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

Tax on Cigarettes

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/17/2013 Category: People
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,406 times Debate No: 37845
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




I believe that there should be a tax on cigarettes because of the detrimental cause of it towards our environment, ourselves, and the future implications towards future generations. Also, it would allot more revenue towards the federal government, which is what we need because it's very unstable.


Your argument consists of 1) we should tax cigarettes, 2) because they are detrimental "towards our environment " 3) "because they are detrimental to ourselves", 4} "because they are detrimental through future implications towards future generations. " 5) "Also, it would allot more revenue towards the federal government, "6} "which is what we need "7) "because it's very unstable."

Let's look at each point;

1) We already tax cigarettes so perhaps the question is whether that tax is proper. That depends on the next few points.
2) They are bad for the environment. Granted, but are they taxed in line with other detrimental activities like trash or sewage?
3) Bad for ourselves. Granted, but are they taxed in line with other detrimental activities like eating fast foods?
4 ) "they are detrimental through future implications towards future generations. " Those implications may have more to do with taxation and what should be taxed rather than cigarettes.
5) More revenue for the federal government may not be a good thing.
6) We do not need more revenue for the feds. They do not have a revenue problem they have a spending problem,
7) The feds are unstable because of spending.

To sum up, cigarettes are already taxed, but the reasons cited by the Senator seem to have more to do with funding big government rather than preserving peoples health. I would rather get rid of the tax, or earmark the tax for health projects, but not just give the money to the Washington Money Pit.
Debate Round No. 1


The tax is proper. 440,000 people due due to the inimical effects of smoking cigarettes annually in the United States! Also, studies by the Center for Disease control have shown that the air quality in New York is proven to be nine times higher than in New Jersey, where smoking remains legal. Next, those who live with smokers have a 20 to 30 higher percent chance of developing lung cancer, than those who do not live with them. Lastly, smoking is the impetus for bronchitis, emphysema, and stomach cancer in adults. Of course, they would be taxed with other detrimental activities like trash, sewage, and eating fast foods because cigarettes are classified as a domestic issue.
Cigarettes are a cogent place to start with taxing because 43.8 million people use them and they're virulent in the United States. Also, if spending if the unstable area of analysis and not regulating the revenue, we should allot some money towards organization and steps to improve budgeting.
I'm actually proposing a higher tax on cigarettes, in order for people to either stop buying them, which will lead to a healthier environment or buy the same amount for higher prices, which will lead to more money for the federal government, towards a more proficient budgeting program. Getting rid of the tax would be severely malignant because more and more packs of cigarettes would be bought at a lower price. By doing this we're not just giving money to the Washington Pit, but actually doing American citizens a favor and the money from the higher taxes on cigarettes could be allocated towards the educational system or infrastructure in the United States: Both need a lot of improvement and I'm sure many people would agree with that!


If I may summarize your argument, you seem to indicate that A)" increasing the tax on cigarettes will cause a drop in use "or B) an increase in federal revenue. C) other things should be taxed - trash and fast food and D) the feds have "many good things they could do with the money" - e.g. improve infrastructure.

Let's look at each point.
A)" increasing the tax on cigarettes will cause a drop in use". This is using tax as a penalty. Smoke and you pay the penalty! But look at what effect this same penalty tax would have if applied to other activities such as trash pickup! People would find avoidance tactics which would do more harm.

B) increasing the tax on cigarettes will cause an increase in federal revenue. The feds do not need more money. Annual Federal revenue today exceeds the entire TOTAL WEALTH of the entire Forbes 400.

C) other things should be taxed - trash and fast food. NO. Other things should be the focus of public education not the focus of a new revenue stream.

D) the feds have many good things they could do with the money - e.g. improve infrastructure. The Federal government is NOT the ultimate developer of infrastructure. Look at the Erie Canal, Ohio Canal, the National Interstate Defense Highway system - all built via private bond investments.

In conclusion I would put forth that we should FEAR THE NANNY STATE. We should educate but not legislate. Leave the tax where it is. Use the existing revenues to educate and reduce smoking.
Debate Round No. 2


Senator forfeited this round.


Inasmuch as Pro has forfeited, Con posits that:

1. The tax on cigarettes shall not be increased
2, Current cigarette tax revenues shall be used to reduce the use of cigarettes
3 Activities to reduce cigarette use shall be limited to education and not further legislation

Quid Erat Demonstandum ( that which was to be shown has been shown).
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by bigdave 5 years ago
Thanks for the debate Senator.
Posted by bigdave 5 years ago
Thank you for your vote Projectid
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Projectid 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro conceded so conduct goes to Con. Pro had s/g issues so that goes to Con. Con's arguments were well stated and made sense and were definitely more convincing than Pros.