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Should the sale of cigarettes be banned?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/29/2018 Category: People
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 818 times Debate No: 107215
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
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I'm here to argue that the sale of cigarettes should be banned because of the unhealthy consequences it causes on the user and surrounding people.


I am here to argue that the sale of cigarettes should not be banned. First, a ban wouldn't be effective. People hooked on cigarettes will find illegal ways to get them just like people did during the Prohibition. Illegal cigarettes could lead to people wanting to ban alcohol (again even though it failed miserably last time), and maybe even some sweets because they are bad for your health. I look forward to debating you if you keep it civil!
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for debating with me and i will definitely keep this civil.
I agree with you on the part of stopping other ways of getting cigarettes and such with illegal ways but banning cigarettes, at least the most easy and convenient way to get them, would be a little effective at the very least. People hooked on certain things will do anything to get it; history has shown us that with events such as the Prohibition. But I don't think that this could lead to people trying or at least wanting to ban alchohal. There have always been people who hated alchohol because of "demons" and such but alchohol seems like a better subsitute than cigarettes. Most adults partake in the activity of drinking so the mass majority would immedietly start rallies and such to stop so this probably wouldn't happen. Adolescents who choose not to smoke can still be affected by this if a person nearby does it and can get a certain disease because of someone's choice. Although drunk-driving is a problem, in this situation, usually the bystander has a choice of whether or not to get into the car so it's not quite equivalent to smoking problems but are both serious problems in America.
Even smoking once immedietly heightens the risk of heart/lung disease and highers metabolism. Cigarettes are a horrible part of society and honestly I don't know why it hasn't been banned yet; it's been shown to have horrible effects on the body. In this day in age, it seems that most people are obssesed with choice but I think the problem with this is when the choices one is making is affecting the body negatively. No, a society in which "intellectual beings" choose what the rest of the population is allowed to do isn't the situation but banning certain things that have been proven to not be healthy may be the solution to all of this.


Sorry if I tend to jump around a lot by the way.

Even you agreed that many people would ignore a law that bans cigarettes but say that it would be a little effective. I agree that it would be a little effective, but there are other better, more effective ways of getting cigarettes off the streets. Another thing I should mention (and kind of already did): many cigarette users couldn't stop their addiction if they tried as hard as they could. Should we really be using tons of tax dollars and police officers' time to go after people that can't stop their addiction? Shouldn't we instead spend the money on getting those people to stop smoking by sending them to specialists that can offer a long term solution? Putting cigarette addicts in jail wouldn't get them to stop, but having them go to a specialist would help them much more. Would we ever think of putting people with mental disorders in jail? That woud be totally unfair and wouldn't solve the problem in the least!

Also, when I said that if cigarettes were banned, alcohol could be banned on the same grounds, I know this is absurd (at least in today's world since we see what the Prohibition did). I am trying to make a point in showing that it is absurd (in my opinion) to ban cigarettes. If you should ban cigarettes because of bodily concerns, you should ban alcohol too, because it can be harmful to the body (and mind) as well. Yes, cigarettes can give other people health problems, but so can driving drunk. You said that people can choose to be in a car with a drunk person or not. This is true, but still doesn't eliminate the problem because that same drunk driver can still get in a crash and hurt people in another car who had no choice and didn't know the drunk driver would be there. Because of that, I would argue, alcohol has many similarities with cigarettes.

Also, you say that because so many people drink, if it was banned, then there would be riots. I would argue the same is true for cigarettes. Many people are hooked on cigarettes, and yes, I realize more people drink alcohol, but my point is that there would still be riots to get cigarettes back.

"Even smoking once immediately heightens the risk of heart/lung disease and heightens metabolism."
This is true, but even driving just once while drunk can cost you your life. Do we ban alcohol because of this? No. Some of the same things can be true with sweets and desserts (again, I don't think these should be banned, I am trying to make a point). Eating sweets and desserts can make you obese and give you other health problems too. It is the person's choice if they would like to ruin their health or not.

"Banning certain things that have been proven to not be healthy may be the solution to all of this."
So are you saying we should ban all things that are unhealthy for you? Who even gets to decide what is healthy? Should we ban alcohol? Should we ban sweets and certain desserts with a certain amount of carbs./sugar/fat? Should we ban unhealthy drinks like soda? Should we ban TV since it causes people to excercise less? Should we ban football because of the effects it has on the players (like concussions)? I say no to banning any of these things.
Debate Round No. 2


Thanks for replying.
To go along with the ban, there would be a requirement of previous cigarette users or current users to go to 20-30 hours of therapy/time with a specialist. I agree with you wholeheartedly; putting them in jail won't get them to stop yet sending them to specialists can offer a long time solution.
I don't think money would be spent in the banning of it; cigarettes would just be taken out of stock in stores and replaced with nicoderm/nicorette/etc.
This society is much to kind to throw people with mental disorders in jail; not only would this be unfair (like you pointed out) it also wouldn't help the individuals.
I understand the point you are making by comparing this debate to banning candy and such. And although candy is unhealthy, other activities can help limit its harm; exercising, brushing one's teeth, and limiting the use of it helps. But like i stated earlier, even smoking once is potentially dangerous.
"If you should ban cigarettes because of bodily concerns, you should ban alchohol too, because it can be harmful to the body (and mind) as well."
I understand the likeness but alchohol isn't too much of a concern although it can be dangerous to oneself and others. But alchohol is a guilty pleasure just like splurging on chocolate once in while. To ban this completely would be utterly foolish because why can't the government ban sodas and junk food? There are many similarities alcohol has with cigarettes but it like i said before, alcohal is a guilty pleasure and just like any others, it can prove itself to be dangerous.
To clear up what I said before ("Banning certain things that have proven to not be healthy may be the solution of all of this."); I meant (i admit, i didn't phrase it well) that if a continuous lapse in judgement is made, maybe it should be watched and if it is really serious, than maybe ban it.


I agree with a few of the points made in your debate, but I still think your solution should be tweaked and my debate (below) will explain why.

Requiring people to go to 20 - 30 hours with a specialist would be better than throwing them in jail, but making people do this would not be without its flaws. For one, the users could go to the therapist for that amount of time, but not listen or even pay attention at all if they themselves don't want to be there. Sometimes, this happens in school where certain kids just tune the teacher out. Also, some users would need more time at the specialist than others; not everyone needs 20 - 30 hours, because some need more while others don't even need that much. Also, who would be paying for the classes? The specialists would probably have a problem with doing them for free, but the addicts wouldn't want to pay either (especially if they know they won't listen or use the information the specialist gives them). That begs the question: should taxpayers have to pay for other addicts to go to classes that will likely be ineffective and unnecessary (for the taxpayer)? I am not saying that everybody will ignore the therapist, but I'm sure it would be a big problem. Specialists work much better when the patient actually wants to quit, so forcing it on them won't always help. It would also be hard to track who went to therapy sessions and when. Plus, the specialists would be flooded with work for who knows how long, then they would lose a bunch of money after that. I am not saying that going to a specialist is a bad idea; I think it is perfectly okay for local charities to raise money for poor people to get good treatments. What I am saying is that making everyone addicted to cigarettes go to a specialist would be ineffective and costly. Think about it: if you had to listen to a speech about not eating desserts and other sweets and how great excersising is, would it really help if you didn't want to be there? Probably not.

Like candy, a cigarette's harm can be avoided or lessened by simply avoiding it, but that requires restraint, and not everyone has that which is how people become addicted in the first place. Talking about just avoiding cigarettes is a lot easier than doing it.

"I don't think money would be spent in the banning of it; cigarettes would just be taken out of stock i stores and replaced with nicoderm/ricorette/etc." When you say cigarettes in stores would be replaced by other things, I agree. What is bad about this is that these things could be even more deadly than cigarettes. Also, the addicts could turn to other things like heroin to fuel their addiction if cigarettes become too scarce. This won't happen in every case, but a lot of people will develop a new bad habit in place of smoking cigarettes.

Also, (again, this doesn't happen in every case, but it is inevitable for some) people could start smoking indoors again so that nobody outside can see them. This could cause fires, and I know as I said before that this situation is a bit out there, but in some cases, it would happen so that the addicts don't have to go outside and face the scrutiny of others. Burning a whole apartment down would obviously be much worse for the poulation's overall health.

Also, police or the government in general would need to check a bunch of houses to make sure nobody has an illegal stache of cigarettes. They wouldn't have to necessarily check every house, but it would still be a lot of work to make sure that cigarettes would be kept off the streets.

"Alcohol is a guilty pleasure just like splurging on chocolate once in a while." Some people do treat alcohol/cigarettes/sweets in this manner, but some people have too much. Many people are obese from sweets. Many people get very drunk more often than just once in a while. In fact, many people have problems like abusive relations because of alcohol. Anyway, I do agree that the same kind of stuff is true for cigarettes. Many people smoke a pack a day which is very detrimental to theri health, but the same is true for alcohol and sweets, but we don't ban those for the same reason.

I agree that something must be done about cigarettes, but a complete ban is not a good option. Some steps that have already been taken and are better (in my opinion) like making cigarette ads include a warning and having ads that make less people want to try cigarettes in the first place. Some private entities also let people smoke on their property, but on restricted areas. Some of these are better solutions because they limit the use of cigarettes without having all the cons of completely banning cigarettes.

My main point is this: I know you are well intentioned, but many well intentioned ideas have bad unintended consequences. I hope that I am getting you to stop and think about the consequences of a complete ban of smoking (you probably thought about it already, but I hope I can present new facts and evidence that can at least change your opinion on a complete ban a little bit). I look forward to hearing your argument!
Debate Round No. 3


Thanks for your intelligent argument.
I'm proposing that smokers be required to go to at least 20-30 hours with a specialist and if the specialist and local judge don't think that enough progress was made, the hours will be increased. Honestly, I'm not informed well on how things are paid for in the government so I'll try and propose this; a percentage of the taxes be set aside as the specialists' pay.
My main argument for this is; wouldn't the specialists be a least a little helpful and more beneficial than just sitting around?
I'm not saying to force the addict to quit; maybe that would make the addict want to smoke even more. The therapist could present the person with facts about smoking and if this doesn't work either, maybe the addict should go to a more skilled therapist. (Sorry, if by this point, my arguments are getting weaker; I am not informed well on this part of the topic)
I understand your concerns about the effects of the ban but I'm pretty sure that the kids of addicts who already have a higher chance of lung disease just by being around an addict would have their fears relieved, even by just a bit.


This is the last round, so good luck, and if you want to debate me more on this topic, you can challenge me to another debate on smoking. Anyway, here is my argument:

"I'm proposing that smokers be required to go to at least 20-30 hours with a specialist and if the specialist and local judge don't think that enoug progress was made, the hours will be increased." There are still some things wrong with this proposal. Again, I don't think this would work if the smokers themselves didn't want to stop smoking. For example, if you had to see a specialist for 20-30 hours who thought you weren't eating healthy enough (I'm not trying to make you sound fate, this is just an example), and even if the specialist gave you lots and lots of evidence for why eating desserts and other junk food is bad, would you stop eating junk food? Now, I know I'm not supposed to answer this for you (this is the last round, so you can't really answer it), but you probably wouldn't change your diet much, if at all. Even if the specialist decided that you needed to see them more often, they still probably couldn't change your diet much if you like it the way it is. This is the same with smoking; if they don't have any intention to stop, it will almost be impossible to make them. As the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. If the smoker doesn't want to quit, they could just continue to smoke, and the judges can increase how often they see a specialist, but it still will most likely not help. Also, can you imagine how much more work judges and the specialists would have to do? Going to court already takes long, so should you put them even further back on their schedule so they can see if each individual person needs more time with a specialist or not? (Again, if you want to answer these questions, challenge me to another debate.) Also, the smoker could just keep smoking while going to the specialist; their hours would keep on coming, and that would cost a lot of money for the taxpayers. Imagine how much more you would have to spend for some people to go to the specialist for 100+ hours (that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but you get my point).

"My main argument for this is; wouldn't the specialists be a least a little helpful and more beneficial than just sitting around?" Again, I outlined some of the cons there are with the proposal you just made. Anyway, you could make this argument with a lot of things. Wouldn't sending overweight kids to lectures on how/why to eat healthier help with the obesity problem in the United States just a litte bit? Wouldn't the government putting a border wall at the Mexican border help the problem with illegal immigrants just a lttle bit (I saw on your profile that you are against the border wall)? My point is that helping a little bit is good, but that doesn't mean the pros will outweigh the cons like the costliness of such a proposal.

"I understad your concerns about the effects of the ban but I'm pretty sure that the kids of addicts who already have a higher chance of lung disease just by being around an addict would have their fears relieved, even by just a bit." This isn't always the case. Sometimes the kids also smoke and don't care that they have a higher risk of lung disease. Also, some of the addicts could turn to other things that are even worse for their health like heroin. This won't always be the case, but I just wanted to make sure you were aware of what could potentially happen. Some of the consequences could be somewhat similar to what happened in the Prohibition.

Sorry for not really using any websites or anything as evidence. Also, I don't really look up the consequences of making a ban, but I still tried to make the best argument I could. Anyway, I hope we can debate some more in the future as I liked how this debate went.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by John_C_1812 3 years ago
Did your dissertation include the use of Chemical additives by regulation placed inside tobacco, or are they included as part of a cigarette?
Posted by WOLF.J 3 years ago
My dissertation was on smoking and its effects, would you be interested in debating on this subject anyone.

Ps to answer This Q, if they did ban sales people would produce more dangerous cheaper knockoffs, similar to the alcohol prohibition. Also ciggies and alcohol are great for the capitalistic, purchase driven economy-society we live in.
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