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

Tobacco Should Be Banned In The U.S

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Post Voting Period
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after 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/5/2014 Category: Economics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,047 times Debate No: 48299
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (7)
Votes (3)




Tobacco should be a banned product in the United States of America. This debate should be impossible to accept. If you would like to accept this debate, please send me a PM through DDO or post in the comments section.


The round structure shall work as follows:

Round 1: Debate Structure/Rules (Pro) and Acceptance (Con)

Round 2: Opening statements. No rebuttals should be made to any contentions offered by the opponent at this point in time.

Round 3: Rebuttals/Cross-Examination

Round 4: Rebuttals/Cross-Examination

Round 5: Closing Statements. No new arguments may be presented by either party in this round.


1.) There are to be no ad hominem attacks. Should one fail to abide by this rule, it will result in a loss of the conduct point.

2.) Should one of the debaters forfeit a round, it shall result in the loss of the conduct point. Should one of the debaters forfeit two or more rounds, it shall result in a full seven point loss.

3.) If someone should vote and have an RFD that does not pertain to any content in the debate, it may be considered votebombing. To all voters, please ensure that you have a legitimate RFD, no matter which way you may vote.

4.) Wikipedia is not to be credited as a reliable source in this debate. You may use one of the sources cited at the bottom of a Wikipedia page if it does, in fact, pertain to your argument but just listing the Wiki page by itself shall not count.

5.) Keep it clean. We're going to try and keep this as a clean debate. You may use words such as "damn" and "hell" but try to keep crude language to a minimum.

6.) If someone manages to bypass the parameters set in this debate, it is to result in a full 7 point loss for them during voting.

7.) In the event that someone does not adhere to the debate structure listed above, that shall result in the loss of the conduct point.

8.) Debaters may not take to the comments section to post more arguments due to a lack of space on the debate tab. Should this happen, debaters and voters alike are to ignore whatever arguments may be made in the comments section.


Finally, just enjoy yourself. While it is a debate and it can become intense, remember that it's all in good fun at the end of the day.

I wish the best of luck to zmikecuber. I look forward to debating with you.


I accept. I'd like to thank codemeister13 for the chance to debate him on this subject. Being something of a tobacco enthusiast myself, I have an interest in this topic. I look forward to a fun and friendly debate.

With that, I hand it over to Pro to hear his arguments for why tobacco products should be banned! Good luck!
Debate Round No. 1


Tobacco should be banned in the United States. I stand affirmitive to this resolution under the moral of public safety. For the sake of my opening arguments, I shall be focusing primarily on the health risks that tobacco poses to both the user and those that are around the drug when it is in use.

Now, everybody and their mother's uncle has most likely heard about the health effects of tobacco through either the education system, countless amounts of anti-smoking propaganda on television, or even through word of mouth. The fact of the matter is, all of these ring true and it is under these reasons that I stand affirmitive to the resolution.


The above picture depicts many, if not all, of the different chronic diseases and cancers that smoking tobacco can cause in a human being. [1]

Also according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), smoking tobacco causes more deaths each year than HIV/AIDS, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, and firearm-related incidents. So, what exactly does this say about tobacco? Well, let us delve further into just what exactly makes tobacco so dangerous.

Addictive Tendencies

The chemical inside of tobacco that makes it so addictive is a toxin called nicotine. This toxin is considered the "most addictive of all drugs." [2] What nicotine does is stimulate the same areas of the brain that methamphetamines and cocaine do. What makes it so addictive is how our body develops a tolerance of nicotine much faster than these other two drugs. "Neurochemically, the body adapts to the toxins in tobacco a few hours after smoking – which quickly makes smoking necessary in order to feel "normal.'" In its purest form, nicotine is a poison. In fact, just three drops of pure nicotine would be enough to kill an adult. [3] Thankfully, only 1mg of nicotine is inhaled per cigarette that a person may smoke. Nicotine is the least concentrated in chewing tobacco.

Wait, but hold on. There's only 1mg of nicotine per cigarette. That doesn't seem like much right? Let's take into consideration that there is approximately 20 cigarettes per pack. This would be an intake of 20mg of nicotine per pack of cigarettes. The lethal dose of nicotine is considered to be 50mg/kg.[4] Now, allow us to assume that the average cigarette smoker smokes approximately 1.5 packs a day, this would mean that they are having an intake of 30mg of nicotine each day. Over half of the lethal dose is ingested daily. While the smoker may feel stimulated by the nicotine, they are slowly beginning to kill themselves through this addictive drug. That brings us to the next part of our analysis.

What makes tobacco so deadly?

For this part of the argument, we shall analyze smokeless, also known as chewing, tobacco. As according to a WebMD article from 2009 [5], there are many more toxins in chewing tobacco than we thought:

"Researchers have identified new toxins and cancer-causing substances in smokeless tobacco and snuff, in addition to other known carcinogens, such as nitrosamines.

Researchers say sales of moist snuff have doubled since the 1980s, and that many smokeless tobacco users mistakenly believe the products are less hazardous to their health because they do not expose the user to tobacco smoke.

But their study, presented today at a meeting of the American Chemical Society, shows some of the most popular smokeless tobacco and snuff brands contain an additional 21 smoke-related polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), which are potent toxins and carcinogens."

Now, on the other side, what is it about cigarettes that makes them so deadly? What are some of the chemicals that can be found in cigarette smoke? The following is a list of toxins/chemicals found in cigarette smoke and other places they may be found or other things they may be used in [6]:

- Formaldehyde :: Used in the embalming process of dead bodies.
- Benzene :: A chemical commonly found in gasoline
- Vinyl chloride :: A chemical used to make pipes
- Arsenic :: A deadly poison that is found in many pesticides
- Cadmium :: Used in batteries
- Carbon monoxide :: A poisonous gas that can be found in car exhaust
- Ammonia :: Used in household cleaners and bleaching products

Now, for the above reasons, I stand affirmitive to this resolution. In my rebuttals, not only shall I refute what my opponent may offer as his opening remarks, but I shall dive even deeper into the health risks tobacco proposes towards not only the smokers/chewers, but the masses as well.

I look forward to seeing my opponent's constructive remarks.



I just wanted to take a moment to thank codemeister13 for the chance to debate him on this subject. I really think this will be a fun and enjoyable debate. In the spirit of the debate, I decided to put a wad of RedMan in. ;)

As readers may recall, this round is for our opening arguments. Thus, I shall not rebut my opponent's arguments until next round. However, my arguments may, in a way, seem as a rebuttal.

I shall maintain two contentions throughout the course of this debate: Firstly, tobacco products should not be banned in the first place. Secondly, even if we should ban tobacco products, doing so would result in more negative affects than not banning it.

Logical statements
Now my opponent has taken the position: [all] Tobacco products should be banned.

I shall argue this statement false by showing the truth of the contradictory statement, "Some tobacco products should not be banned" and the contrary statement, "No tobacco products should be banned." Since these statements cannot be true while the statement "All tobacco products should be banned" is true, proving the truth of these two statements will prove the falsity of my opponent's position. (1)

C1: Tobacco products should not be banned in the first place

Why so widespread?
According to the American Cancer Society, 19% of adults in America smoke cigarettes (2). This isn't even counting the 8.9 million users of smokeless tobacco (ST), 13.2 million cigar smokers, and 2.2 million pipe smokers (2). In other words, we're dealing with a huge percentage of the American society. Banning tobacco would affect approximately 68.1 million Americans! Since this number is so huge, my opponent must have extremely good arguments before we pass a law affecting so many.

Why is it the government's business anyways?
If used properly, tobacco only affects the health of the individual using it. Consequently, it is their own business. It doesn't have mind-altering results, and you've never heard of any ads saying "Don't smoke and drive." This asks the question: What business does the government have in this area? Before we can argue something should be banned, it must be an appropriate action in the first place.

P1: Whatever directly affects only the individual is an area the government has no business in.
P2: Tobacco use (if used properly) affects only the individual.
C: Tobacco use is an area the government has no business in.

Not all tobaccos are equal!
My opponent is also proposing a widescale ban on tobacco. However, there are plenty of smokeless tobacco products which are relatively risk free.

The Oral Cancer Foundation has this to say:

""I cannot conclude that the use of any tobacco product is a safer alternative to smoking. This message is especially important to communicate to young people, who may perceive smokeless tobacco as a safe form of tobacco use." (U.S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona, MD, June 2003 testimony) While OCF agrees with this statement, especially in relationship to young individuals, there may be some harm reduction benefit when traditional loose leaf chewing tobacco is compared snus style products, and certainly when compared to with smoking tobacco where combustion of the tobacco is present. This does not mean that we endorse the use of smokeless products" (3)

Please note there is a difference between snus (also known as dip) and Swedish Snus. So here we have even the Oral Cancer Foundation disagreeing with the U.S. Surgeon General! Of course, they don't endorse tobacco use, but it seems pretty clear that smokeless tobacco may very well be safer.

Now let's turn to Swedish Snus.

The American Cancer Society has this to say:

"Smokeless tobacco products are less lethal than cigarettes: On average, they kill fewer people than cigarettes. But smokeless tobacco hurts and kills people all the same. Even though they are marketed as a less harmful alternative to smoking, smokeless products can be deadly." (4)

Now, I am not arguing that Swedish Snus is 100% safe. It has tobacco, which may cause cancer. However, just saying "It causes xyz" is not enough. We need to know the chances of getting cancer from the tobacco product to truly know how deadly it is. If 1 out of 1,000,000 people died from a product, we could claim "This product causes death" but it might not be very deadly at all.

So how dangerous is Swedish Snus? The answer is: Not very.

Oral cancer is already extremely rare. In fact, you are more at a chance of getting oral cancer from smoking cigarettes, than you are using Swedish Snus (5). So even if we increase our chances by 2 or 4 times, it's still unlikely to get mouth cancer.

Drs. Lee and Hamling did a study in 2009 in which they found absolutely no significant relation between Swedish Snus and oral cancer. (6) They state:

"An increased risk of oropharyngeal cancer is evident most clearly for past smokeless tobacco use in the USA, but not for Scandinavian snuff." (6)

Drs. Rodu and Cole also presented a study, after which they declared:

"This study found that use of chewing tobacco and moist snuff were associated with only minimally elevated risks" (7)

Dr. Lee also did a study examining Swedish Snus with heart disease and stroke, concluding:

"The Swedish studies provided little evidence of an increase for heart disease (1.06,
0.83–1.37, n¼5) or stroke (1.17, 0.80–1.70, n¼2)" (8)
He further concluded:

"Any CID risk from ST appears to be substantially less than from smoking, and no
clear risk from Swedish snuff is seen." (8)
Kenneth Warner, PHD and dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor claims:

“Snus is the least harmful of the smokeless tobacco products because of how it is produced and stored, and ‘everyone who has studied this agrees there is a 95%–99% reduction in the health risk of snus, compared to use of cigarettes,'" (9)

I could go on and on about all the studies which have been done, but I think you get the point. Not all tobacco products are that bad for you. The evidence and studies of Swedish Snus all points towards its relative safety. Why is this? The answer lies in the production. Swedish Snus is produced by steam-heating rather than fermenting (2). This results in less TSNA (cancer causing agents) and explains why Swedish Snus has been proven by countless studies to be safer.

C2: Banning tobacco products would cause a bigger problems
While completely uncalled for and inappropriate, banning tobacco products would cause huge problems.

Loss of money
In 2010, the US Government collected $23,958,000,000 in taxes on cigarettes alone. (10) You read that right, 24 billion dollars. Banning tobacco would result in a loss of this money.

It's going to happen anyways
Now banning tobacco products isn't going to stop tobacco users from getting tobacco. It doesn't stop drug users from getting drugs, and tobacco is used much more than any drug. So it seems absurd to ban it, since placing a ban would do essentially nothing. All it would do is create a vast black market. As stated above, almost 20% of adults smoke cigarettes. Would banning tobacco stop them? Probably not.

It would increase DEA costs
Now if we're going to pass this law, we should enforce it. And to combat the resulting black market, we're going to have to increase the DEA. This would result in more money spent by the government.

Decreasing workers' efficiency
Numerous studies have shown that nicotine increases worker's efficiency (11). I won't get into all these, but banning tobacco would result in less efficient workers, which would harm businesses, and thus harm the economy.

In conclusion, I've held two contentions. One, all tobacco products shouldn't be banned in the first place. And two, banning them would result in extremely negative results which would make a ban just not worth it. The government has no business in banning tobacco, not all tobacco is equally dangerous, and it would have catestrophic results that would harm the economy.

For these reasons, as well as many more, tobacco should not be a banned product in the US.

Thank you!

Debate Round No. 2


Unfortunately due to to time constraints, I'm going to be unable to post a full rebuttal this round. I invite my opponent to do so still and I shall return next round to refute his opening arguments and rebuttal. My sincerest apologies to my opponent and the voters. There's some personal shenanigans going on and I have to make sure they get taken care of by tomorrow. Thusly, I am been unable to post a full, coherent argument right now.

My sincerest apologies again.


I wouldn't feel right posting objections to my opponent's argument before he has the chance to do so. So I'll just leave this round blank.

I hope my opponent can return for R4, and that he gets his personal matters resolved!
Debate Round No. 3


codemeister13 forfeited this round.


Forfeit... I'll provide rebuttals next round.
Debate Round No. 4


codemeister13 forfeited this round.


Well kids, that was uneventful. It turns out that codemeister13 got robbed, and any device he would use to get onto the internet was stolen. Hopefully he gets his stuff back. You can read about it here:

We're hoping to do it again when he comes back. So I ask that no one vote on this, and it result in a tie.

Debate Round No. 5
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by M8pisces 2 years ago
Not only in the US, I think tobacco should be banned in all nations. Of course the government would not consider doing this since that would greatly damage the privilege of huge corporations which contribute a lot to the country GDP. In a capitalist world, this seems impossible anyway. The first thing we should do is solving the problem from the root, not from the top, how about making a nation without intervention of business elites
Posted by codemeister13 2 years ago
Ah, thank you for the heads up on that one. I'll put those in a small section of their own after my rebuttal.
Posted by zmikecuber 2 years ago
Btw, some of your links are broken... I think it's because you accidentally put a space at the end of them. I used to do that and lost source points for it. Just a heads up. ;)
Posted by zmikecuber 2 years ago
That's fine, brah. Take your time... I've only made a little outline of my opening arguments :P
Posted by codemeister13 2 years ago
I'm working on typing up my arguments. Unfortunately, I keep getting shuffled about and it's taking longer than usual. My apologies for the small delay on this debate. My opening arguments are currently about 50% done.
Posted by zmikecuber 2 years ago
I'd love to debate this with you.
Posted by connor121212341434 2 years ago
I'm not from the United States, and I've never been there. I'm assuming that the problems with smoking are similar to the English problems.

Smoking is indeed a problem and a common cause for many illnesses, but I'm not sure it should be banned. If you watch the English news - which I suppose you probably wouldn't - you'll know that our NHS (National Health Service) is suffering many financial problems and is under threat of being closed down. This is because too many people are having to get medical attention for health problems that are self-inflicted (smoking, for example).

Take from this what you will, fellow debaters.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Krazzy_Player 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Good debate resulted in forfeit
Vote Placed by Defro 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: zmikecuber has requested this to end in a tie in the forum, so I will comply.
Vote Placed by Wylted 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: FF. Sorry to hear about the robbery codemeister.