The Instigator
abard124
Pro (for)
Losing
28 Points
The Contender
Jaypeterson
Con (against)
Winning
43 Points

Smoking should be made illegal

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/9/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 30,132 times Debate No: 7320
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (23)
Votes (12)

 

abard124

Pro

Everyone knows that smoking kills. That's not why it should be made illegal. Nicotine is very addictive. That is not why it should be illegal.
I am not a smoker because I value my own life. However, I believe suicide, should someone want it, should be legal. I consider smoking "prolonged suicide." Honestly, that is why I don't smoke, but that is not why it should be illegal.
Okay, I'm done with that weird repetitive schpiel. I'll get to the point ("Get on with it!"). Smokers inhale approximately 10% of the smoke from their smoking device of choice. Where does the other 90% go? Right into the air. Now, regarding the air, we're all communists. I'm sure someday someone will capitalize air ($10 to go to the breathing station. The air is more pure. guaranteed!), but for now, we're communist. It's everyone's air, so whatever a smoker puts in the air, everyone else gets to breathe it in. Generally, it's not that big of a deal, but if someone lights up right next to you and you would be inconvenienced to move, you get a good dose of nicotine, CO, and a bunch of other unthinkable chemicals.
My objective in this debate is to:
1) Convince the voters that smoking should be outright illegal, for many reasons.
2) Do so in such a way as to even convince smokers that they are hurting more than themselves.
3) Spell out a reasonable method to outlaw smoking, because it is addictive, and it isn't easy to kick the habit.
Jaypeterson

Con

Thank you for creating this debate, because it sounds like a really interesting one. This is my first time debating on this site and I hope it�€™ll go well.
From what I read, your air pollution argument is the main reason that you want smoking illegal, so I�€™m going to rebut that point. There are so much more other pollutants in the atmosphere that can harm the environment other than smoking. Smoking generates the least amount of air pollution, and it�€™s barely recognizable compared to other pollutants, such as carbon dioxide released by fossil fuels burring and deforestation. The biggest cause for the air pollution is caused by burning fossil fuels and automobiles that combust fuel; these two are responsible for 90% of the air pollution in the U.S. There are power plants and manufacturing units/industries that are clearly related to the air pollution that we have. So frankly, smoking cigarettes would not cause such a catastrophe as you might think. Instead, we should look for different alternatives for saving energy, or buy ourselves cars that are efficient. Maybe, we should reuse different materials, buy recycled products, and use only the amount of energy we need. Banning cigarette just to avoid having air pollution doesn�€™t make sense.
�€œGenerally, it's not that big of a deal, but if someone lights up right next to you and you would be inconvenienced to move, you get a good dose of nicotine, CO, and a bunch of other unthinkable chemicals.�€�
Second-hand smoke can be avoided. We shouldn�€™t make smoking �€œoutright illegal,�€� instead we should pass down regulations, limiting the places where someone can smoke. We can stop smokers from smoking in public places, like in a bus, or in a community center, etc. Restaurants and bars can put signs up where people aren�€™t allowed to smoke. Therefore, individuals who do not want second-hand smoke can avoid having �€œa bunch of other unthinkable chemicals.�€� Logically, a person, who doesn�€™t want a bunch of chemicals in them, can simply walk away.
Debate Round No. 1
abard124

Pro

You make a good argument, although I think you may have misinterpreted mine a little bit.
Maybe I wasn't clear, as I often am not. what I meant was that secondhand smoke at close range is not easily avoided, and any exposure at all to secondhand smoke is dangerous. Yes smoking does cause pollution, and yes, you are correct that it is a negligible amount. We do need to reduce pollution, but that is a different debate.
Your other point was pretty good. Maybe I could avoid secondhand smoke if they banned smoking in public places, as they have in Utah, because I don't smoke, and I wouldn't allow anyone to smoke within 15 feet of my house, but what if someone was a smoker that had a child. That child would be unfairly disadvantaged. Compounds in tobacco smoke can cause learning deficiencies, among other things, so the child is already placed at a lower level even before they are born. It doesn't seem fair that, until the child moves out or the parent stops smoking, that child is absolutely disadvantaged. It is horrible for me to think about. Until the child knows that smoking is bad, they can't even tell their parents to stop smoking. Let me tell you a story. When I was about 2 (way too long ago), it must have been my dad's 35th birthday party. I don't remember it at all, but from what he tells me, he was smoking a cigar. He didn't smoke often but he sometimes had a cigar at parties. He had always told me that smoking was bad. A 2 year old version of me walked up to him and reminded him of what he always told me. At that moment, he put down the cigar and never smoked anything again.
The reason I shared that story was basically just to show that kids are influenced by their parents' behaviors, and they want their parents to be healthy. Luckily, my dad wasn't addicted, but many parents are, and often times, smoking calms people a bit too much.
If you have ever read the book "Kluge" by Gary Marcus (if you haven't, I strongly recommend it), you will know that a kluge in the human mind puts present above future, so the parent might say to the child that the cigarettes calm them, instead of listening to a 2 year old lecturing them about how smoking kills.
On a fairly unrelated note, I'd like to briefly address the issue of how I would outlaw smoking if I were "his holiness the supreme divine dictator of the United States of America" (isn't that a nice title!). Obviously you couldn't just pass a bill that outlaws it. People are addicted, so that bill would work almost as well as prohibition. What I would first do is raise cigarette taxes unfairly. That would cut the numbers down to a reasonable amount, while giving the government a few bucks at the same time. What I then would do is issue every remaining smoker a registration card which expires in 3 months. The only legal way to buy cigarettes is to scan the registration card. The only way to renew it is to join a 12 step program, or something of the like. The cards will be taxed, and the amount of time it is renewed for is based on an evaluation by the stop smoking clinic of how hard you are trying. Once again, the government has an opportunity to make a few bucks. Obviously, however much some people try, they are so hooked that they will not be able to quit. Obviously, if they are that hooked, as long as they make a concerted effort to quit, they can still renew their card for the standard 3 months. Once only those people, and those willing to contribute a fair registration tax every month, will be left, the average life expectancy of smokers are much lower than non-smokers, so within about 50 years, the country will be smoke free.
You make a good argument, and I look forward to your rebuttal on this one.
Jaypeterson

Con

Thank you for returning back to the debate.
From your argument, you are worried that parents would smoke inside their homes, resulting in second-hand smoke for their children. You are absolutely right, and I am also disgusted when parents do that. But instead of banning the parents from smoking entirely, we can pass down regulations and laws that can stop parents from smoking at home. We have the Child, Family and Community Service Act and Children's Protective Service. Both of these can easily protect the children's health from being neglected by their parents. These parents will get into trouble if they do any harm, including second-hand smoke, to their children. Children are already protected by the community, so you don't have to worry about a child being contaminated by harmful chemicals. The child may be clueless about their situations, but neighbors can always contact Children's Protective Service and there are countless of investigations carried out by social workers to find out if children are being abused/neglected.
You are saying that parents can influence kids. But we cannot outlaw a parents' decision to do what they like in their own life. There are many other worse things that a parent can do in their life that can greatly influence children. For example, parents may go to casinos and gamble, and their children may become aware of this. Should we outlaw gambling? Obviously not. Everyone is guaranteed the right to purse happiness. Even parents have a life, other than taking care of their children; they are like everyone else who have the right to pursue happiness.
To legally purchase cigarettes, you have to be 18 years old. Therefore, we trust that our adults are smart enough to realize the harmful effects smoking can do to them. If they are aware of the harmful effects, and yet they are continuing to do it, it's their choice and we should not force them to stop something they are not willing to give up. First of all, they are not harming anyone else and they are just enjoying what they like to do. A person can make their own decisions in life. They shouldn't be forced by the government to follow a "12 step program." It is unfair and unjust for the government to intervene and pose a program that will not solve anything. In US, there are over 46 million adults who smoke, nearly 1 in every 4 people. Do you really think that all of them will comply with the program? To create this program, we will require a lot of funding; it's a program that 46 MILLION people HAVE to join. There would not be enough space or money to fund this program. Even if we can finally come up with billions of dollars, it will merely be a waste of money. I do not even think half of all the smokers will even try to stop smoking. It will simply not work. Bringing the price of cigarettes up by a few dollars will definitely cause disruption and protests from smokers. Out of all 46 MILLION people, there will be outcry and rage at the unfairness of the government.
Debate Round No. 2
abard124

Pro

I am sincerely apologetic that I didn't get this in earlier. I've been procrastinating today, and frankly, your argument is really good, so it isn't easy to rebut.
I did notice, however, that the Child, family, and community service act was a Canadian act. Well, I have to say that Canada really is a role model that America should really look to more. That being said, what we have is far less comprehensive.
Something else I noticed is that you said, "But instead of banning the parents from smoking entirely, we can pass down regulations and laws that can stop parents from smoking at home."
That would make sense, except in a previous argument, you wrote, "We can stop smokers from smoking in public places."
Then the only logical place they could smoke is a designated smoking area. They'd have to go there every timne they had a craving. That's why they'd need to kick the habit. Also, you say it should be illegal to smoke inside the home, which I obviously agree, but if it is only illegal inside the home, how would thy enforce that. If it was illegal everywhere, there would be much fewer smokers. It is undeniable that illegalizing it works fairly well, as there are many fewer smokers of Marijuana than tobacco. Obviously we couldn't get EVERYONE to stop. That is impossible and unrealistic. They could get cigarettes off the black market, but not legally. They would most likely smoke inside their house, because the constitution protects from unwarranted search and seizure, and the police are unlikely to be that stringent, for lack of a better term.
Now, that may have seemed a little self-incriminating, so to speak, but trust me, I had a point. If cigarettes were totally outlawed, maybe 1 percent of everyone would smoke inside their house. Now, if smoking was only legal in designated smoking areas, if someone had a craving at 11:30 at night, smoking inside the home would be comparable to speeding. It's only serious if it becomes chronic.
I do understand that you might bring up Prohibition, however, that was passed because almost everyone was drinking a lot because of the depression. 24% of people is much more easily controlled that 95%.
I will admit that my plan was a bit ambitious. That is why it would take place very slowly. If cigarette prices go up 50 cents every 2 months, they might be a bit disgruntled, but not as much as if I just spiked it to 10 dollars a pack over one day. Then, I would maybe issue cigarette tax break to those who enter the program. There are many ways to smooth the transition, and I know people would find ways around it, but eventually it would make at least a lasting impact.
I don't care what people do to themselves. It's their body, and however revolting it is to me, they get to reap the natural consequences. If they want to tattoo every inch of their body, do every drug under the sun, and get plastic surgery so as to look like a tarantula, fine by me. It's not until they expel a substance that takes away other people's liberties. You might say that I am taking away their liberties. I also believe that the law takes away the liberties for people to rape and murder. Unfair, isn't it.
Jaypeterson

Con

Thank you for returning back to the debate. I procrastinate very frequently as well, so do not worry.

Sorry for the misconception, but when I wrote, "we can pass down regulations and laws that can stop parents from smoking at home," I meant "inside the house;" so parents are still permitted to smoke on their lawn, on their pavement, their backyard, etc. The problem with smoking inside the house is that the smoke will likely be trapped inside the house, piercing through the bed sheets, carpet, walls, etc. And children can directly come into contact with the smoke, resulting in second-hand smoke.

Laws are laws, and there will always be people who will break them. Just because they break them, it does not mean we should not enforce these rules. For example, when someone grows marijuana at their homes, it may be hard to find out, because "the constitution protects them from unwarranted search and seizure, and police are unlikely to be that stringent." Just because it is hard for the police to capture these offenders, it does not mean we should just let them grow marijuana; we cannot let them do whatever they want. Neighbors can always report these offenders to the police.

When I was a kid, my parents used to smoke. Whenever they had a craving, they would simply go outside to the lawn, and smoke. They would never ever come inside the house to smoke, because it causes chemicals to fly through the house. They did not distract me or influence me to smoke in any way; in fact, they made me realize what kind of harm smoking can do to a person. To this day, I have never smoked once.

There are always bars and restaurants out there where people are freely allowed to smoke, and this seems like a fine place for a bunch of people to hang out. They understand the harms/consequences, and they continue to go there. It seems unjust for us to ban these groups from doing something they love to do that is not harming anyone else. You stated that you "do not care what people do to themselves," meaning as long as smokers do not harm anyone else, it should be fine. Therefore, we should not ban smoking entirely; because it is something that will not work and it will only be a catastrophic idea.
Debate Round No. 3
abard124

Pro

Good argument!
Okay, I do understand that smoking outside would help the problem. There is no denying that. However, I recently did some research, and I found out that there is no safe level of second hand smoke, especially for children. This includes: If the child steps outside; the smoke on you clothes; and other minor things. It's still dangerous to more people than smokers. And don't forget about pregnant women.

Rarely do I post an argument and think I did everything right. This is one of the things I did wrong. Obviously the police shouldn't give up if someone is breaking the law, I think I was just trying to get the point across that only banning smoking inside the house wouldn't be terribly effective.

Your story is very good. I wish more people were like you. Unfortunately, statistics show that you are in the minority. I strongly suggest that you, as well as the voters, read this article: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com...
That article really gets the point across that it affects kids in ways beyond asthma and bronchitis issues. It does acknowledge that there are people, like you, who are not affected by their parents smoking, but there is a definite correlation.

Your last paragraph is true... in some places, that is. I live in Oregon. Smoking is banned in all enclosed public places, with the exception of tobacconists, cigar bars, and no more than 25% of all hotel rooms. There are similar laws in other states already. "It seems unjust for us to ban these groups from doing something they love to do that is not harming anyone else." So what, non smokers can't go into those rooms? Or even those buildings? Or hang out with patrons of those buildings? I understand that many people enjoy smoking. People also enjoy smoking weed. People also enjoy smoking crack. Some people enjoy the effects brought on by Meth. Does that mean they should be legal? of course not. Same goes for smoked tobacco. If you are reading this and are a smoker yourself, I strongly encourage you to quit, or at least understand the side effects, both on yourself and others. If you are a non smoker, you should understand the direct effects of secondhand smoke upon yourself and let your friends and elected officials know.

I would like to thank my opponent for an excellent debate, and may the best man win!
Jaypeterson

Con

I would like to thank abard124 for posting another argument.

I know many responsible parents out there who will ONLY smoke when their children are not around them. They should completely be allowed to smoke in ways that will not harm their children. Parents should always ensure that their children are inside their house while they smoke on their lawn; so therefore, second-hand smoke will not be a problem. I believe the government should create more commercials and advertisements, telling other parents the risks they put on their children when they smoke AROUND their children. As long as parents take measures to prevent second-hand smoke, it will not be a problem. Minor things like smoke on clothing can be taken care of by responsible parents. We believe parents are able to handle these things, because ultimately; these are THEIR children, and they will likely to do everything it takes to take good care of them. I do understand that there are also negligent and reckless parents out there, but the Child, Family, and Community service Act (that I mentioned earlier) and Children's Protective Service should take care of that. They will take custody of those children who are being neglected.

My opponent said," So what, non smokers can't go into those rooms? Or even those buildings? Or hang out with patrons of those buildings?" Non-smokers can definitely enter these rooms, but they are fully aware of the harms that can be done to them; there are signs everywhere stating smoking is permitted. If they do not want to have any contact with smokers, they can simply go somewhere else.

Cigarette products produce about 48 million dollars income for the government. We can use this money effectively and efficiently by establishing rehabilitation centers for smokers who want to quit, and help those who are ill and sick.

We do not want to live in a police state, where the government has a role to make everything, that harms us, illegal. If we ban cigarettes, we might as well ban high fat and sugary food, because they also harm us in many ways. Food is also something that is really addictive (similar to cigarettes), resulting in obesity. "Nearly one third of American adults are obese, and a study suggests that one in four overweight children is already showing early signs of type II diabetes, while 60% have a risk factor for heart disease. An estimated 300,000 deaths per year are attributable to obesity. Obese individuals have a 50% to 100% increased risk of death from all causes, compared with normal-weight individuals." These statistics are from http://www.liposuction-costs.com... Sugary and high-calories-foods are also very dangerous to children, teenagers, and seniors. If we ban cigarettes, we should also ban junk foods.

I would also like to thank abard124 for such an interesting debate. I am looking forward to debate with you on other issues. May the best man win!
Debate Round No. 4
23 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by sadolite 2 years ago
sadolite
abard124 The votes you got are from people who still belive in freedom.
Posted by quitsmoking 2 years ago
quitsmoking
jessica marcellaro

In today's society it's questionable whether cigarette smoking should be banned or not. I strongly feel that it should be banned. My main argument towards this is that smoking obviously harms people's health and further on can cause death. Other people disagree and feel that smoking shouldn't be allowed because of its' money aspect. I really feel that money should never come before health. It is immensely more important to live a longer live healthy, than live a shorter life unhealthy.
It's obvious that many various governments make huge profits from levying taxes on cigarettes. These taxes provide funds that are used for building schools, hospitals and other public amenities. The tobacco industry also employs thousands of people throughout the world, especially in poor countries such as Zimbabwe or India. Without cigarettes, these people would have no jobs. It would affect jobs such as, tobacco farmers, manufacturers, and other businesses that produce, distribute, and sell tobacco products. "When California proposed a new 2006 tax referendum on tobacco extraction, tobacco companies were able to painlessly drop almost $700 million in advertisements to defeat it." (Head 1) This shows just how much money these companies do make by selling tobacco. People argue that in places such as bars or restaurants, customers and employees should be able to make their own decisions about the risks they're
Marcellaro 2
willing to take in exchange for being near smoking. Even with having the choice between working in a place where secondhand smoke is in the vicinity or having no job at all, many of these workers would prefer to keep the job. With all of this said, I still don't think these are good enough reasons for people to still be capable to smoke.
Cigarettes contain five hundred ninety nine additives and is a delivery system for toxic chemicals and carcinogens. Cigarette smoking causes an estimated 443,000 deaths each year. Mor
Posted by quitsmoking 2 years ago
quitsmoking
In today's society it's questionable whether cigarette smoking should be banned or not. I strongly feel that it should be banned. My main argument towards this is that smoking obviously harms people's health and further on can cause death. Other people disagree and feel that smoking shouldn't be allowed because of its' money aspect. I really feel that money should never come before health. It is immensely more important to live a longer live healthy, than live a shorter life unhealthy.
It's obvious that many various governments make huge profits from levying taxes on cigarettes. These taxes provide funds that are used for building schools, hospitals and other public amenities. The tobacco industry also employs thousands of people throughout the world, especially in poor countries such as Zimbabwe or India. Without cigarettes, these people would have no jobs. It would affect jobs such as, tobacco farmers, manufacturers, and other businesses that produce, distribute, and sell tobacco products. "When California proposed a new 2006 tax referendum on tobacco extraction, tobacco companies were able to painlessly drop almost $700 million in advertisements to defeat it." (Head 1) This shows just how much money these companies do make by selling tobacco. People argue that in places such as bars or restaurants, customers and employees should be able to make their own decisions about the risks they're

willing to take in exchange for being near smoking. Even with having the choice between working in a place where secondhand smoke is in the vicinity or having no job at all, many of these workers would prefer to keep the job. With all of this said, I still don't think these are good enough reasons for people to still be capable to smoke.
Cigarettes contain five hundred ninety nine additives and is a delivery system for toxic chemicals and carcinogens. Cigarette smoking causes an estimated 443,000 deaths each year. More deaths are caused each year by t
Posted by abard124 5 years ago
abard124
Okay, I must say, although it's legitimately a loss, I must have convinced someone of something, because when I take this strong of an underdog position, I expect to be killed. Yet, it's not too bad for me. I feel good that I convinced someone (I hope).
Posted by wjmelements 5 years ago
wjmelements
I feel like I'd be too biased to vote. A lot of my family has died of smoking, but I think that banning it would lead to riots. Therefore, I side with CON.
Posted by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
The "no exposure is safe" claim is unproven. Silicon Valley had cigar bars using clean room technology to make the air many times cleaner than the air outdoors. Anti-smoking fanatics claimed they were still unsafe, and shut them down. Any travel by automobile is "unsafe." That is not an argument for banning automobiles, even for pleasure trips. What is perfectly safe?
Posted by David090 5 years ago
David090
For the record, I'm a non smoker.

Pro in this argument states: "what if someone was a smoker that had a child. That child would be unfairly disadvantaged."

While I see the point of this argument, I really get irritated when people use children to justify their arguments. Yes, children need to be protected and adults should look after them.

But quite frankly, in so many debates people seem to justify their position with "it's best for the children."

Using children like this is a low blow to your opponent because how can anyone then argue the issue at hand with you? And "it's best for the children" is dragged into almost every topic. I'm waiting for someone to say that we should ban green apples in favor of red apples because it's best for the children. Give me a break.

Furthermore I disagree with CON that Child Protective Services should be brought in to punish parents who have children that smoke. There are far more cases of SERIOUS child abuse going on that need to be addressed without hassling good parents who happen to smoke.

I'm not in favor of sending a social worker out to repremand parents who smoke when he/she could be going to a house where a kid is being beaten to death. CPS is overworked as it is.

As far as health risks to the child, I grew up in a house FULL of smokers and I'm just fine as is my brother.

While I understand your agruments, and enjoyed your debates very much, please in the future...Leave the kids out of it.
Posted by abard124 5 years ago
abard124
Ethan: could you have been thinking of Emphysema? Leukemia doesn't have to do with smoking. I hear what you are saying, but cigarette smoke contains far higher concentrations of bad chemicals, and no exposure is safe. You might not get much, but you get some, and that is bad.

Sadolite: I hear you, too, but you are every bit as biased as I am, and they can easily prove most of those. Either way, the surgeon general said it. Your second comment would have benefited from sources.
Posted by sadolite 5 years ago
sadolite
Unintended consequences of banning smoking, an abrupt end to Obamas child health care program, an end to additional revenue collected by federal govt and tens of thousands of unemployed people who spend money and pay taxes.
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