Author: Debate_Guru

Tobacco Products Should be Illegal

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PRO (7 arguments)


Tobacco products– Any product manufactured from tobacco and intended for use by smoking, inhalation, chewing, sniffing or sucking

Should be- As in what we should do to benefit the American population overall

Illegal- Illegal to smoke publicly where someone else could be harmed by second hand smoke. You’d be fined if caught in public places.



1. Is lung disease bad?

2. Which is worth more, a piece of paper money or a million lives?

3. Is your life worth more than a thousand dollars?



1. If they say: Well, it helps our economy.

Then say: How much? According to CNN Money, about $50 billion a year when you take away health care costs and import, transportation, and salary costs. Let’s see…$50 billion. Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? At first, maybe. But judge, guess what are national debt is. This year, the U.S. Budgetary Panel estimated that we’d shortfall our expenses by over $1 trillion!! Judge, if we took away the tobacco industry, it wouldn’t affect anyone! $50 billion is nothing compared to the rest of our economy and debt. It’s not even a dent. And when you factor in the fact that our opponents are trying to say that $50 billion, not even a percent of our GDP ($15 trillion), is more important than the health of 300 million people. Well, wow… that’s a pretty bad argument there.

2. If they say: It provides people with jobs.

Then say: So, does that make it necessarily good? If we were to use your same logic, then you could say that child labor laws are bad because they take away jobs. There is no logic in your argument, because you can’t prove that it actually benefits society. You’ve said something, but you haven’t stated it’s impact in this debate, which, as I’ve just proven, is nothing.

1. Tobacco products are the largest preventable cause of death.

Numerous harmful as well as addictive substances, such as nicotine, tar, and carbon monoxide, are present in tobacco products. Specifically, when ingesting tobacco, neurotransmitters flood the brain, causing 1) damage throughout the nervous system, 2) impairing behavior and thought, and worst of all causing immense addiction. Apart from the variety of cancers it causes multitude of chronic diseases of the heart, lung and various body systems. Every 8 seconds around the world someone dies from tobacco in some form. 1 in 10 adults are killed by smoking related illness of tobacco. By the year 2018, it is estimated that 1 in 6 people will die because of smoking or tobacco related illness. More deaths are caused by tobacco use than by AIDS, drug abuse, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides and murders combined. The effects of tobacco addiction cause enormous ripples around the world, and can most directly be halted by no longer manufacturing such products.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

2. Tobacco products are the reason for the greatest health care expenditure.

In the U.S itself, annually about 150 billion dollars are spent on taking care of various diseases caused due to smoking. Japan spends about 100 billion dollars annually of tobacco-related health issues. The entire world annually expends a combined total of approximately 1 trillion dollars. The diseases and sicknesses includes various types of cancers including lung cancer, chronic lung diseases caused due to smoking, higher incidence of heart attacks, various vascular diseases etc. It adds billions to Medicare spending and is one of the reasons for the risk of Medicare going broke in future, causing others who are not involved in ingesting tobacco to lose their health care coverage. By 2025, it is projected that health care costs for tobacco will be approximately 3 trillion dollars around the world. If drugs like cocaine etc. can be made illegal more reason to do for tobacco.


World Health Organization (WHO) and U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services

3. It leads to increased time off work and also lowers productivity.

 As stated before, the carcinogens, tar, and other substances impair behavior and thought. This clearly has a direct correlation with work performance and quality. In a study by the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment, smokers cause their employers to expend 100 billion dollars in premature death and disability. Current smokers average 3 times as much sick-leave as nonsmokers, as well as significantly more sick-leave than ex-smokers. Current smokers were also the least satisfied with their life According to the American Productivity Audit Data of US workforce, tobacco use was one of the greatest causes of lost worker production time (LPT) greater than alcohol consumption, family emergencies, age or education. It also increased in relation to the amount of tobacco consumption. This contention refutes any claims the opponents might have about jobs being created. The health care expenditures, along with money spent of various vocations, as well as the maintenance(of facilities where smoking occurs) not only cost more than money made by the products and jobs, but also have a larger impact.


USDL, Wall Street Journal, and Newsweek

4. It affects even people who are not using tobacco products.

People may not use tobacco products, but nevertheless suffer by being exposed to second hand smoke, causing an increased risk to all the harmful effects of it. Even though they are not at fault because of others faults of using tobacco products (smoking in this instance), they end up destroying innocent lives. As stated before, health is snatched from the needy people who have not done anything wrong. Furthermore, workers who labor alongside tobacco users are at the risk of poor performance and possibly being fired. It simply is not fair for workers to be held liable for someone else’s actions. Annually, approximately 75,000 workers are laid off in the US, as a result of co-workers using tobacco. In a nutshell, it simply isn’t fair to ruin millions of lives for insignificant pleasure.




CNN, The Economist

5. Children and young people are harmed by it.

Every single day 80,000 to 100,000 children start smoking around the world. According to the Journal of Psychology, when teens become involved in smoking, drugs, alcohol, etc. their addiction is more than twice as hard to get rid of as a result of immaturity and a still growing brain. All these kids continue smoking as young adults and are unable to kick off the habit and finally suffer from its adverse consequences. Majority of the underdeveloped and developing world have no way of proper regulation of tobacco products and cigarette sales as my opponents will bring up. This exposes the most vulnerable population in the world that is children to tobacco products deleterious effects. These children are the world’s future; allowing them to smoke and use such products is a horrible influence on them, as well as on the generations after them. If the young of the world become involved in smoking, their ability to perform well in school will become impaired, causing them to be less successful.


Times, Wall Street Journal

6. Getting rid of death and disease causing substances is more humane than looking for profits.

Tobacco is a big cash crop for some developed countries like U. S., U.K. and Japan which get the most profits from it. It not only kills and maims people in these countries but also in the third world where it is causes greater death and destruction due to illiteracy, poverty and improper health care. The tobacco companies for their meager profits end up causing more harm and destruction in the entire world. In fact, looking at the highly probable long-term effects, the overall money (including all the costs related to tobacco) would not be a gain. By making it illegal it will serve humanity better. Long-term deleterious impacts matters more than the short term profits made.


Washington Post

7. Addiction can only be controlled by making tobacco products illegal.

Even though many health studies on tobacco’s health related concerns have been carried out and restrictions may have been put on the products, these methods have proven not to be very effective to addicts. When becoming addicted to drugs or smoking, Dr. Martin, from the Cleveland Clinic, says, “People close their eyes and plug their ears, and take a blind path down the cliff.” The odds of pushing people out of the path of addiction are minimal. The only sure way to control this is by illegalizing the products. 90% of tobacco users begin under the age of 18, just when their brain is in vital stages of development. This speeds up the chemical addiction in their brain, no longer making it a choice to use tobacco, but a necessity. Governments around the world need to recognize that addicts are walking with their eyes closed, and it isn’t infringing their freedom of choice.


Journal of Addictive Medicine