunament and picsbad for being my opponent.


Okay, BoP is on Pro. If Pro proves that the benfits of a smoking ban in bars is beeneficial, Pro wins. If he fails, I win. Also, even though you can't change the resolution of the actual debate, we can agree with that.


1. Liberty/ Moral Reasons

My first argument is that we have the liberty. There are moral reasons to not ban smoking, worldwide or bars/ restaurants. People own themselves. They are welcome to harm thereselves, as long as they will not harm others. Pro will talk about the secondhand smoke will cover this argument, but I will rebut that in the rebuttals, then this will make sense. People have the right to choose what they want to do, they have rights to harm themselves. John Stuart Mill's "harm princple" states that "The harm principle states that the only actions that can be prevented are ones that create harm. In other words, a person can do whatever he wants as long as his actions do not harm others. If a person's actions only affect himself, then society, which includes the government, should not be able to stop a person from doing what he wants. This even includes actions that a person may do that would harm the person himself." [1]. This means that people have the right to do anything unless it harms others [1] [2]. There are many places where smoking is no allowed. If anyone does not want/ or like smoking, then they can get out of those places, making their no reason to ban smoking in the public [3]. If you think that the harm principle is right, this means that smoking should we legal.

2. Illegal cigarettes

Must as I don't like smoking and also when I don't want to make a defensive argument, putting a ban on smoking will just make smoking, and tobacco as an illegal drug. Tobacco will be resold illegally, such as some other drugs like cocaine. Illegal drugs will jsut be bought, and the society will turn bad, and fail. The cost is way more if we buy illegal drugs, almost 3 times than the actual cost [4]. This will just strenghten the criminal networks [5]. Thus, smoking should be legal, or else tobacco will be a illegal drug, and society will fail. Vote for Con.

3. Economic Impact/ Depending Workers

Another half offense, and half defense argument. [6] A ban on smoking will only make the economy worse. "For example, the St. Louis Coalition for Tobacco-Free Missouri lists over 400 smoke-free restaurants" Think about an tobacco farm like this. [7]

Tobacco farm, near Viñales

This is basically one part of an tobacco farm. There was about 180,000 tobacco farms in the US at 2012 [8]. This is a lot of tobacco farms, and a lot of tobacco.; data-image-dimensions="900x506" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" data-load="false" data-image-id="56245f88e4b0b8034f7f9c76" data-type="image" data-image-resolution="500w" />

These are different tobacco farms in different place [9]. That is a lot of tobacco plants which makes cigarettes. In 2012, tobacco companies spent 9.6 billion dollars of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco alone. This rounds to 1 million dollars one hour [8].

Now think if we ban smoking. All this money earns, not people cannot earn it if we ban smoking. The money the farms earn, they cannot earn it. That means that many people in these farms will become broke, which leads to my other part of this argument, dependency. The people will become dependent on the government for food and money, because they have no money because of the ban of tobacco. Because there are 180,000 farms in 2012, and about or over 200 people in each farm, there will be so much people who have no jobs. Then they die. A ban on smoking kills much more people than letting smoking happen.

Now I will go on to my rebuttals after I include my sources







[7] (For Picture)


[9] (For Picture)

Now I will go onto my rebuttals


1. Secondhand smoke is dangerous

Pro states that secondhand smoke is dangerous. Smoke is basically pollution. There is already a lot of pollution made from cars and factories. Compared, smoking's pollution is nothing if you way the impacts of thousands of factories, millions of cars, and just few million cigarettes.

Then Pro says that it is dangerous in closed places like bars. Then there is another way to rebut this, my counterplan

Counterplan: My counterplan to stop secondhand smoke is by making smoking allowed in designated areas like in the following.

OSHA Regulations on Outdoor Smoking Areas

A lot of these are in coffee shops or restaurants, where one place, there is a room where smoking is allowed. Even Pro might defend that there might be smoke in the air when someone opens a door, almost no smoke is okay. This is way little than fire burning, or cars. Pro can also defend it costs a lot, but it does not because all you do is put a wall, and a door in a open space so there is space for people to smoke. This will make a total end of secondhand smoke because the non-smokers do not go to the designated areas. So secondhand smoke is rebutted, Vote Con.

2. Smoking Ban's are effective

Pro says that they reduce heart attack. Yes, but then it is because the people want to smoke, and that is why their health is bad. They made the choice, and it is not moral if we take away that right. This is already rebutted in moral reasons/ liberty that people have the moral reasons and have self-ownership.

Also, Pro states that a ban will make them not addicted. However, this is explained in my argument of illegal tobacco. They illegally buy tobacco, and use it. Even if we ban smoking, people will still be addicted. Even if we ban tobacco or smoking, people can still buy tobacco/ and cigarettes illegally, making no use if banning smoking for no addiction. Vote for Con.

Pro also states that it saves lives if we ban smoking. However, with my counterplan, it will only save secondhand smokers. The smokers die because they want to smoke, and smoke. With the counterplan, there will be much more

Because of the danger of forfeiting, I will rebut Pro's third argument in the next round.

Debate Round No. 2


Framework: I accept the burden of proof, but I wish to amend it to include restaurants as well as bars. Since the resolution cannot change once the debate has started, it will not include bans outside of restaurants and bars.

1. Liberty:
My plan does not violate the harm principle, because it only limits smoking in public restaurants and bars where others would be exposed to secondhand smoke. This plan is consistent with the harm principle because it prevents people from harming others through secondhand smoke. I agree with Con that smoking should be legal - just not in public restaurants and bars. As for the claim that people can avoid smoking by getting out of places that allow smoking, this is a situation where allowing people to smoke in those places would actually inhibit the freedom of others. For the 25 million Americans who have asthma, avoiding secondhand smoke is not a choice, but a medical necessity. In the status quo these people have their freedom to patronize restaurants and bars without visible No Smoking signs infringed on in states that do not have smoking bans. The CDC warns that exposure to secondhand smoke can cause asthma attacks, and says that people who have asthma must avoid secondhand smoke.

Even if the smoking ban that I proposed did violate the harm principle, that would not be a reason to reject it, as Con has not provided a way that violating the harm principle creates negative effects that can be weighed against the benefits of a smoking ban through the lens of net benefits. This debate should be evaluated based on net benefits for the following reasons:
1. Net benefits is an ethical standard that is good for judging debate because it allows the good and bad impacts of a potential policy to be weighed against one another fairly and objectively. For this reason, nearly all Parli and Policy debates in real-world competitions are judged on net benefits.
2. This is a debate about policy, so we should evaluate it in a way that is related to how real policymakers would evaluate it. The fact that recreational drugs are illegal proves that the United States Federal Government does not determine policy based on the Harm Principle for real. In fact, cost-benefit analysis is the standard means of deciding whether to adopt a new federal policy. It is used by the FDA to regulate tobacco, so it is the best way to evaluate a new tobacco regulation.
3. This is a debate about policy, not philosophy. DDO has a separate section for philosophy debates, so there is a place to debate whether the harm principle is good or bad, but this is not it. If debaters can argue for whatever value they want in a debate, each side will pick the value that best suits their position and a substantial portion of the debate will come down to which value is better, resulting in debates being won and lost based on the subjective philosophical preferences of judges rather than the merits of the policy being debated. We should default to net benefits because it is the most predictable criterion based on real policymaking and competitive debate in the real world.

2. Illegal Cigarettes:
This argument does not link to my plan. People who try to smoke in restaurants and bars in a world with a federal smoking ban will be asked to leave whether or not their cigarette is legal. This would be a good argument if I proposed that smoking should be completely banned, but I did not propose that.

3. Economic Impact/Depending Workers
The CDC says that smoking costs the economy $300 billion a year in medical costs and lost productivity. This outweighs Con's claims of how much tobacco companies spend by a factor of 30 to 1. Also, my plan would not put the tobacco industry out of business. Smoking will not be banned in private places or in public areas that are not restaurants or bars, so there will be no massive job loss in the tobacco industry. And this does not affect sales to foreign countries, so the tobacco industry will stay in business because most tobacco grown in America is exported to foreign countries.

I also wish to contest Con's claim that there are 180,000 farms and 200 people per farm. If you multiply 180,000 and 200, you get the incredulous figure that 36 million people work in the tobacco industry in America! This is obviously not true, so Con's claims about job loss should be disregarded due to inaccurate data.

The CDC conducted a study of smoke-free laws in restaurants and bars in 9 states that proved smoking bans do not cause any harm to the economy:

Answers to rebuttals

1. Secondhand smoke is dangerous
Yes, there is already too much pollution in the air - which is exactly we need to reduce the amount of pollution in our cities. I cannot be expected to solve for all pollution, because restrictions on cars and factories would not be topical. Cars and factories have an essential role in our economy, but smoking only brings personal pleasure and satisfies an addiction. Doing something to reduce secondhand smoke and save lives is better than keeping things the way they are.

This counterplan does not solve as well as the original plan. In restaurants where they are designated areas for smoking, non-smokers will still go into those areas and be exposed to secondhand smoke. Not everyone who could be harmed by secondhand smoke will go out of their way to avoid it. Restaurants do get crowded, and if the non-smoking area of the restaurant is full, non-smokers will sit in the area where smoking is allowed and get exposed to secondhand smoke. Waitstaff at the restaurants have to go into the smoking area to serve the smokers, so they are exposed to secondhand smoke, increasing their risk of death and illness. It also is less of a deterrent than a full ban in restaurants. My opponent concedes the empirical evidence that smoking bans reduce heart attacks, and provides no evidence that designated smoking areas do the same, so in the world of the counterplan fewer people quit smoking than in the world of the plan.

For the reasons I have listed above the counterplan saves fewer lives than my plan and should not be preferred. Vote Pro.

2. Smoking Ban's are effective
Extend the empirical evidence that smoking bans reduce the risk of multiple fatal illnesses. Con's answer to my point about reducing addiction is inaccurate because I am not creating a complete ban. Over two-thirds of American smokers want to quit, and if there are fewer places where they can smoke, more of them will quit. The counterplan does not solve this as well as the plan because making access to smoking inconvenient is empirically proven to reduce smoking, as my opponent concedes.

3. Federal Action is Best
I will allow my opponent to answer this contention in the next round, and I will rebut his answers in Round 4.


logical-master123 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


My opponent forfeited this round, so vote Pro on the forfeit. By forfeiting he has conceded all of my arguments in the previous round.



Note: Even though I dropped one argument, I adressed two. Pro failed to adress any arguments. Give arguments to me, and conduct to Pro.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Rosalie 9 months ago
I would suggest advertising your debate so it can get voted on. I'm going to post round 2 of the tournament soon.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Forever23 9 months ago
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Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by Death23 9 months ago
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Reasons for voting decision: ff