The Instigator
Frost
Pro (for)
Losing
2 Points
The Contender
KnowItAll
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points

Smoking should be made illegal

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
KnowItAll
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/15/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,414 times Debate No: 29239
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (3)

 

Frost

Pro

First round is acceptance. Good luck!
KnowItAll

Con

You challenge is accepted. I look forward to debating this interesting topic.
Debate Round No. 1
Frost

Pro

I believe that smoking should be made illegal in all public places because smoking kills, plain and simple. In fact if we wanted to get a sense of how dangerous cigarette smoke actually is we could look to a study provided by info research lab where they say that around 6 million deaths a year can be atributed to tobacco [1]. Of these 6 million deaths 600,000 are people who were killed by second hand smoke [2]. The WHO continues and states that 40% of children are exposed to second hand smoke regularly [2]. So not only is tobacco polluting our air, air that we all breathe, it is directly harming our children. The impacts of this new research are so shocking that for the first time ever, a majority of Americans support a public ban on smoking [3]. However my number one argument for banning smoking is that when used according to the directions smoking kills you. There are no benefits of smoking that can outweigh this fact. Smoking kills. We know the dangers of smoking, it's time that we do something to make our future a little less hazy.

I apologize for ow long it took for me to post this second round. I promise it won't happen again.

[1] http://www.inforesearchlab.com...
[2] http://www.who.int...
[3] http://www.gallup.com...
KnowItAll

Con

As my opponent began his argument with "should be made illegal in all public places" I was unsure if the argument is being made for a worldwide ban or here in the United States. As we are both located in the United States I will infer that my opponent is referring to the United States as there would be no logical way to make smoking illegal worldwide.

As such when referring to his first source, over 443,000 Americans (over 18 percent of all deaths) die because of smoking each year. Secondhand smoke kills about 50,000 of them. [1] Considering that there are over 43,000,000 people in the United States [2] this means that approximately 1% of smokers die each year. Considering the population of the United States is approximately 315,000,000 [3] and 50,000 people die of second hand smoke each year one can see that the percentage is well below half a percent of the population.

There is no denying that smoking is bad for a person"s health. However, drinking too much alcohol is bad for a person"s health as is eating too many foods that are high in saturated fat. Although smoking results in a life expectancy approximately 14 years shorter than a nonsmoker, a nonsmoker on average will live to approximately 64 years of age and 70% of cancer is not a result of smoking. [4]

In the 1960's approximately 55% of men and 30% of women smoked. These numbers are now down to less than 25% of each category who are smoking today. The numbers are still a bit high but as the younger generation is educated to the dangers these numbers should decline further in the future. [5] I am not debating that smoking is bad for a persons health but making smoking illegal in my humble opinion equates to making alcohol illegal. We all know how that worked out.

[1] http://www.inforesearchlab.com...
[2]http://www.cdc.gov...
[3]http://www.census.gov...
[4]http://www.livescience.com...
[5]http://www.sharecare.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Frost

Pro

Just for clarification, yes I did mean in the US. Thanks for correcting my statistics and yours are absolutely the correct statistics in regards to American smoker deaths per year.

While you did provide some correct statistics, not all of them were correct or the best stats to use. The statement "Smoking results in a life expectancy 14 years shorter than a nonsmoker" is incorrect. If you read the statement from the source you cited it actually says that "The life expectancy for a smoker in the United States is about 64, which is 14 years shorter than the national average". The problem with this statistic is that the national life expectancy includes that of smokers and non smokers. If we look to some research done by Dr. Akwasi Osei, the Chief Psychiatrist at Accra Psychiatric Hospital, he says that "Tobacco shortens the lifespan of smokers by 25 years. In addition 70% of people who begin smoking in there teens die by age 45". 41% of men who smoked a pack or more a day died in middle age compared to 14% of men who never smoked [1]. And I don't know if you read the entire article from Live Science but they talk about cancer a bit and say a couple of interesting things. "Smoking accounts for 30 percent of all cancer deaths and 87 percent of lung cancer deaths; the risk of developing lung cancer is about 23 times higher in male smokers compared to non-smokers; smoking is associated with increased risk of at least 15 types of cancer; [and] smoking causes millions of deaths worldwide."[2]
Smoking is damaging to your health. This is something we both agree on.

The next part of my opponents reasoning for not banning smoking was interesting to me. He said that we can't ban smoking because that would be like banning alcohol (the Prohibition failed, I'm not arguing that). However I believe that these are two VERY separate issues.

Firstly this is because tobacco is much more addictive than alcohol [3]. According to Michael M. Miller, MD, an addiction medicine specialist, the medical director of the NewStart Alcohol/Drug Treatment Program at Meriter Hospital in Madison, Wis. He is also the president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine and an associate clinical professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, about 15% of people that drink regularly become addicted compared to 45% of people that smoke.

Secondly, smoking only ends in death. When you follow the directions on a pack of cigarettes you put over 4,800 chemicals, 69 of which are known to cause cancer, directly into your lungs. Smoking is so harmful that cigarette smoking has been identified as the most important source of preventable morbidity (disease and illness) and premature mortality (death) [in the world]. [4]

Lastly smoking indirectly hurts everyone. The people who harm themselves by smoking are a drain on both the American health care system and the American economy. Smoking cost the United States over $193 billion in 2004, including $97 billion in lost productivity and $96 billion in direct health care expenditures, or an average of $4,260 per adult smoker. [5]

While my opponent asks for a Con vote simply because it would be similar to the Prohibition. I am willing to agree that there are some basic similarities, but fundamentally these two issues are radically different. I have shown how dangerous smoking really is, and how harmful smoking can be to all Americans. Tobacco is not alcohol and they must be treated differently.

Because this will be my last post on this debate I just wanted to thank you for a clean and welcoming first experience to Debate.org. I am glad that I got to debate someone who actually knows what they are talking about even if we stand on opposite sides of this issue. I hope I didn't offend you at all because that was in no way my intent. Best of luck to you!
-Frost

[1] http://www.inforesearchlab.com...
[2] http://www.livescience.com...
[3] http://www.health.com...
[4] http://www.lung.org...
[5] http://www.lung.org...
KnowItAll

Con

My opponent is correct in that we agree that smoking is bad for you. My opponent referred to some interesting statistics with regard to life expectancy of smokers but the fact remains that there are approximately 43,000,000 smokers in the United States of which approximately 430,000 die each year. [1] The population of the United States is approximately 315,000,000 [2] and 50,000 people die of second hand smoke each year.

With regard to my opponents statement that "smoking only ends in death", this statement is factually incorrect. "Rarely are simple messages heard, such as the fact that about half of all smokers will die from smoking..." [3] As we are not debating that smoking is bad for one"s health the amount of chemical inhaled is a moot point.

"Lastly smoking indirectly hurts everyone. The people who harm themselves by smoking are a drain on both the American health care system and the American economy. Smoking cost the United States over $193 billion in 2004, including $97 billion in lost productivity and $96 billion in direct health care expenditures, or an average of $4,260 per adult smoker. [5]"

Making smoking illegal will not affect the above numbers greatly. When adding in the cost to enforce a smoking ban the numbers may remain the same or may even increase. Of course there is no concrete way to prove this point but by simply looking back to prohibition one can see the path we can head down should a ban on smoking be instituted. "The government worried about Prohibition as the law increased crime rates and also made gangsters came to power. Illegal liquors were sold in higher prize and the American drinkers were desired for alcohol. Saloons were closed but more speakeasies opened." [4]

"While my opponent asks for a Con vote simply because it would be similar to the Prohibition. I am willing to agree that there are some basic similarities, but fundamentally these two issues are radically different."

These two issues are not fundamentally radically different. When prohibition was instituted people continued to drink, caused an increase in crime and resources needed to be directed in order to prevent the illegal consumption. It is my argument that instead of attempting to make smoking illegal and deal with the same issues that had to be dealt with during prohibition better alternatives exist. My opponent ignored my statement that "In the 1960's approximately 55% of men and 30% of women smoked. These numbers are now down to less than 25% of each category who are smoking today. [5] In addition "The tobacco industry, once a lobbying juggernaut, has watched its political influence wane as its cancer-causing products became increasingly toxic " politically speaking. The contributions to federal candidates and political committees from the tobacco industry, which includes makers of cigarettes, cigars and smokeless tobacco, as well as their trade groups, have drastically decreased since 2002." [6]

The federal government and state government know all too well about the costs associated to government by smoking. In fact State Cigarette Excise Taxes have been rather successful thus far. "In addition to reducing smoking rates, cigarette excise tax increases have been shown to increase state revenue despite consumption declines, increases in the number of smokers quitting, and any increase in smuggling or tax avoidance. During 1990"2000, all states that increased their cigarette excise tax by at least $0.10 per pack also increased cigarette tax revenue. [7] One can look to the state of California to see how the Cigarette Excise Tax in combination with tobacco prevention programs is a step in the right direction. "During the first 15 years of the California tobacco control program, the state invested $1.8 billion in cigarette excise tax revenue in the program, resulting in $86 billion in health-care cost savings. [7]

New York has been one of the most aggressive if not the most aggressive in taking on the anti-smoking efforts. New York has an excise tax of $4.00 per pack, a smoke-free workplace law and banned smoking in public places such as stadiums, parks and beaches. As the cigarette industry looks for replacement smokers it"s important to note that in New York from 2002-2006 35% of young adults aged 18-24 had the city's biggest drop in smoking.

In closing, making smoking illegal should not happen as we will only be looking at a situation comparable to the prohibition era. Instead, we should continue on our current path of public awareness and excise taxes in combination with tobacco prevention programs. The tobacco industry is losing steam in their lobbying efforts and the numbers of smokers continue to trend downward.

I thank my opponent for an excellent and well thought out debate.

[1]http://www.inforesearchlab.com...
[2]http://www.cdc.gov...
[3]http://www.livescience.com...
[4]http://library.thinkquest.org...
[5]http://www.sharecare.com...
[6] http://www.opensecrets.org...
[7]http://www.cdc.gov...
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by wiploc 3 years ago
wiploc
Frost wrote:
: The Prohibition point is irrelevant because we were arguing whether or not to ban smoking in public
: places. Because this would still allow a supply of cigarettes to those that want them badly enough this : would not lead to increased organized crime. To quote Mr. KnowItAll who put it so eloquently:
: "Perhaps I should have been more clear on that but [I] though that most would arrive at that
: conclusion".

Nobody could come to that conclusion from your title and first round post. Only in the second round---after your opponent had already accepted the debate---did you try to retrench.
Posted by KnowItAll 3 years ago
KnowItAll
We were? I thought the title of the debate was Smoking should be illegal, not smoking should be banned in public places.
Posted by Frost 3 years ago
Frost
The Prohibition point is irrelevant because we were arguing whether or not to ban smoking in public places. Because this would still allow a supply of cigarettes to those that want them badly enough this would not lead to increased organized crime. To quote Mr. KnowItAll who put it so eloquently: "Perhaps I should have been more clear on that but [I] though that most would arrive at that conclusion".
Posted by KnowItAll 3 years ago
KnowItAll
wiploc, that was exactly the point I was making by pointing to prohibition in the first place. Perhaps I should have been more clear on that but though that most would arrive at that conclusion.
Posted by wiploc 3 years ago
wiploc
I'd have liked to see Con do a turn on the prohibition issue:

1. Con pointed out that alcohol prohibition worked out badly.
2. Pro responded by saying that tobacco is more addictive than alcohol.
3. Whereupon Con should have pointed out that that would make prohibition less likely to work, since the more desired something is the more willing people are to get it from organized crime.
Posted by DudeWithoutTheE 3 years ago
DudeWithoutTheE
This is on my to-vote list.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Deadlykris 3 years ago
Deadlykris
FrostKnowItAllTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: I can't award the sources vote because you both did great on that score; same goes for the other point-value votes...except arguments. Simply put, arguing that something should be banned because it is harmful is a very weak argument. Also, it would simply be another type of prohibition, and history proves that prohibition doesn't work, instead of reducing crime, it feeds it; and it has no statistically significant effect on rate of use of a given substance.
Vote Placed by wiploc 3 years ago
wiploc
FrostKnowItAllTied
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Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: Sources to Pro because Con misrepresented (not intentionally) one of his sources. Persuasion to Con because Pro's argument is only that smoking kills, and, as Con points out, we can't say that we should ban everything that kills. Sometimes (as with the prohibition of alcohol) the downside of banning something that kills outweighs the upside.
Vote Placed by likespeace 3 years ago
likespeace
FrostKnowItAllTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro changed the resolution from "Smoking should be made illegal" to "Smoking should be illegal in all public places." This is a conduct violation. However, Con did not call him on this and accepted the new resolution so that is the one I will consider. Pro/Con agreed smoking is bad. Con argued making it illegal would increase organized crime ala prohibition. Pro had an easy retort, that there would be no reason for it to since smoking would still be legal in private places, and that banning it in public places has been accomplished in some states without that result. However, he argued smoking would be different because it hurts people, which I did not find convincing. At the time alcohol was prohibited, the public perception was that alcohol was a bad thing. I do not think Pro sufficienty addressed Con's prohibition point, and Pro had the burden of proof, so argument to Con. *** For the record, I would like to see smoking banned in public places, but not in private places.