The Instigator
Pro (for)
3 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
11 Points

Smoking should be treated as a drug and made illegal in NZ.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/29/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,961 times Debate No: 27601
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (12)
Votes (3)




Smoking should be treated as a drug and made illegal because the money NZ spends on treating smokers with poor health is ridiculous. Not only that but smoking is time and money consuming, cigarettes cost money, cigarette, cost time, go figure. People should be spending their money wisely on things they need, food, house, clothes, to top that particular argument off, most of the people who chain smoke are people on the benefit, please do not try to argue that point, it has been proven. Smoking causes countless diseases and illnesses, it triggers cancer and several other life threatening diseases. NZ spends far too much money on smokers that need treatment and our health system should be spending money on people who are not careless with their lives.


The problem with your argument is that it misses the mark. If the problem is that smokers are draining a lot of money out of the healthcare industry, then the healthcare industry should be reformed to offer less support for those who choose to smoke.

That's the main point, after all. they CHOSE to smoke and they should have a right to make that choice. It's there money after all, they earned it. Sure, it's not a very good use of ones money, but all our spending could arguably go towards something more important, because everyone has a different idea about what is the most important thing. I mean, who would decide what people should spend their money on if not themselves?

Also, fast food isn't good for you either. In fact obesity is now a bigger killer than smoking (which makes it number 1) in Australia [1]. I know we're talking about NZ and not Australia, but if it can happen in Australia, then it can happen here too. Should fast food be illegal too? If not, then your argument doesn't work.

To conclude, people have the right to spend their own money the way they want so long as it doesn't hurt other people and if they are draining money out of the healthcare system, then the problem is that the healthcare system is too generous to the people who care the least about their health. That's the problem, not cigarettes, and so the solution should directly affect the problem, not a consumers right to buy and smoke cigarettes.

Debate Round No. 1


If I may say obesity and smoking are two totally different things.
Smoking: An act or spell of smoking something.
Obesity: The condition of being very fat or overweight...
I rest my case...

The healthcare system could hardly refuse to treat people in need (smokers), after all how would that reflect on NZ?
If someone needs treatment they need treatment, it is not something we can control. Smokers are PURPOSELY wasting their lives away, signing a death warrant and costing our health system a heck of a lot of money. Where as obese people are victims of fatty food, they just eat and eat, a guilty pleasure that in some cases can not be controlled.I will not argue that smoking is very addicting and once you start you cant stop but self control is a skill smokers need to master... Obese people are not costing the health system half as much money as careless smokers, that is a fact in concrete. Something you cannot deny...
Here is a list of diseases caused by smoking...
Gum disease
Lung Cancer
Heart disease
Lung disease
The list goes on and on...
I recently interviewed a smoker and questioned her about the pros and cons of smoking, here is what she said:

I made a list of what I liked about smoking vs. what I hated about smoking ... and though I really missed it at first, looking at this list made me see that I didn't like smoking as much as I thought I did.
What I Liked about Smoking:

The bonding I experienced with other smokers.
The feeling of creating a ritual.
Watching the cigarette burn and watching the smoke swirl.
Momentary gratification.
What I Hated about Smoking:
The after-smell on my clothes, furniture, car, house, everything. Yuck.
Not being able to breathe properly.
The constant nagging cough. All day, all night.
Lots of phlegm, lots of throat-clearing and losing my voice mid-sentence.
Painful heartburn every night and every time I drank coffee.
Feeling winded after extremely mild activity.
Severe throbbing headaches, occasional migraines.
Lingering colds and bronchitis.
Racing heartbeat, more sweating.
Increased rate of hypertension.
Dizziness after smoking too fast or [having] too many cigarettes.
Nausea from smoking too much.
The constant coppery, ashy taste in my mouth.
Yellow skin, teeth and fingernails.
Scaly, unhealthy-feeling skin.
Anxiety from the fear about what I was doing to myself and the consequences.
No relaxation, always feeling in need of something. A constant feeling of not being satisfied.
Mini-withdrawals throughout the day.
Feelings of shame while spending time with nonsmokers.
Not accomplishing tasks because of wasted time smoking.
The late-evening/middle-of-the-night trip to the gas station.
Going out in bad weather to smoke alone.
Feelings of inadequacy and substance dependence.
Driving my cat out of the room every time I lit up.
Dry mouth and constant feelings of thirst.
Coughing so hard that I made myself sick.
Trembling hands and fingertips.
Fear. Of being unable to quit, of dying an untimely, painful death.
The stinging feeling in my lungs when I tried to take a deeper or slower breath.
Getting smoke in my eyes.
Burning my lips on the filter.
Trying to light short butts and feeling my eyebrows singe. Ouch!
Re-lighting a previously torched cigarette, so I don't "waste" any tobacco.
Overflowing ashtrays, ashes and dust everywhere.
Burn holes in my car upholstery and on my clothes.
"Will I fall asleep smoking?"
"Will I catch something on fire?"
Dry, chapped lips.
The cost. All that money wasted on ruining my health and well-being.
My nails and hair grew very slowly.
Smoking fueled my compulsiveness relating to other bad habits, such as nail-biting and binge-eating.
Having to reapply my lipstick after smoking.
The filthy taste of cheap tobacco.
Having to crack the car window in the pouring rain. Wet leg, wet arm, water in my eyes.
Tar build-up on windows and furniture.
The way my hair and skin smelled.
Limited motivation and energy.
Spilled tobacco in my purse, on my dresser, on my computer desk.
Lighting the filter end by mistake...
Dropping a cigarette while driving.
Trying to tap my ashes out the car window ... while the window is rolled up.
Dropping hot ashes or losing the tip of a cigarette.
Oops! Tapped ashes in my drink.
Feeling "exiled" in the smoking section/smoking room.
Dulled sense of taste and smell.

So here she was aware what smoking was doing and had done to her and yet she still to this day continues to smoke, she is trying to stop, she is doing everything in her power to out a stop to the bad habit but all her efforts are pointless. Nicotine patches and gum haven't worked for her.
The people selling and distributing cigarettes are ending peoples lives, they have lost sight of everything and have been overwhelmed by greed. They do not care that every second of everyday people are dying, due to the effects of smoking...

Let me tell you a story...
My mother's father, a famous politician, smoked. They lived on a farm with animals, aside from the abundant fruits and vegetables they grew, they had also a small tobacco plantation. He dies at age 60, a waste of a life, my mother was at his side when he died and she has since vowed to try everything in her power to stop friends and family from smoking. I , nor my siblings ever got to meet our grandfather, a real shame as we have been told several stories about him, I am told I am like him but that is not enough, I wish I had the chance to meet him. He is just another victim of smoking.

Smoking is a disgrace, I wonder what the reaction would be if smokers knew that an ingredient in rat poison is also found to be in cigarettes...
Once again, I rest my case...


Okay so the argument you are making here is pretty much completely irrelevant. You smoking is different from obesity. It is, but why does that matter? they are the same in that they both are a burden on the healthcare system, actually obesity is an even greater burden now, so you can't just ignore obesity because its different from smoking without explaining why that difference is relevant to the debate.

You say "If someone needs treatment they need treatment, it is not something we can control." So we can't control how much treatment we are giving to people who don't care about their health, but we CAN control what people are allowed to spend their money on? I don't see how that is any more fair. You then say that smokers cost more to the healthcare system than obesity, but this isn't true,
"Obese men rack up an additional $1,152 a year in medical spending, especially for hospitalizations and prescription drugs, Cawley and Chad Meyerhoefer of Lehigh University reported in January in the Journal of Health Economics. Obese women account for an extra $3,613 a year."
"Reuters is reporting that obesity in America is now adding an astounding $190 billion to the annual national healthcare price tag, exceeding smoking as public health enemy number one when it comes to cost." [1]

You then list a bunch of bad things that happen to you when you smoke. This is irrelevant, we already agree that smoking is bad for you. The list of reasons why you liked/hated smoking also doesn't mean anything to our debate. the same can be said for your story.

The only thing that matters is if you can justify not letting people buy cigarettes, and if your only reason is because smoking is bad for you then I would say that obesity is also bad for you but we don't ban McDonald's. So you're contradicting yourself.

Debate Round No. 2


If i may point out there are several points you have not made:
The black market
Loss of jobs
Government will lose money because they get tax from every cigarette sold
More people will be jailed and arrested...

Do not use these points as you did not come up with them.
Sure you could say that you are focusing on the wider scheme of things but it is these small things that mount up to BIG problems.

Smoking, once again, is a money and time consumer throughout NZ.
It should treated as a drug and made illegal, regardless of the issue of obesity, that is an entirely different argument, please lets just stick to this one, you are quite clearly wavering off the subject...


You've dropped all my arguments here. All you've done is say things like "black market" and "job loss". What about the black market and job loss? Are you saying I should have used those arguments? I still can use them if I need them. You can't tell me what arguments I can and can't use.

Why did you even bring them up without posting counter arguments as well? Because the fact is that banning smoking will result in a black market, it will result in a loss of jobs, it will result in less tax money and it will make more people into "criminals". What do you have to say to defend against this? What do you have to say about the arguments I laid out last for too? You're supposed to be debating here, not just re-stating your position.
Debate Round No. 3


Thank you for expressing your concern on my debating skills.

I don't have anything else to say, I have already won this argument.


I don't think you have, especially since you've dropped all my arguments again...

Vote con!
Debate Round No. 4
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by wrichcirw 5 years ago
whoops, actually, I'm going to change my vote.

I found CON's avatar to be offensive (a guy shoving his hand through his sausage-head), so I rated conduct neutral. I was going to friend CON but changed my mind after looking at the avatar.
Posted by wrichcirw 5 years ago
1) PRO's point about smoking being a strain on the health care system is valid. CON tried to refute it by saying that obesity is an even bigger problem yet no one does anything about obesity. As my comment below demonstrated, people are indeed cracking down on fast food. Therefore, CON's counterargument was invalid IMHO, and thus argument to PRO.
2) PRO tried to unfairly limit CON's ability to argue, so conduct to CON. PRO also dropped the last two rounds and barely made a single point, which I considered a format issue, so grammar to CON.
3) PRO seemed to have cut and paste much of her round #2 argument and didn't cite any sources. CON cited sources that, while I didn't think they were convincing (the obesity one), were at least valid, so sources to CON.

This is the first debate I've voted on where I thought the person that had the more convincing argument deserved less points.
Posted by wrichcirw 5 years ago
"Should fast food be illegal too?"

They are banning soft drinks in New York, so yes, it may become regulated and "illegal".
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Posted by Pinkprincess 5 years ago
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Posted by BriarMarie 5 years ago
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Posted by RyuuKyuzo 5 years ago
Yes =p lol just too many all-nighters in these last few days ._. I: .-. :I ._. I was thinking "tigertime", but I typed "me". Just ignore me, I'll be fine after exams are done =3
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Posted by RyuuKyuzo 5 years ago
I for you*... I'm not even making sense anymore -__-
Posted by RyuuKyuzo 5 years ago
Uh... you confused me for you?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by wrichcirw 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:33 
Reasons for voting decision: see comments
Vote Placed by GorefordMaximillion 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: better arguments.
Vote Placed by RyuuKyuzo 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro ignored cons arguments in the last 2 rounds of the debate.