A debate speech against the banning of cigarette buying by 2027 (6C Sze Ho Yi, Coey)


Good afternoon judges, teachers and our opponents. 

The motion for today’s debate is that “Hong Kong residents should be banned from buying cigarettes by 2027”. As the opposition side, I believe today’s motion must fall. I would introduce the justifications for my stands by 3 “E”s –  economy, effectiveness, and education.

Hong Kong residents being banned from buying cigarettes indicates that they can no longer purchase any cigarettes from the convenience stores and other legal shops in Hong Kong.

To commence with, any cigarettes interrupts the free economy in Hong Kong, leading to the first “E” – Economy. It is widely acknowledged that at Hong Kong has a free economy in which the policy “Small government, big market” is adopted. Under such an economic system, good to be free trade it in the Hong Kong market with l regulations or tariffs imposed by the government. Banned from buying cigarettes, smokers cannot purchase cigarettes in any accessible convenience stores. The measure will exploit the right of the cigarettes lovers to fulfill their need. It will also disturb the cigarette market in Hong Kong, leading to a loss to cigarette manufacturers and companies selling cigarettes. Hong Kong government has the responsibility to maintain a fair and competitive economy, rather than interrupting the free economy through imposing laws to eliminate the selling of cigarettes. In light of this, we believe that cigarettes should not be banned in Hong Kong in order to protect the free economy.

Apart from the disturbance to the local economy, another major culprit for our opposition stands is the low effectiveness, as indicated by the second “E”, of the measure itself. What makes the smokers addicted to smoking is mainly the nicotine inside the cigarettes. Once people have started to smoke it is very likely that they are addicted to it. Hardly can smokers control their desire to smoke ever since. Even there are warnings and disgusting photos of the diseased lungs of smokers printed on each package of cigarettes, this didn’t really stop people from smoking. Indeed, most of the cigarette lovers understand how smoking is detrimental to their health, but they just cannot resist the temptation caused by nicotine. Consequently, banning the sales of cigarette has only little effect on reducing the number of smokers. Not only will this policy not stop people from smoking, it will also lead to a rise of illegal selling and trading tracks. In order to fulfil the desire to smoke as they are addicted, smokers will search for illegal ways to buy cigarettes, resulting in a more unfavourable situation as the government cannot monitor the trading. Hence, it is believed that forcing citizens to stop buying cigarettes for enforcing laws is ineffective to lower the number of smokers in Hong Kong.

The affirmative side has claimed that the banning of cigarettes could improve the health of the general public. Indeed ,smoking will cause diseases like lung cancer, heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases. Citizens who breathe in second-hand smoke will also be harmed. However, imposing laws on selling cigarettes is not the best way to protect the health of citizens, but my third “E” – Education is. The government can instead add the downsides of smoking to the school curriculum. Students in Hong Kong can be educated the terrifying health issues brought by smoking from an early age. This was help inculcatw the correct message to the youngsters’ minds. Also, more advertisement can be adpoted to promote that effect of smoking, warning the citizens to stop smoking. Education is a more easily accepted way to reduce the number of smokers by changing their beliefs and behaviours. As I have mentioned, banning of cigarette selling may cause a grow in purchases of cigarettes through illegal tracks. This is due to a lack of awareness of the harmful effects of smoking. Education and awareness of staying healthy by stopping smoking be raised among the public.

All in all, residents should not be banned from buying cigarettes by 2027. This law not only is an ineffective way to minimise smokers in Hong Kong, it is also interrupting the free economy. Instead education is of paramount importance to remedy the worsening smoking habits in society. Therefore today’s motion must fall. Thank you.