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Should We Ban Public Smoking

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/8/2011 Category: Society
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,882 times Debate No: 14721
Debate Rounds (3)
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This is actually derived from my original oratory speech that I have given this season. I warn you, the format is a little confusing, but that's why round 1 is devoted to asking questions and clarifying any unclear points.
ound 2 will be answering questions, disads, etc
Round 3 refuting and rebuilding arguments
round 4 same thing
Round 5 conclusion and why we should vote aff or neg

Original Oratory Speech

I'm like everyone else. I like to go eat at restaurants every once in a while. I like the food, the atmosphere, and sometimes that's enough to drown out the loud screams coming from my lungs. "HELP ME!" they scream as we are seated at a table near a smoker. One of my biggest pet peeves is going to a restaurant where smoking is permitted. Sure, some may think they are obligated to smoke as a constitutional right of free will, but is it really constitutional if on average second hand smoke kills 4,000 people a day? Just 5 minutes of inhaling second hand smoke is equal to smoking a cigarette, taking 7 minutes roughly off of your life. According to the National Restaurant Consensus Survey, the average family of 2-5 people goes out to eat around 2-3 times a month. And if the average meal time is roughly 30 minutes to an hour: that is 36-56 minutes taken off your life. So if the average family goes out to eat 2 to 3 times a month; in a year roughly 21 hours will have been used up due to inhaled second hand smoke. Now these numbers may seem insignificant, but they add up over time. And the more often you inhale the smoke, the more the numbers increase. Some health studies may disagree with everything I'm telling you, but I'm here to tell you the facts: The facts about the REAL HEALTH RISKS, the SCAMS of the Tobacco companies, and the overall PERSONIFICATION of smokers.

Some smokers may argue saying that smoking "only harms themselves" but let's take a look at the facts…

Side stream smoke has been identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Toxicology Program, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer as a known carcinogen. That's because side stream smoke has higher concentrations of cancer-causing agents than main stream smoke. That is because the smoke alone contains more than 4,000 chemical compounds, and more than 60 of them are recognized as full blown carcinogens. I am sure you are aware of the obvious components in a cigarette, such as Acetone found in nail polish remover, Arsenic, found in rat poison, and the Ammonia, found in most cleaning appliances, but I'm going to tell you some of the less obvious compounds, yet still 100% poisonous. These include: Benzene (an industrial solvent), Carbon Monoxide (auto exhaust), DDT and Dieldrin (insecticides), Formaldehyde (used to preserve dead bodies), Cyanide gas (gas chamber poisons) and Methanol (used to fuel rockets and cars).These are just 10 of the known 2,000 toxic compounds found in the smoke alone. The long term effects of breathing these toxic fumes include: 60+ types of cancer . A study done in 2007 reported that the pollution created from second hand smoke causes roughly 3,000 lung cancer deaths in the U.S. each year, compared to a few hundred from all outdoor pollution combined. Another long term effect is heart disease. Heart disease kills even more smokers than cancer. Compared to the 3,000 lung cancer deaths, 35,000 to 62,000 more die from heart disease brought on by breathing second hand smoke fumes. And the last long term effect is stroke. Strokes, like heart attacks involve a blood clot in an artery serving the brain – the causes and mechanisms are similar. Of course in all of these studies, family histories linked to these illnesses were considered, and they only reported the people who died without such history, still an alarming number. All of these long term effects are substantial, but what about short term risks? Let me give you a short example on what happens to your body when exposed from 5 minutes of second hand smoke to 120 minutes of exposure.

5 Minutes-
The fumes stiffen the aorta, making the heart have to work harder to pump blood. Equal to the impact of smoking one cigarette

20 Minutes-
Twenty minutes of inhaling the fumes activates the blood platelets involved in clots. In fact it activates them as much as a pack a day smokers platelets would be activated.

30 Minutes-
The smoke compromises a non-smoker's coronary arteries to the same extent as in smokers.

120 Minutes-
The smoke speeds up your heart, increasing your chances of irregular heart beat for life, which itself can be fateful or trigger a heart attack.

So if all of these short-term and long-term side effects were so harmful to one's health, then why wouldn't restaurants just band smoking? They won't ban smoking because the Tobacco Company has fed them lies. Lies about business, lies about ventilation systems, and even the Tobacco Company's statistics are lies.

Lie #1.
"By banning smoking in restaurants, you will lose all of your business and therefore your money."

Wrong. Separate studies done in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota 2001- 2004 observed the economic effects of banning smoking in restaurants. The study consisted of every county in their state, where for 4 months they were asked to go smoke free. Business studies were conducted, and it turned just the opposite. Restaurants showed a 15% increase in business and employees. So if facts have proven that banning smoking doesn't hurt restaurant business, then why are restaurants still letting people smoke?

Fake ventilation systems sold by the Tobacco Company is the reason.
Lie #2.
Ventilations take care of the problem.

Wrong again. While ventilation systems get rid of the smell, they don't get rid of the adverse health effects. A study done by ASHRAE(American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers) concluded that Big Tobacco, by selling these "ventilation systems" is only selling unclean air. They concluded there is no reduction in health impacts, and that it just clears the air of the smell.

So if there is proof that these ventilation systems don't work in any way, then why do restaurants all around America spends 10s of 1,000s of dollars installing them? They install these ventilation systems because of the fake statistics Big Tobacco plasters to the systems.

Lie #3
Big Tobaccos statistics are real.

Once again, wrong.
So if these statistics are all fake, how does Big Tobacco convince restaurants in spending all of their money on these machines?

According to, a website dedicated to exposing the scams of Big Tobacco, Big Tobaccos ventilation strategy has two main components:

One being the ventilation systems generate scientific-sounding noise to make is seem as if the machine is dismissing the health effects of secondhand smoke.

Two being Big Tobacco provides consultants to testify as "experts" when a city, county or state considers smoke free measures. Big Tobacco even went as far as to create a "Secret Science Team" to make legislative appearances and media tours promoting the purchase of the ventilation machines.

All of these scams are real. All of my sources come from company's who have not been bought out by Big Tobacco, and who are non-biased towards smokers or non-smokers, and are devoted to just stating facts based on actual research.

Now that I have talked about the adverse health effects, and the scams of the Tobacco Company, I would just like to talk about the general out look of smoking and the image that it has created in typical societies.

You look nasty. Your breath stinks. Your clothes stink. Just all in all smoking completely destroys a person's personal hygiene. And honestly, when I am sitting in a restaurant trying to eat my breakfast/lunch/dinner, I do not want smoke to be puffing in my face. I do not want my eyes to water from the smoke, and I do not want to have to cough every 5 seconds because my lungs are dying. Having common sense, I cannot find any justifiable reason to smoke. But for kicks, I looked up why smokers thought smoking was okay. And the answers I found truly show how addiction messes with someone's mind.

Why people continue to smoke
According to, Apart from the fact that nicotine is highly addictive, which makes it really difficult to give up, many adults have their own reasons for continuing to smoke.

A lot of people think that they need cigarettes in order to cope with stress or nerves. However, nicotine is a stimulant; it makes your heart beat faster and raises your blood pressure, so in fact, smoking does not really relax you at all or help you cope with unpleasant situations.

Other smokers say that their habit relaxes them. This is also erroneous because if you think about it, in a lot of the situations where you would light up a cigarette, you are actually carrying out relaxing and enjoyable activities such as sitting down and having a coffee with friends, watching television or having a break from working.

People probably think that smoking relaxes them, when in reality, smoking a cigarette, just stops the withdrawal symptoms that have begun to kick in after not having one for a while.

If you live with a family member or partner who smokes, then obviously it is going to be much harder to quit, even though you may really want to.

Many women are afraid of giving up smoking as they think that they will gain a huge amount of weight when they stop. Once you stop smoking though, you will be much fitter and have much more energy, which could motivate you into taking up some form of exercise or joining a gym.

So far I have talked about the adverse health effects of secondhand smoke, the scams on how Tobacco companies try and convince restaurants that restaurants sales will decrease, so Big Tobacco convinces them to buy fake ventilation systems that they support with fake statistics, and the overall image of smoking. All in all smoking in restaurants, not only dangerous to the smokers health, endangers non-smokers lives through the poisonous compounds in secondhand smoke, and I have shown evidence disproving three of the most common Big Tobacco scams, and I have just presented a general view of smokers in general. By banning smoking in restaurants, restaurants would be improving the environment for non-smokers and smokers alike, and the 10s of thousands of dollars wasted on these "ventilation systems" would be saved and put to use in whichever way the restaurant desires. By banning smoking, we are saving lives and money.



I don't understand the format at all, so I'm just going to try to follow along. My opponent said the first round was just for questions and clarifications, but posted the transcript of a lengthy speech on the topic of the debate. The speech is directly pertinent to the argument, so after I make my clarifications I am going to discuss it briefly.


First, I would like some clarification as to whether a public place means government owned property, like parks and city buildings, or whether this also includes private property that is open to the public, such as grocery stores and restaurants. The speech seems to imply that restaurants are included but I want to be sure.

Second, I want to establish what that this debate is not about. It's not about whether or not smoking is beneficial to the individual. It's not. This debate is about whether we should ban smoking from public places.

Remember that to ban smoking is to prevent people from smoking and to punish them in some way for doing so. It is meaningless to say that something is "not allowed" in a abstract sense. It is "not allowed" in the sense that people have deemed it not allowed and back up their statement of prohibition with a credible threat of physical enforcement.

Comment on Pro's Speech:

Pro's speech is an favor of the banning of smoking all together. Most of his statements don't really needed to be addressed because banning smoking in public would not stop people from smoking in their own homes, and thus would not solve the problems caused by smoking to the healthy of individual smokers.

The only relevant part of his speech is about smoking in restraurants. Well, restaurants are privately owned establishments. The owner of the restaurant has a right to determine whether or not people can smoke on his property. If you don't like the fact that a restaurant allows smoking, don't go there. It saves you the trouble of dealing with smoke and it hurts their business, which really is the most effective way you can get a business to change its policies.

Second hand smoke is mainly a risk for people who live with people who smoke indoors. In outdoor areas where smoke is not contained, second hand smoke can be avoided simply by not standing next to smokers. You are unlikely to inhale smoke for more than a few seconds. If you're going to worry about this incredibly slight damage you might as well sue people for bumping in to you.

My opponent's extrapolation from statastics about damage from restaurants assumes that you always go to a restruant that allows smoking and you breath in second hand smoke the entire time you're there. I hate second hand smoke, so I avoid restaurants that allow smoking and I don't sit near people who smoke. Also, the statistics on second hand smoking assume that damage from it to lifespan correlates linearly with exposure. I think it's much more plausible that damage from small exposure is negligible and it increases exponentially for those who live with smokers and inhale lots of second hand smoke.

So, second hand smoke can be avoided almost entirely and it dangerous only to those who are chronically exposed. Breathing in second hand smoke for one minute (which is a long time to stand around a smoker if you don't like it) will have absolutely no long term affects. This incredibly minor risk is not enough to justify forcibly restricting the right of smokers to do what they want with their own bodies and property.
Debate Round No. 1


CrzyDrumlineChic forfeited this round.


I am still waiting for my opponent to begin the actual debate. Technically I do not yet have any arguments to extend.
Debate Round No. 2


CrzyDrumlineChic forfeited this round.


Extend my arguments.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Grape 7 years ago
Your format is a little confusing, so I'm just going to follow your lead on everything. You said the first round was for clarifying and answering questions, but you establish most of your arguments in your speech. I'm going to do the same so we'll be on equal ground going in.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by J.Kenyon 7 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
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Total points awarded:05