The Instigator
momo_taro
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
spoon171
Con (against)
Winning
18 Points

The USFG and state and local government should increase the punishment to age restriction violators.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/18/2007 Category: Society
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,053 times Debate No: 647
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (7)

 

momo_taro

Pro

Before you judge me or condemn me as stupid or completely idiotic, please understand that this is not a joke but an actual believe. A believe by someone in you own nation, possible state, possibly the same city. It is me, momo_taro that believes this. Now onto the body of the argument.

the United States federal government should increase its punishment to age limits violations. Specifically pertaining to tobacco age abuse.

the punishment for underage tobacco abuse should be, for every three cigarettes, pipes, or dips chewed or smoked one cigarette should be put out on their arm or any body part. Now before you say, (as anyone who hasn't seen the light on this subject yet would say) Oh my God that is horrible. Think of how harmful Tobacco is especially to underage participants. If you have done as i said and think about it, you will see that Tobacco is a horrible thing. One of the main things is oral cancer, GINGIVITIS and damage to teeth. These are bad ... but there is more.

It is also a major killer carcinogenic substance. Lung cancer is the leading cause of dealth in America.

Underage smokers range from 21 percent to 28ish % of the smokers from state to state. It is horrible.

You may ask will it work... yes obviously it will work would you do anything if you knew you would have a cigarette put out on you? probably not. So we would be drastically decreasing the amount of U-A smokers. And if you look to several studies you will see that almost 90% of current smokers began before the age of 18. And the other 10% (i'm just guessing) began because there friend whoe began smoking before the age of 18 pressured them.

So you tell me should we implement this plan and possible give a couple scars yet save the life's of our fellow countrymen or just let the nation continue to kill millions of people per year due to allowing them smoke?
spoon171

Con

Alright momo, I'll bite. Your argument is a little ridiculous.

First of all, here are some actual statistics on this topic

According to Dave Gershman of the Ann Arbor News, studies show that teen smoking is decreasing. (http://www.mlive.com...)

"Now in its 33rd year, the Monitoring the Future survey was given in 2007 to 48,025 students in the eighth, 10th and 12th grades in 403 schools across the country. U-M's Institute for Social Research conducts the study for the federal government. The latest findings were released Tuesday in Washington and President Bush hailed the results at a press conference.

The proportion of 8th-graders who reported being daily smokers dropped to 3 percent, down nearly 1 percentage point from last year. Among 10th-graders, 7.2 percent reported being daily smokers, down about half a percentage point from last year. Among 12th graders, 12.3 percent reported being daily smokers, which is nearly the same as last year.

Researchers don't know exactly why the decline in smoking rates resumed this year, but they say it's an important development. Smoking is still the leading preventable cause of death and disease in the country, said Johnston.

Overall, the use of drugs and alcohol declined slightly in all three grades of teenagers this year, continuing a long-term downward trend that - like the decrease in smoking - also began in the mid-1990s. "

This is showing that the teen trend is decreasing, which means your focus is a little off. There have also been tremendous declines in the amount of teen smoking after the tobacco companies had severe limitations and bans placed on cartoon and illustrated advertisements. But the timeliness of this issue is not the real problem to focus on, yet it is your solution of putting a cigarette out on someone's arm.

I do not know if you have heard of this thing called the 8th amendment, however, it bans cruel and unusual punishment. In 1972, Justice Brennan cited a litmus test on whether or not a punishment is cruel or unusual. Here are his four principles:

1. The "essential predicate" is "that a punishment must not by its severity be degrading to human dignity," especially torture.
2. "A severe punishment that is obviously inflicted in wholly arbitrary fashion."
3. "A severe punishment that is clearly and totally rejected throughout society."
4. "A severe punishment that is patently unnecessary."

I will stick with two particular principles. The first, and the third. In terms of the first principle, torture is an essential concept that must be defined. It is defined in international law as "any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity."

Your solution qualifies as torture for a few reasons. First that is considered an act of inflicting severe physical pain. It may also be difficult to prove that someone has smoked three, let alone once cigarette. Therefore, the punishment could be labeled as coercion for some kind of confession. Also, if it were inflicted by a public official (like a police officer) it would be labeled as torture. But what if the punishment was to be enforced by a parent? This idea allows me to segue into my analysis of the 3rd principle, a punishment that is rejected throughout society.

If it is to be carried out by a parent, then it would be constituted as child abuse. According to Peltier and Purdue, burns are constituted as child abuse. "Nonaccidental burns caused by a hot solid object are the most difficult to distinguish from accidental injuries. Cigarette and iron burns are the most frequent types of these injuries. Cigarette burns on a child's back or buttocks are unlikely to have been caused by walking into a lighted cigarette, and therefore are more suspect than burns about the face and eyes, which can occur accidentally if the child walks or runs into the adult's lighted cigarette held at waist height. Accidental burns are usually more shallow, irregular, and less well defined than deliberate burns. Multiple cigarette burns are distinctively characteristic of child abuse."
(http://www.ncjrs.gov...)

Needless to say, child abuse is something that is rejected throughout society. The rising increase of attendance in foster homes, or the amount of litigation surrounding child abuse shows this is true. Which means your solution violates two principles of the current interpretation of the 8th amendment, which means your solution is unconstitutional, and therefore ineffective.

Finally, your own solution would only replicate your problem. According to Columbia University, child abuse causes more teen smoking. (http://www.columbia.edu...)

"2. Several recent studies use sophisticated designs to identify
causal impacts.
a) Some establish a cross-sectional relationship between adverse
events in childhood (ACEs) and current risky behaviors/outcomes
including depressed affect, suicide attempts, multiple sexual
partners, sexually transmitted diseases, teen pregnancy, smoking,
alcoholism, drug abuse (Felitti (1998), Dube et al. (2003, 2003b),
Hillis et al. (2004) ) But these effects may not be causal and
maltreatment is only one type of ACE."

In conclusion, your solution is not only unconstitutional, but also replicates the problem you try to solve. So, take these two arguments, and put them in your pipe and smoke it.
Debate Round No. 1
momo_taro

Pro

now first i would like to start with your "8th amendment argument." As you have previously stated the 8th amendment states that there should be no cruel and unusually punishments. well if you look into the status Quo this is used all the time and the 8th amendment is often ignored. Recently on news there was a disclosure of a tape containing Water boarding by the CIA destroyed. then we look towards Abu Ghraib and realize that there was also torture there. For the past twenty years or so we have been looking towards gitmo and Screemin TOURTURE. have we done anything NO. NOw if you look to http://www.slate.com... you see the Gov't impliment of a tourter program. It is NECICARY to find important information. now we ask ourself sould we stop tourture at a whole because it is un moral. Or should we pick up the ideas of utilitarianism and understand the the path justifies the outcome. that the suffering of one may be owtweight by the gains for many people. so i say what the Heck why should wer ban tourture so one 2000 kids get scars but the nation then has no more smokers after say 30 years.

but not only the greater good of many but of that one as well. if you take a moment and talk to those who have been smoking since the age of 13-18 and are now say 50 you will understand. take my dad for insistence he is now 51 and has een smoking since the age of 13. Well im sure it was a great consversation starer and freind maker 38 years ago but now he is on an artificial breather. Look towards others... they have to have there voice box removed. all these things. dieing young. not able to live to see grandchildren. Now lets impliment our plan. Who knows maybe they live to seee great grand children, and hey...maybe they now have a great conversation stater "oh those burns were from WW2... not reallly i used to smoke but now i dont. and i am thankful."

one more thing here is a little "Government 101". That thing called an addmendment it can be Addmended to be removed from the constitution. Ha there goes oyour dumn admendment argument ... "and this concludes our govenment 101 class today... please open you books to pg89 where we can talk about utalitarianism and the glory of MArx and his followers."

I honestly believe that horse is long dead so i will stop beating it (for now).

Now lets look at you child abuse=Solvency defecate /ALT. Causality.

I can see were you come up w/ your argument about child abuse. But honestly 1.) it could be implemented by any one. not necessarily parents.

But honestly can you claim theye will intern start smoking if this happens? you have to see that the once who get this punishment have allready smoked so there goes that but lets talk more aout it.
Yeah im a teanager and i understand the whole "rebelion" idea but that kindove ends when you realize if you keep doing this same thing you keep getting the stick and not the carrot.

"cant prove three cigarettes arg." you have to see we can.. "we have our ways." no but seriasly there are medical ways of telling the approximated number of cigerettes smoked.

Oh i like that "put that in your pipe and smoke it cute." it should be changed put that in your pipe smoke it and later maybe 30-60 years if your lucky you can end up dying of some painful disorder such as cancer, of other disorders.

now, im not here to condemn anyone over the age of 18 who smokes. Who knows maybe when i am over the age of 18 and they have made a way to cause cigerettes
to be less damaging maybe i will smoke.
spoon171

Con

There are a couple of things you missed from my first post that I will discuss now before I answer your arguments.

First, you failed to prove why underage smoking is a significant problem now. The study that I have cited has been going on for 33 years, and shows that there are several trends that have lead to the decrease in teen smoking. You also failed to answer my argument about how the shift in advertising for smoking has shifted away from the belief that children are the target market. This means that there is no need to increase any type of punishment. You have failed to cite any actual studies that show that smoking is increasing or as big of a problem as it has been in the past. This means all of the voters should favor my arguments on this point alone.

Next, the 8th amendment. While you may be correct that we are abandoning our stance against torture domestically, we still receive a lot of flack abroad from allies and other international entities. There also may be a different picture painted of THE UNITED STATES TORTURING CHILDREN AND YOUNG ADULTS WHO SMOKE. It may be justifiable in the name of "utilitarianism" to torture people who are suspected terrorists (although this is debatable itself) but everyone would agree that it is morally repugnant to justify the abuse of children in the name of anti smoking. This would be akin to saying yeah its awesome that those chinese kids get to make those fireworks in schools in china and possibly die, but thousands of people around the world get to see the pretty colors, or, it sucks that kids are sold in to slavery for sweat shops, but at least I get to wear my nikes.

And, even if we are lessening our stance on torture, we are increasing our stance in banning cruel and unusual punishment. This is proven by moves to ban different aspects of the death penalty. Here is a similar court decision that eliminates a form of cruel and unusual punishment. "In Robinson v. California (1962), the Court decided, 6-2, that a California law authorizing a 90-day jail sentence for "be[ing] addicted to the use of narcotics" violated the Eighth Amendment, as narcotics addiction "is apparently an illness", and California was attempting to punish people based on the state of this illness, rather than for any specific act." You could argue that smoking is the beginning of an addiction, which could be labeled an illness, which means if you cannot go to jail for use, you shouldnt be burned for smoking.

Next, you talk about your father. While I can be sympathetic to see that it sucks to have your health deteriorate because of smoking, it is also a choice. What makes you think that these children will stop smoking after one burn, and then decide when they turn 18 to smoke again, which means their addiction is inevitable. You have also provided no convincing evidence or even proof that a cigarette burn means you quit smoking. I am a smoker and I have burned myself numberous times while smokin, yet, there has been no change in my behavior.

In terms of an amendment, this argument just makes you look like an idiot. There have been hundreds of amendments proposed to the constitution, and we only have 27 amendments. This means it is almost impossible to have an amendment for smoking.

In terms of child abuse, you say someone else can do it. However, you then still will be torturing the kids as discussed above. Or, you are still abusing the children, even if not by their parents. I as an educator can lose my job for hitting a student in the name of child abuse, which means regardless of the source, there is still abuse. You have conceeded that this is still abuse, which means there is a risk that the children will either start or continue smoking. Next, you ask will they really start smoking? Um yeah, I also give another psychological study of children who have been abused and they are more likely to participate in risky behaviors, which means drugs and alcohol. This means there is only danger that you will reverse the current successful trends aimed at reducing teen smoking.

Finally, you say that I should trust you or there are ways in determining that children smoke. However, it is impossible to determine how many cigarettes someone smoke or if children are even smoking. It is true that some will get caught in public, but what about those whom are sneaky and dont get caught? You could cause increase in paranoia of parents, which could destroy familial relations.

In terms of wishing death upon me, neither of us are saying that smoking is a good thing, nor do I really disagree that we should stop kids from smoking. However, it is your method that is problematic. I believe, I have used sufficent evidence (which you have none) to show that your solution is illegal, and actually runs the risk of making your problem worse. Finally, you say that even you could start smoking when you turn 18 and die. This takes out your utilitarianism argument by showing that smoking is inevitable since we all have the choice as adults, which means there is no greater good when people can still choose to smoke and possibly die. In the shortest of terms....you lose.
Debate Round No. 2
momo_taro

Pro

Bravo spoon171 this has been an absolutly marvolus debate. (not really on my side) there have some fairly good arguments thrown around. Honesly (just to clear things up) I do not beleive a single thing i have said in this debate other that a little bit of the Torture should be legal arg. not much of them though.

trully i shot myself in the foot when i said the "i might smoke" thing. I do hoever beleive that there needs to be something done to help stop young abuse of tabacco. well i have to leave so nice debate obviously things do not need to be this drastic to stop childhood smokers.

About you being a smoker...Uwh yuck...lol...
spoon171

Con

Oh, a sad and simple concession momo. I am quite sad that you didnt stick to your guns, in the end, I win, as I have been saying since schpiel 1.....but it was fun....vote for me, and we should do this again sometime.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Pluto2493 9 years ago
Pluto2493
HA! Whenever someone argues for the USFG, I hit them with one arguement: The United States Facester's Guild can not manage the plan. The USFG is not an offical name.
Posted by momo_taro 9 years ago
momo_taro
oh and i wish i coyuld spell at least well enough for the spell check to know what i am spelling.
Posted by momo_taro 9 years ago
momo_taro
jerk... maybe later i will stick too my guns when i originally made this topic i wanted to see if i could debate such an uderly rediculus topic. i didn't expect to get a 4 years of high school, 4 years of colledge, and now teaching policy debator. but congrats now i have lost this round only to win another day. good day spoon171
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momo_tarospoon171Tied
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