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Resolved: The government should ban smoking in public places

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/25/2016 Category: Society
Updated: 3 weeks ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 236 times Debate No: 95644
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (0)




Resolved: That the government should ban smoking in public places.


R1. Acceptance
R2. Opening arguments
R3. Rebuttals
R4. Defense/Closing


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7. My opponent accepts all definitions and waives his/her right to add resolutional definitions
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9. Violation of any of these rules or of any of the R1 set-up merits a loss

The time limit between replies is 72 hours and the character limit is 10,000. If special circumstances arise, one side may ask the other to wait out his or her remaining time. If one side explicitly concedes or violates any of these terms, then all seven points will be awarded to the other. By accepting this challenge, you agree to these terms.

Thanks to whoever accepts this debate.


I accept. :)
Debate Round No. 1


Let me begin by thanking imsmarterthanyou98 for taking this debate, I look forward to the exchange. In this debate, I will be defending two arguments in support of the proposition that the government ought to ban smoking in public places: Firstly, I will attempt to show the objective harms of smoking and then show how a ban on smoking in public places can help to improve public health and the environment.

1. Smoking is objectively harmful

This is a relatively uncontroversial proposition in regards to the medical and scientific community. Decades of research has shown the harms of smoking to the individual smoker. Indeed, according to the Center for Disease Control, cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths earch year and more people die of smoking-related deaths than HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol use, vehicle accidents, and fire-arm related incidents combined (1).

The smoker causes more harm than just individual damage. Secondhand smoke kills around 3,000 adults each year. According to the Surgeon General, "living with a smoker increases a nonsmoker’s chances of developing lung cancer by 20% to 30%." (2) According to HHS, laws banning smoking in public places help improve worker and customer health. (2)

In addition to the public health crisis, smoking also is harmful to the environment. According to a report in Tobacco Control, air pollution by cigarettes are 10 times greater than that from cars and fossil fuels (3).

2. Smoking bans are effective means in reducing smoking

Research has shown that smoking bans in public areas are one of the most effective means of reducing smoking and improving public health. For example, when New York passed a comprehensive law to prohibit smoking in indoor areas of workplaces, restaurants, and bars, they found that there was an 8% reduction in hospital admissions and also found a 56 million dollar savings in hospital costs. (4)

The BBC reports (5), "Results show benefits for health, changes in attitudes and behaviour and no clear adverse impact on the hospitality industry."

Smoking bans are one of the most effective policies in reducing smoking.


In summary, smoking is objectively harmful both to the smoker and to the people and environment around them. The government is justified in banning smoking in public places. The right to have a healthy, clean, and safe environment trumps the right for the smoker to smoke.


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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by TheBenC 3 weeks ago
Governments should also ban vehicle emissions in public places. They are much more common and harmful than cigarette smoke.
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