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Smoking Packet Pictures

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/17/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,951 times Debate No: 6263
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
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Perhaps my fellow countrymen and women (UK) if you by chance are a smoker like myself or if you by chance stumble across a new pack of Cigs in your travels, you will see that the government has decided oh so wisely to pass another law against us, and put pictures on the back of packs to remind us of the hellish trouble we will get in if we continue smoking, as if we didn't know already, and are passing another law that cigarettes must be served under the counter to stop i quote "impulsive" buying. Can someone please, in the name of god, please tell me why the government is doing this? Its so damned pathetic, it drives me up the wall, that they think this will do anything, I dont buy cigs because i had an impulsive urge to do so, I did it because ive had a bad day and ive walked 15 minutes down the bl**dy street in the rain to go look for some. And the pictures, wow, the picture of a man having open heart surgery is suddenly making me want to stop smoking, No seriously it isn't, its just p***ing me off. Why cant the government think of something else to do in its spare time, like oh, lets think, the thousands of people becoming unemployed weekly. Its just an example of the government being a nanny state, so I say, Dont remove those pictures, because its just going to waste more tax payers money, but just leave us and our cigarettes alone!

If in my ranting I was not clear enough

My argument is that I am against The pictures and the Cigarettes under the counter law


Thanks to my opponent for creating this debate. I'm in Australia, not the UK, but we have similar graphic pictures on our smokes, and they are a hotly debated topic here too. I'd like to point out that I'm a smoker myself, and that yes, I am in favour of the new graphic pictures on cigarette packets.

My opponent hasn't really made any arguments worth contending in his first round. He has expressed that he's not sure why the Government put the pictures there in the first place, and that he believes it's 'pathetic' to have done so. He gave an anecdotal account of his 15 minute walk to the shops in the rain, only to find that his cigarettes had a picture of open-heart surgery on it. Apparently, this p*ssed him off. The rest of his self-proclaimed 'rant', regarding unemployment and tax-payers, is unrelated to the resolution and will thus be ignored.

I will now give 3 reasons why the graphic images should remain on cigarette packets once they are in place. Neither reason on its own is sufficient in arguing the resolution, but the first 2 taken together certainly do. The third is my pathetic attempt at humour, and should be ignored by both voters and fans of good comedy alike.

1. Cigarettes are the worst drug on this planet, bar none. In Australia, 2004-2005, 5% of drug-related deaths were caused by illicit drugs, 6% by alcohol, and 89% by cigarettes [1]. That 5% there... that's heroin, coke (not -a-cola), 'shrooms (not shitake), ekkies, ice, you name it. Absolutely dwarved by cigarettes in the killing stakes. I don't think I need to elaborate with the names and symptoms of the many ways cigarettes kill smokers like my opponent and I, as I think we all have a good understanding of that in this day and age. This is thanks, in part, to those pictures we see every time we grab a smoke.
[1] -

2. Early research showed that the graphic labels were effective in reducing the number of cigarette smokers [2][3]. Now that they are in place, if they reduce smoking by even 10%, 1%, then it has been a successful endeavour. If they have no effect at all, they should remain in place, for the very reason my opponent gave: removing the pictures will 'just...waste more tax payers money.' If the images are counter-effective, and the prevailence of smoking has actually increased since the introduction of the pictures, then I have no argument. All recent polls and reserach, however, suggest otherwise.
[2] -
[3] -

3. Much fun can be had gluing two of the macular degenerated eyes and a cancerous mouth [4][5] to one's bong in the arrangement of a face. Or, if you don't smoke pot, onto a nice vase.
[4] -
[5] -

Well I'll leave it there and we'll continue in Round 2. Oh, and I can't post comments because I'm in Australia and don't have Optus telephone, so I can't verify my existence or some crap like that. Thanks.
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you to my opponent for accepting my debate.

Firstly can I just apologise, as I have sort of shot myself in the foot by not properly explaining my debate parameters, while I do not agree with the pictures on the back of cigarette packets I would as my opponent pointed out not want them removed, unless they were were counter productive, which in all likely hood they will not be. But what I would also like included in this debate is the soon to be enforced under the counter law which, I'm not sure is enforced in Australia or not.

Let me as my opponent did, give you three reasons why the under the counter law and the Picture law are useless and in the case of the picture law, should never have been implemented, and in the case of the under the counter law should not be implemented.

1. In the case of pictures, they provide us useful images, to show us what will happen to us when we smoke, or smoke for too long, and numbers too call to stop us smoking. Now for one, English cigarette packets already health warnings in big bold font all over them already, now though I cant quote any statistics here, surely if they had to print more health warning onto of other health warnings, that means those original health warnings were not working as well as they hoped they would do, so what's the point of putting pictures on the boxes, when we already know from the ORIGINAL warnings exactly what's going to happen to us, we really don't need a graphical demonstration, especially since they are on the tv all the time anyway. And besides so far as I can see these useless pictures have only provided merriment and joy to my fellow smokers as we compare our packs gleefully outside the local, arguing which one of us had the most brutal picture, meanwhile puffing away! and tragically my opponent our pictures are printed onto our packs rather than stuck. So our bongs over here remain upsettingly unadorned with smiley faces.

2. The under the counter law, I feel is most confusing to me. Simply because I have no idea, how it will stop smoking. The strange thing is, is that really it has no effect on me at all, and it shouldn't, buts its just the principle that irks me. Let me outline why it will probably have no effect on smokers at all, the health secretary Alan Johnson said the ban Intended to "reduce impulsive buying, particularly by teenagers" Now two things here appear wrong to me, for one if he is referring to underage smokers, then surely the methods to stop them buying should be stricter controls on ID. Harsher punishments for those caught selling. If the law is intended for teenagers over age, like me for example, then why the hell do they think it will cause a difference? The only time I've ever impulsively bought a pack, is in a pub, from a vending machine. At least by removing those they have stopped me at least, from impulsively buying cigarettes. Oh wait, vending machines are not going to be affected by the new law.

3. These laws will cause very small tedious, and insignificant changes to my life. So why am I making such a fuss over them? Its just the principle the government feels it can constantly meddle in my personal life style that gets to me.

Once again I apologise to my opponent for being a terrible debater, and fingers crossed he doesn't slate me to badly in the next round!


I'm afraid I can't accept my opponent's change in resolution, despite that he's new to the site and it was an innocent mistake. The reason I can't accept the change in resolution is because I agree with my opponent that the under-the-counter law is ridiculous, and in my opinion simply the Government's way of looking like they are doing something about stamping out smoking, without actually stamping out smoking. I would not have accepted this debate were it about the under-counter law, as I have no arguments as to why the law will be effective in any way. I was going to accept the change in resolution and just research why the law was enacted in the first place and so forth, but after 15 minutes Googling, couldn't find one convincing argument for it.

I'm not really sure what to do here, because I don't know if it's bad conduct to not accept a resolution change mid-debate. On the other hand, if I accept the change of resolution, it will be an instant loss for me regardless, because I happen to agree with my opponent's position as CON. This is basically how I see it though: the debate resolution I accepted was "Smoking Packet Pictures", and my opponent's first round argument made it quite clear that this is what we would be arguing. My opponent has conceded to my arguments from Round 1 that the pictures should remain in place, and I therefore have nothing to add. We've agreed that the pictures should remain in place, hence I have fullfilled my obligation as PRO.
Debate Round No. 2


Well to that, im afraid, leaves me with no option but to conceed to my oponent as, even though it was a small mistake, it was a stupid one, and I appologise for wasting my oponents time! At least we both a agree that the under the counter law is stupid!

Thanks to everyone who read this far, ill try be more careful in the future!



No apology necessary my man, it was an innocent mistake and you haven't wasted my time. Thanks for posting the debate, and I hope we can have a debate in the future that doesn't end like this one. Cheers.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Nik 7 years ago
ha, well at first i didnt, but the site wouldnt let me post my argument, so i put astericks on everything i could think of, but still the think wouldnt let me post it. It took me a while to figure out that, f a g is a swear word in america!
Posted by brian_eggleston 7 years ago
Nik, in R1 you wrote:

"I did it because ive had a bad day and ive walked 15 minutes down the bl**dy street in the rain to go look for some."

There's no need for the asterisks. This is an American site and "bloody" is not a swear word there. In fact, lots of expletives we use aren't considered obscene over there.

For example, if in the next round you decide to refer to the anti-smoking lobby as a "pack of wankers who talk a load of bollocks" go ahead, it's not swearing!
Posted by mastajake 7 years ago
so the gov. created a problem says hey I will fix it, and attempts to look like the good guy and reap the benefits... whats new
Posted by Im_always_right 7 years ago
IT gives artists a job which makes unemployment go down. Just ignore it.
Posted by crackofdawn 7 years ago
You're asking for commentary, there's nothing to debate really unless the opposition chooses it.
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