The Instigator
RKiverso
Con (against)
Winning
17 Points
The Contender
mtinman
Pro (for)
Losing
8 Points

smoking

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/9/2009 Category: Health
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,148 times Debate No: 10020
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (5)

 

RKiverso

Con

I would like to go ahead and thank my opponent for accepting this debate. I am looking forward to an interesting debate.

Proposition of Policy: Cigarette smoking should not be banned in the United States
Key terms: ( taken from dictionary.com)

Cigarette-a cylindrical roll of finely cut tobacco cured for smoking, considerably smaller than most cigars and usually wrapped in thin white paper.

Smoking-to draw into the mouth and puff out the smoke of

Banned-to prohibit, forbid, or bar
Primary inference:
Smoking cigarettes should not be made illegal in the United States.

Claim 1: While a government has a responsibility to protect its population, it also has a responsibility to defend their freedom of choice. The law steps in to prevent citizens causing harm to others, whether deliberately or accidentally. However, it should not stop them taking risks themselves - for example, dangerous sports such as rock-climbing, parachuting or motor-racing are legal. It is also legal to indulge in other health-threatening activities such as eating lots of fatty foods, taking no exercise, and drinking too much alcohol. A comparison is to unhealthy foods; high cholesterol or a high intake of fat can be extremely harmful, leading to heart disease, obesity, and other conditions; but manufacturers of these products are not punished. Consumers simply like the taste of fatty food. People should be allowed to smoke cigarettes and to eat fatty foods - both these things are sources of pleasure which, while having serious associated health risks, are only fatal after many decades, unlike a poisonous food or an unsafe car, which pose immediate and high risks.Banning smoking would be an unmerited intrusion into personal freedom.If we were to ban smoking because of health issues, then there should be a tax on unhealthy foods. "Report by the University of Nottingham and University of Oxford [1], claimed that introducing a tax on unhealthy foods would save, at least, 3,000 lives a year from heart disease. The authors also claim this is a conservative estimate, because it ignores the benefits from the reduced incidence of diabetes, strokes and other obesity related illnesses." more info on the effects of this idea

http://www.economicshelp.org...

Claim 2: It would be crazy to criminalise an activity indulged in by about one sixth of the world population. The lesson of prohibition of alcohol in America in the 1920s was that banning a recreational drug used by a large proportion of the population merely leads to crime and contraband. The reason for the alcohol ban is stated as "claimed that the nation's health would improve dramatically without alcohol, and that crime would drop. It was also claimed that other industries, like dairy, would prosper as other types of beverages increased in popularity to fill the void left by the absence of alcohol. Juvenile delinquency was also supposed to be virtually eliminated, and the average workers productivity was also supposed to increase, leading to an increase in economic prosperity for the nation." This proved to be false, "By the time of the repeal of the 18th Amendment in 1933, it was obvious that the measure was a failure. Instead of promoting the nation's health and hygiene, the opposite was true as the illegal manufacture of alcohol filled part of the void, and those illegal products were often dangerous or much higher in alcohol content than the beer, wines and spirits they replaced. Crime also increased, since illegal activity was required to market the illegal alcohol. Criminal activity became organized and led to the rise of powerful crime syndicates that used murder, and the bribery of public officials and even law enforcement officers, to move large quantities of the illegal substance. Drug use increased, with drugs taking the place of alcohol. Worker productivity did not increase. Jails filled with people convicted of relatively minor infractions of the alcohol ban. Enforcement of the ban cost millions of dollars. Congress repealed the 18th Amendment with the passage of the 21st Amendment in 1933. As a result of the legalization of alcohol, crime was actually reduced and many new jobs were created as the liquor industry expanded. This was especially important in the Depression years that began with the Stock Market crash in 1929 and lasted into the late 1930s."

http://www.historicpatterson.org...

Claim 3: Banning cigarettes would also mean that governments would lose tax revenue from tobacco sales - a major source of income for national health and other resources. They yearly average for tax revenue on cigarettes in 2006 was $14, 794, 713.
http://www.taxpolicycenter.org...

Banning smoking would not Help the current economy or the health of the American people. People choose to smoke becasue they want to and they are intitled to their right to decide. If America was to make smoking illegal, excess costs of jail time, court, hospital bills, welfare, and employing extra police officers because of wrong doers, would be put upon the American people in the form of taxes.
mtinman

Pro

Cigarette smoking should be banned in the United States

Key Terms:
Second hand smoke: a mixture of the smoke exhaled by smokers and the smoke that comes from the burning end of a cigarette, cigar, or pipe. Also known as environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), passive, or involuntary smoke.
http://www.medicinenet.com...

Claim 1: If the government does have a stronger voice and can make choices regarding the health of our country, cigarette smoking should be banned in the US. The safety and health of each individual should be most important to a society as a whole and according to the National Cancer Institute cigarette smoking causes a lot of harm to the body. The National Cancer Institute also found that 87% of lung cancer deaths were caused by tobacco and is also a cause of lung and heart disease, stroke, and cataracts. Cigarette smoking may also cause pregnancy problems which can cause harm to the mother and the baby. Yes, people do participate in activities that may cause themselves harm, but second hand smoke causes harm to those who do not choose this activity. For instance, children do not have the option to ride in the car with their parents. If their parents smoke in the car, they take in the second hand smoke and may have complications or health issues in the future. If all of these affects of smoking can be prevented, they should be. On regards to obesity and fatty foods, yes there are not laws saying we can not eat them and we can eat whatever we choose, but restaurants are incorporating healthier choices and even nutrition labels. A tax on sodas and sugary drinks was also purposed. If there was a tax on unhealthy foods and 3,000 lives would be saved, think of number of lives that would be saved from the banning of cigarettes. The government does have the responsibility to protect its population, but also defend their freedom of choice and that is understandable. But when lung cancer and any other disease can possibly be prevented it should be.
http://www.cancer.gov...

Claim 2: Many people who do smoke are law-abiding citizens who want to quit and would not commit crimes because cigarettes are banned. Smokers can not be correlated with increased crime rates and if those who did smoke, quit, who can determine they are likely to commit crimes? That is an unfair assumption to make. Yes, people may obtain new habits to prevent them from smoking, but instead of something as outrageous as committing crimes they may change their eating habits, find new hobbies, or frequent the gym more often. Here are a few suggestions for quitting and committing to it. http://www.cancer.org...
Yes, smokers do choose this habit, but they do not always choose to be addicted. According to the American Heart Association, Nicotine is an addictive drug. It causes changes in the brain that make people want to use it more and more. In addition, addictive drugs cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. The good feelings that result when an addictive drug is present — and the bad feelings when it's absent — make breaking any addiction very difficult. Nicotine addiction has historically been one of the hardest addictions to break. Once we are addicted, it is up to us to quit, but we do not always choosing to be addicted. If we are addicted it is not so much are decision to continue to smoke, so banning tobacco use would be beneficial in eliminating the addiction and obstacles of quitting that smokers face.
http://www.americanheart.org...

Claim 3: If governments are responsible for the tax revenue they obtain from tobacco sales, they can be responsible for finding new areas for revenue and ban smoking. They government cares about the health of a society as a whole and has the power to encourage and even force smokers to quit. I will agree the government will lose revenue from these sales, but health should be most important.

Banning smoking would benefit the health of the American people and encourage healthier lifestyles which should make even more reason for this issue to be considered.
Debate Round No. 1
RKiverso

Con

Thank you for approaching this argument with reasonable claims:
First on your claim of second hand smoke: The evidence for second hand smoke is very slim, because very few controlled studies having been carried out. It may be true that those who live with heavy smokers for a long period of time may have a very slightly increased risk of cancer. If a child is riding in the car with a smoker, a window is very suitable for getting rid of unwanted smoke, and unless a person is completely brain-dead they will know not to blow some in the direction of a helpless baby or infant. It is true that smoke-filled environments can be unpleasant for non-smokers, but there are ways around this - smoking rooms in offices and airports are an example. Some bars and restaurants may choose to be non-smoking establishments, giving customers the choice to select their environment. Allowing people to make their own, adult decisions is surely always the best option. Restricting smoking in public places may sometimes be appropriate. So if you are a non-smoker, you are more than welcome to not enter an environment where people are smoking cigarettes.

Not everyone who smokes is willing to quit, everyone knows the danger of smoking cigarettes...yet they continue to do it. So why would they all of a sudden be okay with the government taking away this choice they had, and have to give up a habit cold turkey? As I showed earlier, there is proof that after the ban of alcohol the crime rates went up and it caused riots. If everyone went to the gym instead of indulging in an unhealthy diet, the world would be a much skinnier place. You cannot tell someone to quit smoking and instead expect them to go to the gym, it is very unlikely.

As for cigarettes being addictive- yes they are but the knowledge that so many smokers give up this habit every year is testament to this. Many other substances and activities can be addictive (shopping, caffeine, cleaning) but this is no reason to make them illegal. People are able to abstain if they choose to live a healthier life, but many enjoy their use as part of their everyday existence.

The government is not worrying about the health of people who choose to smoke, having cigarette companies is not only a tax revenue builder as I stated earlier, but it creates thousands of jobs for people in our country. From the farmers, to the production, to delivery to sales, cutting these jobs would be more harmful to the overall health and well being to our country than to ban smoking altogether.

As far as having a healthier country, the government is better off advocating smoking than banning it "The National Bureau of Economic Research recently released a study by RAND Corporation researchers that looked at two of the major health swings of our lives—tremendous reductions in smoking and alarming increases in obesity. Common sense might argue that less smoking would reduce government spending and obesity would increase it. Wrong. Both trends cause higher government outlays, the researchers found. In fact, from a purely fiscal standpoint, they concluded, a truly cost-effective policy would be to help people to lose weight—by taking up smoking! "

http://www.usnews.com......

Banning smoking would cause a tremendous upheaval, and add more problems to our countries already problematic state.
mtinman

Pro

I do agree with some of your stances, but there is evidence that second hand smoke can cause cancer and even death. According to an EPA report on second hand smoke in California in 1997, 53,800 people died from second hand smoke exposure. Also, children are at risk to many smaller, chronic diseases as a result of second hand smoke. I am not saying they will die from it, but they are certainly affected. I am aware that maybe going to the bar every once in a while and inhaling second hand smoke may not have nearly as much affect on you as constant, more long term exposure, but it is still unhealthy regardless. Many public places do have special areas for smokers and I think that is a start in the right direction. One issue I have found and many others have as well that in restaurants that have smoking and non-smoking areas, they are not exactly separated. There are barriers, but they do not necessarily keep smoke from drifting in the non-smoking sections. People do have the decision to enter or not enter these environments and you made a good point about that, but people should not feel limited either. This website contains valuable information on second hand smoke and studies that have been done: http://www.no-smoke.org....

Your points about smokers and their willingness to quit is very valid. I will say, although it would not necessarily be fair to forbid smoking and have smokers give it up cold turkey, perhaps the government instead of one day just taking it away, give smokers time to quit. People are very aware of the harm cigarettes can do to them which in some sense does makes it ok. For instance, I do not smoke and I do not choose to smoke because of the harm I think it will cause on my body. I know people who do smoke and know the precautions, but choose to anyways. It is up to the person and their rights. This idea is not relevant to my argument, but I wanted to point out that my opponents point on this topic is valid. On the other hand, I did want to point at that people do have very different reasons for why they smoke. Maybe they smoke to decrease stress, keep weight off, or any other unknown personal reason. I was suggesting that there are other ways to eliminate these issues. Studies have found that exercise does affect stress relief positively and according to the ADAA scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. There are other ways to achieve what we intend to get from a cigarette, not just going to the gym, which may not be what many people need or want to do. But other forms of distraction, for instance, may be beneficial when trying to quit.
http://www.adaa.org...

Many people are able to quit smoking and that is a very good statistic to see when it is easy to believe a lot of people cannot quit or have a really hard time with it. Shopping, caffeine, or even cleaning as you mentioned are not necessarily harmful to the body, but I do understand the point you are making. People do have a right to choose, but it is encouraging to see that people do have the ability to quit.

I do not agree smoking should be legal, but I do know that is a hard task to achieve especially when people are given the right to do things they wish, regardless of the outcome. Smoking does cause harm to our bodies and others as well, so smokers and non smokers would benefit from the banning of tobacco. The government, I believe can possibly find other means to supply jobs although it was stated that cutting the jobs related to the tobacco industry would be "more harmful to the overall health and well being to our country than to ban smoking altogether."

I am well aware that banning smoking would be a hard feat, but the government could aid in assisting those who want to quit and perhaps advocate how harmful it is. At some point, with hope, a huge amount of smokers will quit and banning tobacco will be easier to achieve.
Debate Round No. 2
RKiverso

Con

Because you have already repeated earlier arguments, I will not stress my points again. It seems as if you agree with my stances on the claims, and don't really have any hard evidence to back up your warrants. As stated by the opponent

"I do agree with some of your stances"
"Your points about smokers and their willingness to quit is very valid"
"This idea is not relevant to my argument, but I wanted to point out that my opponents point on this topic is valid"
"...but I do understand the point you are making"
"...but I do know that is a hard task to achieve especially when people are given the right to do things they wish"
Banning smoking should not be legalized. As proved in this argument. Thanks for the debate.
mtinman

Pro

I do agree with your stances because you did make valid points that I felt were reasonable. That does not mean I am for smoking, and I felt my evidence on second hand smoke and the health risks for smokers and non smokers was reasonable evidence for anyone to want to quit smoking and for it to be banned. I do feel it is something that is easier said than done and would require a lot of action to be taken.
Debate Round No. 3
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Vote Placed by MrHardRock 4 years ago
MrHardRock
RKiversomtinmanTied
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Vote Placed by Nails 4 years ago
Nails
RKiversomtinmanTied
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Vote Placed by RKiverso 4 years ago
RKiverso
RKiversomtinmanTied
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Vote Placed by Thade 4 years ago
Thade
RKiversomtinmanTied
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Vote Placed by XimenBao 4 years ago
XimenBao
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