The Instigator
amberiscool
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Proving_a_Negative
Con (against)
Winning
5 Points

Smoking cigarettes should be made illegal.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Proving_a_Negative
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/8/2015 Category: Health
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 702 times Debate No: 69637
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)

 

amberiscool

Pro

Am I seriously the only one who wonders
why the deadliest artefact in human history
is legal? Over 6 million deaths a year are
caused by this product and the numbers are
only increasing. But even if present rates of
consumption drop down to zero by the year
2100, we"ll still have around 300 million
tobacco related deaths in this century.

5.5 trillion cigarettes are produced per year
and this leads to smoking being the major
cause of preventable, premature deaths.
And did you know that deaths caused by:
HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor
vehicle injuries and firearms, all together
are still less than the amount of tobacco
related deaths per year. As most of us
probably know, lung cancer is the primary
disease caused by cigarettes, yet what you
may not know is that almost every single
organ in the body is harmed by smoking.

Lung cancer, kidney cancer, larynx cancer,
breast cancer, periodontist gum disease
and chronic obstructive oesophagus disease,
are all only a few out of multiple different
diseases you can get from this deadly product.
After hearing these statistics can you still justify
for smokers why cigarettes should stay legal?

9 out of 10 people who get lung cancer are
getting it from smoking cigarettes. Lung cancer
develops quite slowly over varying periods of
time, even up to a few years. As the cancer
forms, it causes new blood vessels to form.
These vessels feed the cancer cells, which
allow a tumour to grow. The cancer can then
spread to other parts of the body and far too
often, all of that has happened before people
even begin to notice symptoms. Common
symptoms include persistent coughing, weight
loss, chest pains and coughing up blood.

Many smokers say that they should be allowed
to smoke because they use it as "a way of
relaxation" and they argue "what"s wrong
with enjoying life anymore?" To be honest,
I believe that majority of smokers don"t even
enjoy it. Nicotine acts by flooding the brain"s
reward circuits with dopamine (a chemical
messenger) and it acts on the chemistry of the
brain and the central nervous system. In simple
terms, this makes the smokers want more and more,
therefore, they become addicted.

At least 70% of smokers have said they do want
to quit smoking because they know that it is bad
for them. So sure, people still may argue that it its
people"s own choice if they want to smoke, but you
have to keep in mind that they are affecting
everybody else too.
Over 750,000 hospital beds per year are attributable
to tobacco-related diseases. This results in financial
losses from diminished labour productivity and in
many parts of the world, makes the poor even
poorer. As well as this, second-hand or "passive"
smoking is another issue for us non-smokers
in the community"

38,000 people die from passive smoking per year,
this is absolutely unacceptable! Innocent lives are
being taken from us every day, thanks to smokers.
As said by Arthur Caplan, bioethicist at New York
University School of Medicine's Division of Medical
Ethics "Once you have a substance out there like
tobacco, in wide use, it's hard to turn around and
make it illegal." This may be so, but it is still possible.

Surely the greedy, government will come to their
senses soon enough. But, the trouble for smokers
trying to quit though, can be quite bad. They will
start to experience withdrawal symptoms and
possibly go through depression, insomnia or
possibly just become more irritable. Surely it is all
worth it though because well over 7 billion Australian
dollars are going up in smoke each year. Imagine the
lives these smokers would have if they had an extra
$4-6000 dollars a year?
Proving_a_Negative

Con

Thank you for the debate. I will argue that cigarettes shouldn't be made illegal.

Cigarettes are a Choice
The consumer has the option to not smoke. All the information regarding the horrible consequences of cigarettes is readily available to them. Even on the package it is told to them. Proof is here: http://en.wikipedia.org... Addicts become addicts completely on their own will. It is also not an addiction like cocaine. You can completely quit smoking or known as "cold turkey." This isn't safe to do after a heavy addiction to cocaine. In fact, to quit smoking, all you need to do is quit smoking. Here is proof from an unbiased site (many sites will advertise their product, but his provides genuine research): http://whyquit.com...

Cigarettes are profit
A lot of tax dollars come from cigarettes. A lot of businesses rely on cigarettes (and also plenty that rely on people trying to quit). To completely ban them, you would severely impact the economy in a harmful way. 17.6 billion dollars were made from taxes in the year 2012 from cigarettes in the United States alone. This information can be found here: http://www.taxpolicycenter.org... Here is a list of businesses that would completely go under if cigarettes were banned, or at least suffer in the United States: http://www.revenue.nebraska.gov... This is not including anybody that profits from helping addicts quit smoking.

Second Hand Smoke
Second hand smoke is indeed a real problem, however it can be solved. We don't need to ban cigarettes to keep non smokers safe from them. We need to add more regulations where it is acceptable to smoke. Here you can see a list of laws passed aimed at protecting people from second hand smoke: http://betobaccofree.hhs.gov... Many of these laws prevent smoke from ever polluting the air in the first place. This is also a side effect of taxes. Higher taxes on a good decrease the amount of the good sold. You can argue that more regulations are needed, but banning smoking would do more harm than good.

Sources
1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
2. http://whyquit.com...
3. http://www.taxpolicycenter.org...
4. http://www.revenue.nebraska.gov...
5. http://betobaccofree.hhs.gov...
Debate Round No. 1
amberiscool

Pro

Cigarettes are a choice? Addicts become addicts completely on their own will? Well from what I've learnt by parents, cigarettes were continually pushed on them, from a young age. Most people smoked, and you were deemed "uncool' if you didn't. Now I'm not saying we can blame cigarette producers entirely for results of peer pressure, but what we can blame them for is the fact that 70% of current smokers would like to quit, but can't. They know how bad smoking is for them, but they're that addicted that they still can't manage to stop.

Sure, I agree that cigarettes are a huge profit, but you have to look at the end of the other scale too. Over 750,00 hospital beds are being taken by people with smoking related diseases every year. This results in losses from diminished labour productivity and in many parts of the world, makes the poor even poorer.
Proving_a_Negative

Con

Rebuttal
"Cigarettes are a choice?"

Yes. As far as I know, nobody has had a gun pointed at them and made them smoke. Perhaps maybe this has happened because there are always exceptions. These are so rare that they are just flukes.

"Addicts become addicts completely on their own will?"

Yes. This is a side effect that the consumer is well informed of when purchasing cigarettes. Since Cigarettes are a choice, so are the side effects of it.

"Well from what I've learnt by parents, cigarettes were continually pushed on them, from a young age."

I'm not sure exactly what you are saying at the beginning. You learned this from parents? Parents pushed cigarettes on them from a young age? It's one or the other, but I'm not sure. I'm going to guess you meant to say something like "I learned that parents continually push cigerattes on kids from a young age." You can only purchase cigarettes at the age of 18 or above. You are a legal adult and must take full responsibility for your actions. You can't blame your parents for a bad upbringing. Cigarettes are still a choice regardless.

"Most people smoked, and you were deemed 'uncool' if you didn't."

This is nothing but an incentive to smoke. You can look cool and smoke or choose not to smoke and look uncool. Again, you are a legal adult and must take full responsibility for your actions. There are also many incentives not to smoke also. The taxes, the side effects, and social unacceptableness of smoking lead people not to smoke.

"Now I'm not saying we can blame cigarette producers entirely for results of peer pressure, but what we can blame them for is the fact that 70% of current smokers would like to quit, but can't."

Where do you get the 70% number? I'm just curious. They can quit, but are too weak minded to do so. As stated before, all you need to do is quit smoking. Cold turkey works the best as stated in my source in the opening argument. They also have an alternative to cigarettes, electronic cigarettes. They work well at helping even highly dependent smokers. Here is the source: http://heartland.org...

"Over 750,00 [Note the typo isn't mine. He meant to say 750,000.] hospital beds are being taken by people with smoking related diseases every year. This results in losses from diminished labour productivity and in many parts of the world, makes the poor even poorer."

Where do you get this number? They are also paying for that hospital bed through both bills and excessively high taxes. Cigarettes are the highest taxed good in the United States. Check this website out: http://www.ehow.com...; We should also make unhealthy diets illegal since this would prevent countless hospital beds from being taken up by people with just cardiovascular diseases alone. The poor have the choice to spend the money as they wish. If they choose to purchase cigarettes then so be it.

Sources
1. http://heartland.org...
2. http://www.ehow.com...
Debate Round No. 2
amberiscool

Pro

What I meant at the start of my argument, is that my parents were both pressured into smoking starting from a young age. Dad was telling me a story not long ago about how when he went to the footy, as about a 12 year old kid, they'd have lady's giving out free sample cigarettes, to try and promote their product. This obviously has not happened in very recent times, but it was only 30 or so years ago when this was a common thing. If this isn't pressuring young people (and mind you underage too) into smoking, then I don't know what is. It's from things like this that both my parents, and I'm sure many others, were led to start smoking, and they are still struggling with the addiction today.

To be honest, I can't remember where I got my statistics from because it was quite some time ago and it appears that I didn't save my references. But, it can be quite difficult for people to quit because nicotine acts by flooding the brain"s reward circuits with dopamine (a chemical messenger) and it acts on the chemistry of the brain and the central nervous system. In simple terms, this makes the smokers want more and more, therefore, they become addicted.

Sorry my typo, my bad. Also unhealthy diets are only affecting the people who consume them. Passive smoking is another issue that I can bring up if you like..
Proving_a_Negative

Con

Rebuttal
"Dad was telling me a story not long ago about how when he went to the footy, as about a 12 year old kid, they'd have lady's giving out free sample cigarettes, to try and promote their product. This obviously has not happened in very recent times, but it was only 30 or so years ago when this was a common thing."

This would never be allowed today, as you said 30 or so years ago. It was a common thing maybe back then, but now its illegal to do said actions. This is not applicable to today's society.

"If this isn't pressuring young people (and mind you underage too) into smoking, then I don't know what is. It's from things like this that both my parents, and I'm sure many others, were led to start smoking, and they are still struggling with the addiction today."

This is based off of 30 years ago problems. Regulations had to be put in place. Back then, they weren't quite sure if smoking was all that bad. Now we know without a doubt that there are 30 or more carcinogens in smoke fumes. This is what lead to a huge rebellion in smoking. I'm sure if your parents knew all the hazards associated with smoking they wouldn't have started to begin with. If they did and began smoking then it's their fault. They were just unlucky in that they don't have the knowledge we do today. Thus smoking should remain legal.

"But, it can be quite difficult for people to quit because nicotine acts by flooding the brain"s reward circuits with dopamine (a chemical messenger) and it acts on the chemistry of the brain and the central nervous system. In simple terms, this makes the smokers want more and more, therefore, they become addicted."

It is difficult, but it is also possible. Hardcore drugs such as cocaine will kill you if you cold turkey them. Once you are addicted to those kinds of drugs, you must slowly and carefully reduce the intake of the drug until you officially cold turkey. Your parents just need the right motivation to quit, like many others who try to quit but end up failing. Normally this motivation comes from financial situation, loved one gets cancer, or the like. Remember, people who begin smoking today know what risks they take.

"Also unhealthy diets are only affecting the people who consume them."

Not if they are taking up spots in the hospital like you said with smokers. Second hand smoke is a problem with cigarettes. However, making them illegal will do more harm than good. Also, second hand smoke is very controllable by not allowing people to smoke in public. They have designated places where people can smoke freely. This system works fairly well. Also, by increasing taxes they reduce the number of smokers in the world. This means less second hand smoke to even worry about. Therefore, second hand smoke shouldn't make cigarettes illegal.
Debate Round No. 3
amberiscool

Pro

I do still believe that it is applicable because that it what has caused many people to begin smoking in the first place. So why even give people the option to smoke anymore? Sure there'll be select people who still do smoke, even when it is against the law, but the number of smokers will definitely drop dramatically. Also, we will be stopping the generations to come to even begin the nasty habit in the first place.

I am well aware that it is possible to quit. Both my parents have tried numerous times and ultimately failed. Don't get me wrong though, I do know of people who have managed to pull the pin altogether, but its been a real struggle, and quitting cold turkey can be one of the hardest things. As I mentioned before, the nicotine in cigarettes acts by flooding the brains reward circuits. Therefore, when people do try and quit cold turkey, they are left just wanting cigarettes more and more. More symptoms of smokers trying to quit are withdrawal symptoms, depression and even insomnia. So why let the youngsters of our generation to even try a cigarette, and push them to go through all this?

"Making them illegal will do more harm than good."
But will it really? Or will it make the 70% of smokers who want to quit, but can't, lives better? Also increased taxes can't solve everybodys problems. Sure, it will slightly decrease the amount of smokers, but it is never going to erase the problem completely.
Proving_a_Negative

Con

Rebuttal

"I do still believe that it is applicable because that it what has caused many people to begin smoking in the first place."

About 30 years ago they didn't know if smoking was really all that bad. After this, it became clear that smoking was absolutely awful for your lungs and then restrictions were put in place to protect consumers. Now people know what they are getting into when they purchase a pack and puff away. Therefore, this argument is invalid.

"So why even give people the option to smoke anymore? Sure there'll be select people who still do smoke, even when it is against the law, but the number of smokers will definitely drop dramatically. Also, we will be stopping the generations to come to even begin the nasty habit in the first place."

Because of all the reasons said before. It is their choice to live their lives the way they want. Would it be fair to outlaw bad diets, video games, poor grades in school, not exercising, and such? Let's take the grades for example. Many people want good grades, but don't have the motivation for it. Making it illegal to get bad grades would be motivation, but not moral. It really comes down to what they want to become. If smokers really want to quit smoking, they can. If a bad student really wants to be in the honor roll, he can. They just need to try.

"So why let the youngsters of our generation to even try a cigarette, and push them to go through all this?"

Because it is their choice just like getting bad grades.

"But will it really? Or will it make the 70% of smokers who want to quit, but can't, lives better? Also increased taxes can't solve everybodys problems. Sure, it will slightly decrease the amount of smokers, but it is never going to erase the problem completely."

*Sigh* We are officially going in circles for this debate. More regulations need to be put in place to protect non smokers from smokers. I will agree to that. This doesn't mean we should ban smoking. That is taking it too far.
Debate Round No. 4
amberiscool

Pro

amberiscool forfeited this round.
Proving_a_Negative

Con

Proving_a_Negative forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Proving_a_Negative 2 years ago
Proving_a_Negative
Nobody wants to vote?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
Blade-of-Truth
amberiscoolProving_a_NegativeTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct - Tie. Both forfeited the final round, thus cancelling out the poor conduct of one another and leaving it tied. S&G - Tie. Both had some minor errors, but neither really stood out as better or worse than the other. Arguments - Con. Pro starts by arguing that the addictive properties and high death rate should give cause for making cigs illegal. Con argued that smoking is a choice, beneficial for the economy, and can have the harms reduced with stricter regulations. Pro never really rebuts the regulations point throughout the debate. The choice argument from Con was also never really rebutted by Pro, who instead, repeated an argument about the chemical dependence it creates. The problem with this argument, which Con raises, is that smoking is a choice. This fact was never properly overcome by Pro. On the flip side, Con was able to fully rebut each point raised by Pro. This left me leaning towards Con by the end. Sources - Con. Pro never utilized sources, whereas Con did.