The Instigator
mchahine
Pro (for)
Losing
15 Points
The Contender
RoyLatham
Con (against)
Winning
32 Points

Smoking should be permanently banned worldwide.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 8 votes the winner is...
RoyLatham
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/10/2009 Category: Health
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 9,974 times Debate No: 9656
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (2)
Votes (8)

 

mchahine

Pro

I hold the position in agreement to my topic. Cigarettes should be banned from society and be illegal parallel to selling illicit narcotics such as heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine. Tobacco smoking can be dated back to approximated 6000 BC. Today it is ubiquitous throughout the Americas. 42 percent of Americans smoke cigarettes. The exponential increase in demand attests its highly addictive nature. Till today, some people rest assured that cigarettes are merely a mental addiction, and the "habit" can simply be tossed in the dust bin whenever they please. The media is culpable for this illusory misconception. Movie stars are seen quotidian puffing carefree on a cigarette. This allures many teenagers into thinking they be be lionized if they imitate their favorite actor/actress. In addition, teenagers are peer-pressured into smoking to maintain or achieve a status within their clique. There are an estimated 4000 chemicals compacted in each cigarette you smoke. Allow me to provide only a fraction of a percentage of them:

A. Carcinogens: a chemical that can cause or aggravate cancer.
Approximate 60 of the chemicals in cigarettes are known to cause cancer.
A1. Benzene: found in gasoline.
A2. Formaldehyde: chemical used to preserve dead bodies.

B. Toxic Metals
B1. Arsenic: Commonly used in rat poison.
B2. Cadmium: Found in batteries.

C. Radioactive Toxic Metals.
C1. Lead 210
C2. Polonium 210

D. Poisons.
D1. Ammonia: Commonly used in cleaning products.
D2. Carbon Monoxide: Present in car exhaust.
D3. Hydrogen Cyanide: used to kill people in gas chambers in WW2 in Germany.
D4. Nicotine: poison used in pesticides and addictive element in cigarettes.

As for second hand smoke, research has shown it contains 250 toxic chemicals, including 50 cancer causing chemicals.

Ostensibly, it is more pernicious than most assume. The makers of these cigarettes have kept the majority of these substances clandestine for a long time. There is no reason cigarettes should be legal anywhere. Greed, corruption, and dishonesty should be the producers motto. The egregious makers should be incarcerated and held culpable for their nefarious acts.
RoyLatham

Con

The resolution says that smoking should be banned universally, but only argued against banning cigarettes. Since cigars are generally not inhaled, they have many fewer health hazards than cigarettes, and cigars are not physically addictive. Since they are not addictive, cigars are often only used on special occasions, posing little hazard. Moreover, while smoking marijuana is usually for recreation, it is also legitimately use by chemotherapy patients under medical supervision. It should therefore be left to medical professionals to determine when use is appropriate, not universally banned. Note that heroin and other narcotics are allowed for medical use.

Smoking cigarettes poses health hazards. There are also health hazards associated with riding motorcycles, skate boarding, surfing, and putting butter on popcorn. There is in each case a trade off between the pleasure an individual gets from doing something and the hazards of the activity. There is justification for the state to restrict the circumstances of the activity if there is some danger to others, but within those bounds it ought to be up to the individual to decide whether or not they take they risk. That is the case with smoking. There is no question it poses risks, but the individual ought to judge those risks ad decide for himself whether they are worthwhile.

Pro argues that teenagers are especially poor at making judgments about risk. If that is the case, then that is a good argument for having special laws to prevent smoking by teenagers. It is not an argument for a universal ban. If grandpa gets to be 85 and suffers from arthritis and the gout, and he wants to sit in the backyard puffing away, from where does the state derive the authority to stop him? He is mature enough to make the decision and his smoking poses no credible threat to society.

Four independent studies have been done on the health costs of smoking. All show there is no dollar cost. Smokers die young, and what they thereby save in medical costs offsets the costs of treating the extra illnesses they suffer in their shortened lives. http://www.usnews.com... When put on the spot, anti-smoking advocates admit they don't count the offsetting savings.

Studies on the effects of second hand smoke use dubious protocols to get the answers they seek. However, even if true, that only argues that non-smokers be shielded from second hand smoke. That can be done by isolating smokers or by using clean-room air filtration technology to make the smoke undetectable to others.

Pro asserts that smoking is generally bad, and then leaps to the conclusion that it ought to be universally banned. A universal ban is unwarranted and unjustified because people ought to assess the risks for themselves:

"A woman is just a woman, but a good cigar is a smoke." - The Betrothed, Rudyard Kipling
Debate Round No. 1
mchahine

Pro

I assumed my opponent would have gotten the essence of my argument being mainly on cigarette smoke as my entire points are based on it and its harmful effects. As my opponent is very keen to sway away from the main topic and meander into his own topic of choice; I am left with no option other than to play along with his game of semantics.

Studies have shown that nicotine is more addictive than heroin. Cigars contain nicotine, which may cause gum disease, oral cancer, increased tooth decay, and periodontal bone loss.

Con argues that cigars are not physically addictive. Taking into account the people that do inhale cigars; each cigar contains about 1 pack of cigarettes worth of nicotine. Also, most people are repulsed by the stench is gives.

Con argues that anything can be hazardous. That is true if done in excess. Smoking cigarettes or cigars even in moderation may cause a plethora of severe problems.

Heroin is seldom used for medical use such as end-stage cancer or post surgical pain. Rather, morphine or strong opiates are used as they are a healthier tactic to reduce pain.

You argue that people should have the choice to make their own decision whether or not to smoke. This leaves room for the imprudent to smoke and hurt themselves. Making a universal ban will restrict production and a means to harm yourself.

Also, the cost of cigarettes spent only in America is overwhelming. Over 1/4 billion dollars is spent annually on cigarettes alone. Money spent on a frivolous purchase. In lieu, it could be spent on something more salubrious.

As you are fond of quotes, here is one:

"It is health that is real wealth, and not pieces of gold and silver." - Mahatma Ghandi.
RoyLatham

Con

Pro did no more than restate that smoking posed hazards, and from that incorrectly jump to the conclusion that because of the potential hazards it ought to be banned. I showed the error of his logic by providing a list of activities that posed hazards for which choice is allowed: riding motorcycles, skate boarding, surfing, and putting butter on popcorn. Anyone could expand that list with a hundred more. Pro attempted to distinguish smoking from other activities, claiming "Smoking cigarettes or cigars even in moderation may cause a plethora of severe problems." In fact, if a person rides a motorcycle, surfs, or skateboards even once, they could suffer a serious injury or death. Activities that require learning special skills are more dangerous to novices. There is no evidence that smoking a cigar to, say celebrate the birth of a child, has an appreciable chance of killing you. That's not the case with many other activities. Being hazardous is not grounds for banning.

Pro argues, "Making a universal ban will restrict production and a means to harm yourself." Correct, and such is the case with motorcycles, surfboards, skateboards, automobiles, and popcorn butter. The point that Pro evades is that he does not have the right to make the trade off of risks and rewards for other people. I posed the case of a old guy who is fully knowledgeable of smoking hazards and decides that the pleasure of smoking is a worthwhile offset to his other pains. I challenged Pro to make the case for the state overriding his choice. Pro ignored the challenge. That's no surprise, because there is no sensible case to be made.

One justification for prohibiting individual choice is that it protects society from indirect bad consequences. I pointed out that insofar as smoking poses hazards to others, reasonable restrictions can be made to protect others. Pro made no counter argument. Therefore Pro's case is solely that he ought to be able to judge what's good for you, and then impose his will upon you for your own good.

I offered a few sentences noting that Pro's resolution proposed banning all smoking, but that he only argued against cigarettes. He then argued that cigars are physically addictive because nicotine is addictive. Nicotine is addictive, but if the smoke is not inhaled, there is not enough to cause addictions. Pro provided no reference for any of his assertions in the entire debate. Cigar tobacco is processed in such a way that the smoke is extremely acrid. To "prove" cigars are just like cigarettes, they find a few Eastern Europeans who inhale the smoke. It's nonsense.

My quotation from Kipling was to show that individuals cherish making their own decisions, even if most of us disagree with those values. I have no problem with Gandhi making other choices. We all ought to get the right to make our own choices, and for that reason the resolution is negated.

"If there are no cigars in heaven, I won't go." -- Mark Twain
Debate Round No. 2
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by brian_eggleston 7 years ago
brian_eggleston
I can't vote but if I could it would be for Con as he out-performed Pro on every level. Nevertheless, well done to Pro for posting a very worthwhile debate.
Posted by Cody_Franklin 7 years ago
Cody_Franklin
Bump it up to 72 hours per person per round, and bump it to a higher character limit, and I've got it.
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by tBoonePickens 7 years ago
tBoonePickens
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Vote Placed by philosphical 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by tmhustler 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by atheistman 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by RoyLatham 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by Clockwork 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by Willdavisfilms 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by mchahine 7 years ago
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