The Instigator
nikola.treimane
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Endy
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Smoking ban in public areas

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/17/2015 Category: Health
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 985 times Debate No: 70221
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (0)

 

nikola.treimane

Pro

Smoking is a dangerous habit that affects not only the smoker, but the people around. Have you ever thought about people who would like to breath in fresh air instead of smoke? Many humans think that smoking should be banned especially in public areas. It causes addiction and serious health problems. I believe that it is a good idea to ban smoking, because it is a way how to reduce the number of smokers and take care of people's health.
Endy

Con

My opponent's initial argument is certainly an idea, but it's not a solution. It hinges on the statement that banning smoking in public areas will reduce the number of smokers in the world and increase overall health of the human population. While everyone needs to agree that smoking is unhealthy, the carcinogenic properties of tar mutating DNA to drastically increase one's chances of cancer, the former part of the argument is not a tenable position. This is because banning smoking in public areas will not reduce the number of smokers, for a variety of reasons. This comes done to something statisticians learned during the prohibition (USA, '20-'33), and many countries still witness around the decision to legalize or not legalize drugs of many kinds: if someone wants something enough, prevent them from doing it. In fact, in many cases it will happen more. This, however, would be a valid argument towards banning smoking entirely- if we're talking about just banning it in public areas then there is even less of an argument to have, because smokers will just smoke in non-public areas. The only change we would see is smokers moving indoors, which is much, much more hazardous for health (imagine the families, especially children, of these smokers). There are many solutions to smoking and smoking addictions, but banning it from happening and telling addicted people "you just can't do this anymore" is definitely not one of them.
Debate Round No. 1
nikola.treimane

Pro

Heart disease, bronchitis and lung cancer. That is what smokers try to avoid from day to day.
Recent research has shown that non-smokers can suffer health problems if they spend long periods of time among people who do smoke. I think the world would be a better place without cigarettes.

According to the Manitoba Medical Association it is known that the smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, 50 of which are known to be cancer-related. Also smoke has been linked to heart and respiratory disease; lung, breast, cervical, and nasal sinus cancers; strokes and miscarriages. In children, dangers include sudden infant death syndrome, fetal growth impairment, bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma and middle-ear disease.

Not permitting smoking in public areas may help people refrain from smoking. Some argue that there would be a significant decline in the clientele in bars and clubs, but non-smokers actually outnumber smokers three to one. A ban could actually increase people going out because nonsmokers would be more comfortable. There may also be a sudden realization of the dangers of smoking. With the state government taking a stand, it may cause people to take another look at the situation.

Smoking kills 7,000 New Yorkers a year. The number of smokers has dropped since 2002, but the decline has leveled up. The people that sell cigarettes should be ashamed by the fact that they find an excuse for it as a having a job. But that else can be the solution if not limiting people? How much money do they spend on buying cigarettes? A smoker will spend about $1,400 a year for one pack a day. I find this as a chance to buy something valuable instead of harming yourself and others. It is known that if you do not display the cigarettes the number of young people who smoke will immediately, because they buy cigarettes on impulse.
Endy

Con

Your first two paragraphs appear to me to be irrelevant, because I've already said that I agree with the fact that smoking is not healthy. Everyone agrees with the fact that smoking is not healthy. There simply isn't a tenable position that smoking is healthy, which is why I'm not arguing that and why that's not at all what we're debating. Smoking certainly does contain many chemicals and cause many diseases (even more than the ones you have listed!), and it is a given fact that if no one smoked, the world would certainly be a healthier place. But again, as I opened my first argument, you're not providing a solution (and neither is banning smoking in public places!).

Your third paragraph is simply not verified by any measures. It MAY help people refrain from smoking and SOME ARGUE that there'd be a decline and a ban COULD increase people going out and there MAY also be a sudden realization and it MAY cause people to take another look at the situation. Sure, but NASA may have faked the moon landing and I could be Harrison Ford. The cold truth of the matter is that not permitting people to smoke in public areas will not help people refrain from smoking. Like I have already stated, the prohibition did not stop people from drinking and many countries right now are examining the idea that making drugs against the law does not actually stop people from doing drugs. Here (http://www.leap.cc...) is a related article, geared towards drugs but still synonymous. Namely: "History has shown that drug prohibition reduces neither use nor abuse. After a rapist is arrested, there are fewer rapes. After a drug dealer is arrested, however, neither the supply nor the demand for drugs is seriously changed". According to a study done in 2013 (http://www.drugabuse.gov...), "55.8 million Americans" are addicting to cigarettes (and likely many more who aren't admitting to an addiction). Banning smoking entirely isn't going to stop these people from smoking, and banning smoking in public places is just going to have them smoke in private places. In many municipalities, bars and restaurants are considered private as they are privately owned and operated (just like the property they are on), and so a ban on smoking in public places could push people to these, in reality more populated, places to smoke.

I can't interpret your fourth paragraph to be in any way different from your first two: sure, smoking costs people who smoke a lot of money. I agree that they could buy something more valuable and more healthy, and that even your non-backed statement about the correlation between displaying cigarettes and cigarette sales likely true, but neither of them seem to have much relation to the debate of whether or not smoking in public should be banned. You did ask, "But that else can be the solution [to smoking being a prevalent addiction] if not limiting people [by banning it in public places]?" to which I will respond: the solution to this problem, rather than passing laws that say "you can't do that" from an ivory tower (which in paragraph 2 I have shown to not be an effective method) is the proper use of rehabilitation centers for addicts. Addiction is a sickness, and they need help- saying "well you can't do that, specifically just in this place" isn't going to help them.
Debate Round No. 2
nikola.treimane

Pro

The main problem was how to make non-smokers comfortable and at the same time try to reduce a number of smokers. I am sure that somebody will listen to smoking ban and respect others. I think that this is very important to make non-smokers comfortable, because they are not guilty of this situation. I BELIEVE that by disallowing people who smoke from smoking in public, it will cause smokers to smoke less. Because smoking is not allowed in public, people can smoke in their homes instead. This would mean that as long as they are out of their homes: at work, when they eat out, at the movies or even at the parks, they cannot smoke.

If smokers choose to quit or even think of quitting because of the inconvenience of not being able to smoke in public, would it not, more so, prevent a non-smoker from smoking? If people won't be able to smoke at their work and they would have to wait every time to get home. Wouldn't that be ridiculous? That MAY stop some of the people to smoke.

I think that if people won't smoke in public areas that would get non-smoker life's easier and much better. We could take children for example. I think that they have to cover their mouth and nose not to breath in the smoke which is irritating. In addition I would also like to POINT out that smoking ban can help public places be less toxic and polluted.

Nowadays people don't really care about others. Although everybody knows an obvious etiquette not to smoke when surrounded by many people, a large number of smokers don't seem to care so much about it.

Yes, I COMPLETELY agree with the fact that everyone has the right to smoke, but what they don't have the right to do is to inflict the dangers onto us who have taken the free choice not to. Passive smoking is enough to give someone COPD, Lung Cancer and Heart Disease, so why should we suffer because you want to practise a disgusting habit?

Smoking SHOULD be banned in public areas, because it cause many problems for non-smokers and the environment.
Endy

Con

I don't feel as though the arguments I proposed in my last statement were appreciated or answered, and so I will let them stand and instead respond to every one of my opponent's arguments in a step-wise manner, below:

1. "The main problem was how to make non-smokers comfortable and at the same time try to reduce a number of smokers. I am sure that somebody will listen to smoking ban and respect others. I think that this is very important to make non-smokers comfortable, because they are not guilty of this situation."

Response: I think non-smokers are already very comfortable. I don't smoke, and I couldn't be any more comfortable. Of course they aren't guilty for some other people smoking, so I'm not sure that this is relevant to the point at hand.

2. "Because smoking is not allowed in public, people can smoke in their homes instead. This would mean that as long as they are out of their homes: at work, when they eat out, at the movies or even at the parks, they cannot smoke."

Response: I would much prefer someone to smoke in a park than in their home. Smoking inside, particularly if other people (especially children) are around, is much more hazardous. I think that this may be common knowledge, but if not it can be found from many sources (here's one from Health Canada: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca...). If someone is addicted to smoking and would generally walk to the nearest park to smoke, banning them from doing so would just make smoking more accessible and more dangerous (because they would just smoke the exact same amount in their home instead).

3. "If smokers choose to quit or even think of quitting because of the inconvenience of not being able to smoke in public, would it not, more so, prevent a non-smoker from smoking?"

Response: If is a big word, and it's one that doesn't mean much in discussions about addiction. Your argument is very much true, but smokers aren't going to choose to quit because they can't smoke in public (please see my initial arguments for points and sources on this). If someone is addicted to something in the way that a smoker is addicted to smoking, telling them that they can't do it in a specific place is only going to push them into a different place to do it. This wouldn't make smokers quit at all, it would just herd them into different (and frankly more hazardous) places to do it. Non-smokers don't have many good reasons to take up smoking as it is, but the ones they do have would be unchanged by this ban.

4. "In addition I would also like to POINT out that smoking ban can help public places be less toxic and polluted."

Response: This is simply not true: smoke doesn't follow any of our laws, and if everyone smokes in private places (for example, inside a home), the smoke is going to eventually leave that home through a window, door, or chimney, thereby polluting the city exactly the same amount as if that person was smoking outside on the street.

5. "Nowadays people don't really care about others. Although everybody knows an obvious etiquette not to smoke when surrounded by many people, a large number of smokers don't seem to care so much about it."

Response: Private places are generally more densely populated than public ones. Imagine 10 smokers dispersed evenly through a public park versus the same 10 packed into a small, private building that traps the smoke in and suffocates everyone inside (smokers and non-smokers alike) until someone opens the door. As such, that argument furthers my point instead of yours.

6. "Smoking SHOULD be banned in public areas, because it cause many problems for non-smokers and the environment."

Response: I think there has been a misunderstanding in the way you've interpreted my initial argument. Banning smoking in public areas is actually going to cause MORE problems for non-smokers and make absolutely no difference to the environment.

For those many reasons outlined in my responses, I deny that smoking in public should be banned. Good luck Pro and thanks for the good debate- but vote Con, everyone! ;)
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Endy 2 years ago
Endy
Ah! Seconds after I posted my last statement I remembered an argument I had forgotten to make. Tobacco smoke is not really any worse than exhaust fumes, for either inhalation or the environment. People don't have any problem at all standing around moving or idling vehicles, so it's a double standard to mind people smoking nearby. If you can logically argue that smoking in public should be banned, the logical extension is that vehicles should be, too.
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