The Instigator
Pro (for)
1 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

This House believes that a full smoking ban should be implemented in public places

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/22/2014 Category: Health
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,188 times Debate No: 63551
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)




Firstly, i would like to clarify that the full smoking ban excludes only private residences. Secondly, as for the rules:

1. Wikipedia cannot be used as a reference
2. No personal insults or discriminating comments may be made
3. No foul language is allowed

First round is for acceptance.

I look forward to a meaningful and interesting debate.


I accept.
Debate Round No. 1


I thank Con for accepting the debate.

Firstly, I will state the many harms of smoking.

1. Both tobacco and cigarette smoke contain harmful substances which are carcinogenic.
This is a widely-known fact that is accepted by health institutes and governments worldwide.

2. Smoking also causes many health problems
Smoking leads to heart disease, stroke, aortic aneurysm (a balloon-like bulge in an artery in the chest), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (chronic bronchitis and emphysema), asthma, hip fractures, and cataracts. Smokers are at higher risk of developing pneumonia and other airway infections.

3. Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States
Smoking causes more deaths each year than HIV, Illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries and firearm-related incidents combined. I will elaborate as to how this point justifies the banning of smoking in public areas later on.

Reasons as to why smoking should be banned in public places:
1. The aforementioned harms apply to second-hand smoking
There are two kinds of second hand smoke; side-stream smoke, smoke from the lighted end of a cigarette, pipe, or cigar; and
mainstream smoke, the smoke exhaled by a smoker. Sidestream smoke has higher concentrations of cancer-causing agents (carcinogens) and is more toxic than mainstream smoke. And, it has smaller particles than mainstream smoke. These smaller particles make their way into the lungs and the body"s cells more easily. When non-smokers are exposed to SHS (second-hand smoke) it"s called involuntary smoking or passive smoking. Non-smokers who breathe in SHS take in nicotine and toxic chemicals by the same route smokers do. Thus, the aforementioned health hazards and harms apply to second-hand smokers as well, harming non-smokers whose only "sin" was walking by a smoker in the street.

2. Second-hand smoking affects the health of many others
As mentioned above, when non-smokers are exposed to SHS (second-hand smoke) it"s called involuntary smoking or passive smoking. This is because second-hand smokers are taking in the smoke involuntary. It's a basic fact that all humans have to breathe, and when they do so while a person is smoking in the same area, they involuntarily inhale some of the smoke, thus submitting them to the many harms of smoke. Second-hand smoke kills children and adults who don't smoke. Exposure to SHS while pregnant also increases the chance that a woman will have a miscarriage, stillborn birth, low birth-weight, growth retardation as well as other pregnancy and delivery problems.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a federal agency responsible for health and safety in the workplace, is concerned about SHS as a carcinogen at work. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and OSHA recognize there are no safe levels of SHS, and recommend that exposures be reduced to the lowest possible levels.

SHS in the workplace has been linked to an increased risk for heart disease and lung cancer among adult non-smokers. The Surgeon General has said that smoke-free workplace policies are the only way to prevent SHS exposure at work. Separating smokers from non-smokers, cleaning the air, and ventilating the building cannot prevent exposure if people still smoke inside the building. An extra bonus, other than protecting non-smokers, is that workplace smoking restrictions may also encourage smokers to smoke less, or even quit.

As quoted from, "Everyone can be exposed to SHS in public places, such as restaurants, shopping centers, public transportation, schools, and daycare centers. The Surgeon General has suggested people choose restaurants and other businesses that are smoke-free, and let owners of businesses that are not smoke-free know that SHS is harmful to your family"s health. Some businesses seem to be afraid to ban smoking, but there"s no proof that going smoke-free is bad for business."

It has been made quite clear that a single smoker smoking in a public place affects the health of many others. It is not only inconsiderate but immoral to allow people to harm other's health for an act that harms themselves. Smoking is optional, whereas breathing is not.

3. To promote a healthier population
Banning smoking in public places will not only prevent health damage to non-smokers but also discourage smokers and encourage them to quit smoking. This policy has been adapted in many places. For example, in Hong Kong, smoking in indoor public places has been banned since 2007. Now, according to the Thematic Household Survey Report No. 53 released by Census and Statistics Department on 8 November 2013, the daily cigarette smoking prevalence of Hong Kong was 10.7%, the lowest rate recorded since 1982. With less smokers, less people will be affected by the negative effects of smoking and second-hand smoke.

In the first 18 months after Pueblo, Colorado enacted a smoking ban in 2003, hospital admissions for heart attacks dropped by 27% while admissions in neighbouring towns without bans showed no change. The decline in heart attacks was attributed to the ban, which reduced exposure to second-hand smoke.

Other countries with smoking bans include New Zealand, which passed legislation to progressively implement a smoking ban in schools, school grounds, and workplaces; Ireland, which implemented a nationwide ban on smoking in all workplaces; Norway, where similar legislation was put into force; Turkey, where smoking is banned in indoor public areas,

Smoking was banned in all public places in the whole of the United Kingdom in 2007, when England became the final region to have the legislation come into effect (the age limit for buying tobacco was also raised from 16 to 18 on 1 October 2007). Other examples include India and Australia.

The public also appears to agree with this. A 2007 Gallup poll found that 54% of Americans favoured completely smoke-free restaurants. Another Gallup poll, consisting of over 26,500 Europeans, conducted in December 2008, found that "a majority of EU citizens support smoking bans in public places, such as offices, restaurants and bars." The poll further found that "support for workplace smoking restrictions is slightly higher than support for such restrictions in restaurants (84% vs. 79%). Two-thirds support smoke-free bars, pubs and clubs." The support is highest in countries which have implemented clear smoking bans: "Citizens in Italy are the most prone to accept smoking restrictions in bars, pubs and clubs (93% " 87% "totally in favour"). Sweden and Ireland join Italy at the higher end of the scale with approximately eight out of 10 respondents supporting smoke-free bars, pubs and clubs (70% in both countries is totally in favor)."

The World Health Organization considers smoking bans to have an influence to reduce demand for tobacco by creating an environment where smoking becomes increasingly more difficult and to help shift social norms away from the acceptance of smoking in everyday life. Along with tax measures, cessation measures, and education, smoking bans are viewed by public health experts as an important element in reducing smoking rates and promoting positive health outcomes. When effectively implemented they are seen as an important element of policy to support behaviour change in favour of a healthy lifestyle.

Banning smoking in public places has helped to cut premature births by 10 percent, according to new research from the United States and Europe.

4. To reduce health care costs
Banning smoking in public places reduce health care costs, improve work productivity, and lower the overall cost of labour in the community thus protected, making that workforce more attractive for employers. In the US state of Indiana, the economic development agency included in its 2006 plan for acceleration of economic growth encouragement for cities and towns to adopt local smoking bans as a means of promoting job growth in communities.

96 billion dollars has been spent in the US tackling smoke-related healthcare costs, much of which is paid by taxpayers through publicly-funded health programs. By banning smoking in public places and discouraging smokers, taxpayer money can then be used for better purposes such as developing economy and increasing job vacancies.

I look forward to Con's arguments, and will be bringing up more points in later rounds.



user_name forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


I see that Con has forfeited this round.

Extending my points from the previous round, I have a few more points to add:

5. To protect the health of citizens
Drifting tobacco smoke, even outdoors, can trigger asthmatic attacks, bronchial infections, and other serious health problems in nonsmokers. This is especially true for the almost 100 million Americans who have asthma, chronic bronchitis, chronic sinusitis, emphysema, and other breathing- related conditions which make them especially susceptible to secondhand tobacco smoke.

Due to this, we have to ban smoking in public areas so as to avoid harming the health and threatening the life of innocent others. Smoking harms not only the smoker but also non-smokers, possibly in lethal ways, such as due to asthma attacks.

Even for people without respiratory conditions, breathing drifting tobacco smoke for even brief periods can be deadly. For example, the Centers for Disease Controls (CD)] has warned that breathing drifting tobacco smoke for as little as 30 minutes ( less than the time one might be exposed outdoors on a beach, sitting on a park bench, listening to a concert in a park, etc.) can raise a nonsmoker"s risk of suffering a fatal heart attack to that of a smoker. The danger is even greater for those who are already at an elevated risk for coronary problems, such as men over 40 and postmenopausal women, anyone who is obese, has diabetes, a personal or family history of heart or circulatory conditions, gets insufficient exercise, has high blood pressure, cholesterol, etcetera. Smoking in public threatens and endangers the health of a lot of other innocent people.

6. The rights of non-smokers
Society recognizes that people have a right not to be involuntarily exposed to known carcinogenic substances, even if only to small amounts and for brief periods. That"s why, for example, extensive and very expensive precautions are taken when asbestos ( a mineral fiber that occurs in rock and soil which increases the risk of developing lung cancer, mesothelioma and other lung diseases) is removed from buildings. This insures that people outside are not exposed even to minute amounts as they pass by, and so their health will not be threatened by such dangerous substances. Similarly, we would not tolerate someone who filed down old brake drums in a playground, thereby releasing even tiny amounts of asbestos into the air. Second-hand smoke is officially classified by the federal government as a "known human carcinogen", which is exactly the same category as asbestos.

Health hazards put aside, being forced to breathe smoke is annoying and irritating to most people, especially when around 100 million Americans who have chronic conditions like asthma and bronchitis, which make them especially susceptible to smoke; and young children who are also especially sensitive. The irritation may cause coughing, watery eyes, etceteras, but overall, discomfort, whether major or minor. It should be noted that many activities are banned in public places simply because they are annoying or irritating, even if they do not pose a health hazard. Common examples include playing loud music on portable radios or boom boxes, engaging in sexually provocative activity, using profanity, dressing in inappropriately scanty attire, etcetera.

7. To improve the cleanliness of the area
Cigarette butts discarded by smokers constitute the overwhelming majority of litter on beaches, as well as in many other public places like parks, playgrounds, and sidewalks. Smoking bans have been shown to substantially reduce the litter and therefore the costs of cleaning up beaches and other outdoor areas, as well as to improve the overall appearance and attractiveness of the area. A beach without smokers or cigarette butts lying around would attract a lot more tourists and business than a beach where smoke drifted around and cigarette butts were stubbed into the sand.

8. To set a good example for the younger generation
Activities and images which might be inappropriate for young children and/or which might lead them into bad habits are often prohibited in public places, even if they pose no health risk and might even be appropriate in areas visited voluntarily only by adults. For example, scenes of an extremely violent nature cannot be broadcast publicly on a big screen outside a mall. These bans are imposed because watching such violent videos set a bad example for young children to see it done openly. Similarly, prohibiting smoking in outdoor places frequented by the public, public areas such as like parks, playgrounds, beaches, etcetera " shields young children from seeing smoking as a common adult behavior to be emulated, even if some may observe smoking by the parents and other adults in private homes. Other examples where activities are prohibited in public places because of their possible impact on children include gambling (permitted in casinos and tracks but not in public places) and displays of pictorial nudity (permitted in art galleries but not on sidewalks).

Smoking bans have been used as measures in many countries due to the aforementioned reasons. Partial or total smoking bans are currently implemented in Hong Kong, Australia, Canada, Italy, New Zealand, Singapore, etcetera. These countries or regions are all technologically developed and smoking bans have lasted for quite some time in those places (e.g. 10 years in New Zealand). This proves that smoking bans do work and that they are worth it.

I hope Con does not forfeit the next round and I look forward to seeing his/her points.

Secondhand Smoke Poses Heart Attack Risk, CDC Warns, Washington Post, April 23, 2004
Vital and Health Statistics: Current Estimates From the National Health Survey (1994)
Pechacek, and Babb, "How acute and reversible are the cardiovascular risks of secondhand smoke?"
"The Health Consequences of Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General." U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2004 Ventura, S.J., Mosher, W.D., Curtin, S.C., Abma, J.C., Henshaw, S.
"Trends in pregnancies and pregnancy rates by outcome: Estimates for the United States," 1976"96.
National Center for Health Statistics. Vital and Health Statistics 2000;21(56).
The Health Effects of Passive Smoking, National Health and Medical Research Council, Australia (11/97)
"Respiratory Health Effects of Passive Smoking: Lung Cancer and other Disorders." Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development
Carney, Smoking Bans Catching on at California Beaches, Boston Globe, April 19, 2004
Some Fume Over Smoking on Beaches, Orlando Sentinel Tribune
Beach Smoking Ban Urged to Protect Sealife, The Observer
Penn State Cigarette Litter Costs, Philadelphia Daily News
Lake Group Seeks Smoking Ban, Chicago Sun- Times
Outdoor Smoking May be Next on Restricted List, Researchers Say, University of Toronto News


user_name forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


Con has forfeited again. I extend all points.


user_name forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4


Another forfeit! Vote Pro.


user_name forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by UchihaMadara 2 years ago
"smoking ban only in public places" =/= total smoking ban...
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by inaudita 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: FFT