The Instigator
DaLogic
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
RyuuKyuzo
Con (against)
Winning
13 Points

Tobacco not a major cause of cancer

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
RyuuKyuzo
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/26/2015 Category: Health
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 696 times Debate No: 84318
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (3)

 

DaLogic

Pro

Argument:

It is widely accepted that Tobacco smoking is a major cause of cancer, if this is the case, why then does United States have higher rates of cancer than a country such as Greece where tobacco consumption is the highest in the world?
see link below.

https://en.wikipedia.org...

Strangely enough, Greece has much lower cancer rates than countries with much lower tobacco consumption?
see link below.
https://en.wikipedia.org...

This is strong evidence that Tobacco is in fact not a leading cause of cancer and that much is blamed on tobacco smoking when other factors are largely ignored, such as poor air and water quality, poor diet, pesticides, food preservatives, genetically modified foods etc...
RyuuKyuzo

Con

Let is be clear that the resolution of this debate is tobacco is not a major form of cancer. Given this, if my opponent can show that cancer is indeed, not a major cause of cancer, then he has fulfilled his burden of proof. If he cannot, he loses the debate.

1. Counter Argument

Pro's main and only argument for his position is that Greece has lower rates of Cancer than the US, despite having higher rates of smoking. This doesn't prove anything, it's just a correlation. There are several other causes of cancer, and it's entirely plausible that these factors more than compensate for the lower rates of smoking in the US. As such, Pro has yet to fulfill his burden of proof (BoP) and as such he currently stands to lose this debate.

2. The Negative Argument

Cancer rates may be higher in the US than Greece, but not all cancers are created equal. We must also look at type of cancer and the causes of these types. In the US, breast-cancer is the most common [1]. In Greece, lung cancer is number 1. It's actually the 3rd highest cause of death in Greece, with lung-disease coming in sixth [3]. In fact, Greece has higher rates of lung-cancer than the rest of Europe [2]. Given that smoking has been shown to cause 80% of lung-cancer cases [4], and given that lung-cancer rates are so high in Greece, Greece is actually an argument for my position, not Pro's.

Conclusion

Pro's argument is conjectural at best and when the data is more thoroughly examined, we see that Pro's argument actually supports my position. As such, his BoP is unfulfilled. Tobacco is clearly a major cause of cancer, as the science shows, and therefore the resolution has been negated.

VOTE CON


Sources


1. http://www.cancer.gov...
2. http://www.thetoc.gr...
3. http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com...
4. https://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 1
DaLogic

Pro

You have to forgive me if I lack fancy professionalism as I'm not very familiar with this website, or more specifically this part of the website.



Con's assumptions and my rebuttal.

'Pro's main and only argument for his position is that Greece has lower rates of Cancer than the US, despite having higher rates of smoking'

Actually, that is not my only argument, I would not waste my most convincing arguments at the very beginning of the debate

Lung cancer rates by country.

Greece does NOT even have the highest rates of lung cancer in europe.
see link below

http://www.wcrf.org...

http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com...

Greece is not even in the top ten yet it is the HIGHEST in tobacco consumption IN THE WORLD.

Second argument.

There is a magnificant country in north east Asia, it has one of the highest life expectancy on earth.
The country is called Japan.
Japan happens to have very high tobacco consumption yet despite having a high number of smokers it has a very low lung cancer rate, so low that lung cancer is rare!
One third of the country's population smoke cigarettes!
Lung cancer rate in Japan is TEN TIMES lower than that of North America's.

http://fightantismokertyranny.blogspot.ca...

Conclusion
The statistics suport my argument, therfore my conclusion is still the same as the very beginning, Tobacco is not a major cause of cancer.


RyuuKyuzo

Con

1. Lung Cancer Rates By Country

It's worth noting that Pro's source is from 2012 whereas mine is from 2014, and therefore trumps his. But, even if it is the case that Greece doesn't have the highest rate of lung-cancer in Europe, it's irrelevant, because it's still true that lung-cancer is the most common form of cancer in Greece, which makes sense considering their high rate of smoking. Furthermore, Pro makes no effort whatsoever to address my point that smoking has been shown to be responsible for upwards of 80% of lung-cancer cases. To say that tobacco is not a major cause of cancer in light of this is to ignore reality.

2. Second Argument

Once again, Pro makes the same error here he did with his previous argument. It's merely correlative conjecture. Just because the Japanese smoke more tobacco but don't have higher rates of lung-cancer doesn't affirm the resolution. Life is complicated, and several factors affect cancer rates in a given nation. The only way to know for sure if tobacco is indeed a major cause of cancer is to test it scientifically, and the science tells us that smoking tobacco is the single-most major cause of lung-cancer [1].



Conclusion

Nothing Pro has argued thus far has shown the science to be wrong about the relationship between smoking and cancer. Correlation =/= causation (or in this case, anti-causation), and so Pro has yet again failed to meet his BoP. The resolution is negated.

VOTE CON


Sources

1. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com...
Debate Round No. 2
DaLogic

Pro

Argument three.

If smoking has been shown to be responsible for upwards of 80% of lung cancer cases, why is it that many countries with low tobacco consumption have very high rates of lung cancer? Much higher than many countries in which tobacco consumption is very high?
Norway
Iceland
Uraguay
Lithuania
Netherlands
England
Canada
all have lower tobacco consumption but very high rates of lung cancer.

https://en.wikipedia.org...

http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com...

If it's mainly due to genetics and ethnicity etc.. why then does Australia which has a population mostly composed of europeans (british) have a much lower rate of lung cancer than England WHEN tobacco consumption is much higher in Australia?

You failed to be convincing about the 80% figure, how is it possible to accurately prove what causes lung Cancer? Speculations and possibilities are not exactly proof, for example even if you smoked just 5 years and then you quit, and then you get lung cancer 20 years later they'll still blame it on smoking, that does not prove smoking caused it.


Dangers of smoking have been exaggerated, 60 years ago the majority of men smoked, yet lung cancer was uncommon, they are simply blaming smoking as an attempt to hide the real causes (Opinion).

Conclusion


If statistics clearly show that even low tobacco consuming countries still have high or even higher cancer rates than high consuming countries, this is enough for me to conclude that tobacco is not a major cause of cancer.

RyuuKyuzo

Con

Argument 3

Pro asks how there could be a discrepancy between tobacco usage and cancer rates between countries. It's odd that he does this, because answering this question is his burden, not mine. Pro has the BoP, and so it falls to him to show that, contrary to medical consensus, tobacco actually isn't a major cause of cancer. To outline the absurdity of Pro's argument, consider this; if it's fair to say that smoking doesn't cause cancer because some nations with high rates of tobacco usage have lower rates of cancer than some nations with low rates of tobacco usage, then it's equally fair to say that this fact proves smoking actually lowers one's risk of cancer. Clearly that's not true, which is why using this kind of conjecture to infer how carcinogenic tobacco may be is fallacious. You have to look at the science.

Pro claims the science is faulty because the findings are speculative. Firstly, he hasn't actually shown this to be the case, he's only asserted it. Secondly, he apparently did not actually look into the methodology of these studies. The link between tobacco and cancer has been shown with both cohort and case-controlled studies [1]. This means whether we're looking at cancer-free non-smokers who take up smoking and are followed throughout their lives adjacent to a non-smoking "control" group, or whether we look at people who already have lung cancer vs. people who don't and work backwards to uncover the cause, we find this relationship between smoking and cancer [2]. It would be a cosmic joke of improbability for this to be a mere coincidence.

Conclusion:

Pro has failed to provide a compelling affirmative case for why tobacco isn't a major cause of cancer. Despite claiming the actual science is merely speculative, ironically it is his own arguments that rely on speculation alone. The resolution is negated.

VOTE CON

Sources

1. http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org...
2. http://www.theanalysisfactor.com...
Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by DaLogic 1 year ago
DaLogic
I never said Tobacco doesn't cause cancer though, it definitely does, I should have clarified that in the debate, I just have reasons to believe that it's not a MAJOR cause of cancer.
Posted by DaLogic 1 year ago
DaLogic
http://www.telegraph.co.uk...

I like how they blame it on smoking when the country is far from the highest in tobacco consumption.
Misleading article.
Posted by RyuuKyuzo 1 year ago
RyuuKyuzo
I haven't debated in a while, so let's see if I remember how this works!
Posted by DaLogic 1 year ago
DaLogic
When someone smoked at one point in their lives, lets say for 5 years and then quits and then falls victim to cancer 20 years after they quit, oftentimes they will blame it on smoking without direct evidence.
In my opinion they blame it a lot on smoking to keep the focus off the real major causes.
Posted by DrCicle 1 year ago
DrCicle
Tobacco is a cause, not the major cause.
Posted by raskuseal 1 year ago
raskuseal
I agree with Dalogic on this. While it is true that tobacco causes some kinds of cancer, (lung and gum), It actually depends on all sorts of things, such as genetics. some people live well into their 80's and smoke a box a day because they won the genetic lottery. Unnatural stuff such as preservatives or GMO's are also highly suspected of causing cancer and other disorders, as this would explain why their are so many disorders in America compared to the rest of the world. Unfortunately, they have never been fully investigated, so results are either nonextant or flawed.
Posted by Wylted 1 year ago
Wylted
Actually they say "a leading cause". You could say "a leading cause" and it could still be in 50th place among things that cause cancer.

There is a world of difference between "leading cause" and "a leading cause"
Posted by DaLogic 1 year ago
DaLogic
'Tobacco leading cause of cancer'

http://www.cancer.gov...
Posted by Wylted 1 year ago
Wylted
I have never seen anyone call tobacco the main cause of cancer.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by YYW 1 year ago
YYW
DaLogicRyuuKyuzoTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: This was a very strange debate. It's a falsifiable resolution and therefore PRO has the sole obligation to prove that 'tobacco is not a major cause of cancer.' PRO offered nothing in the way of disproving the well-established causal link between the two, which was above and beyond his burden. As CON correctly described, PRO failed to provide any affirmative argument which even plausibly passed for substantiation of his BOP, (i.e. offered reasons why tobacco isn't a major cause of cancer). And moreover, PRO more or less offered no reasons whatsoever why the said causal link was speculative, despite claiming the science is merely speculative. If PRO is going to likewise attack CON for making speculative arguments, then his own arguments can't themselves be even more speculative. PRO offers pure conjecture; CON actually made a case, and prevented PRO from meeting his burden with very little difficulty. Objective, clear win for CON and loss for PRO for manifestly obvious reasons.
Vote Placed by Sam7411 1 year ago
Sam7411
DaLogicRyuuKyuzoTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Unfortunately, Pro made his conclusions through correlative reasons, basically stating that since some countries have a lower rate of cancer and smoke more that smoking isn't harmful. However, one most realize where those cancer deaths do come from, like tobacco, and the effects of tobacco on the lungs, mouth etc., basically from a scientific analysis. Pro, unlike Con, sometimes used Wikipedia and blogs as a source, while Con used a wide variety of reliable sources.
Vote Placed by TUF 1 year ago
TUF
DaLogicRyuuKyuzoTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QrI4i2NTwvqjreFthAnqLth5QGQRcnRIe6kEV7Ajc_8/edit?usp=sharing