The Instigator
JakeBoatman96
Pro (for)
Losing
4 Points
The Contender
Lordknukle
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points

Should the legal age for tobacco be lowered?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Lordknukle
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/26/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 8,598 times Debate No: 18989
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (3)

 

JakeBoatman96

Pro

I believe the legal age for tobacco should be lowered to 16. If a person in our society should be allowed on the road with a car going 70mph, possibly endangering themselves and anyone that happens to be on the road at the time, they should be allowed to inhale smoke from burning tobacco, or put a pinch of smokeless tobacco in your lip.

Rounds: 5
Voting Period: 3 Days
Time To Argue: 72 Hours
Argument Max: 8,000 Characters
Lordknukle

Con

Accepted.

Tobacca is defined as "cigarette".

BOP is on you.
Debate Round No. 1
JakeBoatman96

Pro

I wish to start off by thanking my opponent for accepting this debate. Good luck.

The anti smoking lobby may try to convince people that less young people are starting to smoke, but the figures expose the lie. Smoking in the 15-20 age group is the smoking companies major growth market right now. Lets remove the aura of illegalness from the product. It will become less attractive to a kid if anybody can buy them. Kids buy stuff because they think its cool or because they are rebelling. Age barriers on cigarettes only encourages the young to try them more often than usual.

Why not? While we're at it, lower the drinking age to 18.

Whether we decide to or not it is up to us, the people. This does not hurt anyone else but us and will not have any consequences on other people unless they are influenced by the actions we have taken. So yes the lower the age for smoking and leave it up to us whether we decide to choose or not.

Let the youth smoke themselves to an early grave

To add to the self explanatory facts, what are we trying to do, prolong childhood until the grave? By about 14 or 15 people usually mature enough to decide for themselves whether they want to smoke or not, and to circumvent the restrictions if the law tries to stop them.

PEOPLE UNDER THE AGE GET SMOKES ANY WAY, THERE IS ALWAYS AWAY AROUND THINGS.
Lordknukle

Con

I thank my opponent for his arguments.

My main two contentions will be:

C1: Tobacco is harmful to the user
C2: Tobacco is harmful to the people surrounding him.

C1: Tobacco is harmful to the user

Cigarettes are extremely harmful to oneself. Each cigarette on average takes of 12 minutes of your life(1)
The average smokers smoke 30 cigarettes per day.(2)
If you smoke for 10 years, you lose 2 190 000 minutes of your life. That is 1 520 days. Or 4.2 years.
For every 10 years, you lose a whopping 4.2 years of your life. This especially affects youth because they are more sensitive to the harmful ingredients of tobacco and cigarettes. (1) A 20 cigarette a day smoker, inhales about 210 g of tar per year.

"Lung cancer from smoking is caused by the tar in tobacco smoke. Men who smoke are ten times more likely to die from lung cancer than non-smokers."(1)

Cigarettes contribute to cancer, heart attacks, and stroke.

"Smoking causes disease and is a slow way to die. The strain of smoking effects on the body often causes years of suffering. Emphysema is an illness that slowly rots your lungs. People with emphysema often get bronchitis again and again, and suffer lung and heart failure."(2)

Smoking cigarettes causes:

1. Stained teeth, fingers, and hair
2. Increased frequency of colds, particularly chest colds and bronchitis
3. Asthma
4. Neuralgia
5. Gastrointestinal difficulties, constipation, diarrhea, and colitis
6. Headaches
7. Nausea
8. Convulsions
9. Leukoflakia (smoker's patch)
10. Insomnia
11. Heart murmur
12. Buerger's disease (inflammation of blood vessel linings)
13. Shortness of breath
14. Arthritis
15. Smoker's hack
16. Nervousness
17. Wrinkles and premature aging
18. Tension
19. Gastric, duodenal, and peptic ulcers
20. Lung cancer
21. Cancer of the lip, tongue, pharynx, larynx, and bladder
22.Emphysema
23.High blood pressure
24. Heart disease
25. Atherosclerosis & arteriosclerosis (thickening and loss of elasticity of the blood vessels with lessened blood flow)
26. Inflammation of the sinus passages
27. Tobacco angina (nicotine angina pectoris)
28. Pneumonia
29. Influenza
30. Pulmonary tuberculosis
31. Tobacco amblyopia
32. impaired hearing
33. Decreased sexual activity
34. Mental depression(2)

Teenagers do not have as strong body systems as adults. Any diseases caused to the adults, will be excelerated when the teenagers are allowed to smoke.

In essence, if teenagers smoke, they will suffer more from health complications.

C2:Tobacco is harmful to the people surrounding him.

Second hand smoke is very harmful to the people around the smoker.

Second hand hand smoke remains in the household for weeks or even months after being released.

Babies exposed to second-hand smoke are more likely to die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), also known as crib death.

Second-hand smoke causes between 1,100 – 7,800 deaths per year in Canada.

Babies exposed to second-hand smoke are more likely to die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), also known as crib death.

If you are a non-smoker, exposure to second-hand smoke increases your risk of developing either lung cancer or heart disease by 20%.(3)


Rebuttals

"The anti smoking lobby may try to convince people that less young people are starting to smoke, but the figures expose the lie. Smoking in the 15-20 age group is the smoking companies major growth market right now. Lets remove the aura of illegalness from the product. It will become less attractive to a kid if anybody can buy them. Kids buy stuff because they think its cool or because they are rebelling. Age barriers on cigarettes only encourages the young to try them more often than usual."

I find a couple things wrong with this statement.
1. You have no sources to back up your claims
2. Age barriers or laws decrease the use substances or crimes because they act as a deterrent. People don't commit murder because they are scared of being put in jail. That is why in an anarchist society (Somalia), murders are widespread. There is no federal judicial system acting as a deterrent.

"Whether we decide to or not it is up to us, the people. This does not hurt anyone else but us and will not have any consequences on other people unless they are influenced by the actions we have taken. So yes the lower the age for smoking and leave it up to us whether we decide to choose or not."

I have shown how smoking harmful the smoker and the people around him.

"Let the youth smoke themselves to an early grave"

The role of the government is to protects its people. It does this by limiting who can smoke because cigarettes are deadly.

"By about 14 or 15 people usually mature enough to decide for themselves whether they want to smoke or not, and to circumvent the restrictions if the law tries to stop them."

A teenagers brain is not fully developed to make coherent choices.
"a crucial part of the brain — the frontal lobes — are not fully connected"(4)

"the part of the brain that says: 'Is this a good idea? What is the consequence of this action?' " Jensen says. "It's not that they don't have a frontal lobe. And they can use it. But they're going to access it more slowly."(4)

Conclusion

In conclusion, I have shown that cigarettes are very unhealthy. Not only are they unhealthy, but their effect would be amplified in youth. Therefore, the legal age should not be changed. I believe that I dismantled all of my opponent's arguments.

Vote Con

Good luck to Pro


(1)http://www.quitspeed.com...
(2)http://www.nutri.com...
(3)http://www.publichealthgreybruce.on.ca...
(4)http://www.npr.org...


Debate Round No. 2
JakeBoatman96

Pro

I would like to start off by pointing out that my opponent failed to consider the option of smokeless tobacco.

I would also like to point out that while yes, it is unhealthy to use any tobacco product at a young age, it is unhealthy to use tobacco at any age. Also, if you want to talk about brain development, your brain isn't fully developed until you're 25, so go debate someone on how tobacco and alcohol should be made illegal until 25. But, decision making skills develop around 15-16, making a 16-year-old valid to decide for himself/herself.(1)

The following is my argument for smokeless tobacco.

Supporters of the "Switch and Quit" campaign say smokers who switch are more likely to give up cigarettes than those who use other methods such as nicotine patches, and that smokeless tobacco carries less risk of disease than cigarettes do.(2)

"We need something that works better than what we have," said Dr. Donald Miller, an oncologist and director of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, which supports the effort along with the University of Louisville. "This is as reasonable a scientific hypothesis as anybody has come up with and it needs to be tried."(2)

"Americans are largely misinformed about the relative risks. … They think smokeless tobacco is just as dangerous," Brad Rodu, director of the campaign said. "This level of misinformation is an enormous barrier to actually accomplishing tobacco-harm reduction because if people believe that the products have equal risk, there's not a real incentive."(2)

http://ezinearticles.com...
http://yourlife.usatoday.com...
Lordknukle

Con

My opponent has presented new arguments in the last round.

I would also like to point out that my opponent has conceded to C1 and completely disregarded C2.

"I would also like to point out that while yes, it is unhealthy to use any tobacco product at a young age, it is unhealthy to use tobacco at any age. Also, if you want to talk about brain development, your brain isn't fully developed until you're 25, so go debate someone on how tobacco and alcohol should be made illegal until 25. But, decision making skills develop around 15-16, making a 16-year-old valid to decide for himself/herself.(1)"

In your EzineArticle link, it stated nothing about age at which rational decision making starts developing.
I urge the readers to visit the link.

According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (1):

Based on the stage of their brain development, adolescents are more likely to:
  • act on impulse
  • misread or misinterpret social cues and emotions
  • get into accidents of all kinds
  • get involved in fights
  • engage in dangerous or risky behavior

Adolescents are less likely to:

  • think before they act
  • pause to consider the potential consequences of their actions
  • modify their dangerous or inappropriate behaviors
Therefore, adolescents can not think clearly about the negative impacts that these actions will cause them.

Supporters of the "Switch and Quit" campaign say smokers who switch are more likely to give up cigarettes than those who use other methods such as nicotine patches, and that smokeless tobacco carries less risk of disease than cigarettes do.(2)

"We need something that works better than what we have," said Dr. Donald Miller, an oncologist and director of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, which supports the effort along with the University of Louisville. "This is as reasonable a scientific hypothesis as anybody has come up with and it needs to be tried."(2)

"Americans are largely misinformed about the relative risks. … They think smokeless tobacco is just as dangerous," Brad Rodu, director of the campaign said. "This level of misinformation is an enormous barrier to actually accomplishing tobacco-harm reduction because if people believe that the products have equal risk, there's not a real incentive."(2)

Smokeless tobacco is extremely harmful to one's well being.

Smokeless tobacco causes (2):

  • cracking and bleeding lips and gums
  • receding gums, which can eventually make your teeth fall out
  • increased heart rate, high blood pressure, and irregular heartbeats, all leading to a greater risk of heart attacks and brain damage (from a stroke)
  • cancer
According to Cancer.gov, smokeless tobacco (3):

"Smokeless tobacco causes oral cancer, esophageal cancer, and pancreatic cancer"

"Using smokeless tobacco may also cause heart disease, gum disease, and oral lesions other than cancer, such as leukoplakia (precancerous white patches in the mouth)"

"Yes. All tobacco products, including smokeless tobacco, contain nicotine, which is addictive (1). Users of smokeless tobacco and users of cigarettes have comparable levels of nicotine in the blood. In users of smokeless tobacco, nicotine is absorbed through the mouth tissues directly into the blood, where it goes to the brain. Even after the tobacco is removed from the mouth, nicotine continues to be absorbed into the bloodstream. Also, the nicotine stays in the blood longer for users of smokeless tobacco than for smokers (2)."

"Because all tobacco products are harmful and cause cancer, the use of all of these products should be strongly discouraged. There is no safe level of tobacco use. People who use any type of tobacco product should be urged to quit."


Conclusion

I have successfully proven that tobacco is harmful, smokeless or not. It is harmful to the people around the smoker. Adolescents do not have the rational think capabilities of adults. The legal age should not be lower.

(1)http://www.aacap.org...
(2)http://kidshealth.org...
(3)http://www.cancer.gov...
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by E.BurnumIII 5 years ago
E.BurnumIII
JakeBoatman96LordknukleTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Con made better arguments and provided better sources
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
JakeBoatman96LordknukleTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con was able to prove that not only was all smoking unhealthy, but that the effect on youth is worse giving a valid reason why the minimum age for smoking should not be lowered. Pro then disregards those points and brings up smokeless tobacco, which Con easily refutes by showing that smokeless tobacco is harmful as well. Clear Con win on all points.
Vote Placed by lotus_flower 5 years ago
lotus_flower
JakeBoatman96LordknukleTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: I agreed with pro before the debate, but CON strayed from the main topic of the debate on several points.