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Argument essay, Smoking in public


Teerunky 1 / 3  
Apr 18, 2010   #1
I am in the 9th grade and we have been assigned an argument essay for my English Honors class. For every fallacy my teacher finds she deducts 10 points. So as you can see I need some help finding these fallacies! If you could read over it and post any fallacies or any other tips or changes in the essay would be great! Thanks P.S I'm not entirely finished so any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

The argument I will be disputing is "should smoking be allowed in public places?" Smoking is one of the most deadly things a person can do to themselves and to others. Smoking is currently allowed in most public places and I believe this should be changed for a plethora of reasons. First, and most simply, smoking harms your body to a staggering degree. Second, smoking harms the innocent people around with the secondhand smoke from the cigarette. Secondhand smoke is the smoke given off by the cigarettes of others. Lastly, smoking is very harmful to the environment. Not only from the butts of the cigarettes, but from the chemicals and smoke being released into the atmosphere. A ban on public smoking would be both beneficial to smokers, and others around them, and also for the environment.

As stated before, smoking is harmful to others and a ban would cause non-smokers to not be exposed to the deadly chemicals in cigarettes. In doing so, this would reduce the amount of diseases non-smokers would have acquired. Here is an interesting quote from a few experts, "According to Barbeau, Osinubi, Sorensen, and Williams, for every seven smokers who die from smoking, at least one non-smoker dies from cigarette smoke." (Celestin, Paragraph 1) Surprising isn't it?

Smoking is not only harmful to people but to the environment as well. One of the biggest contributors to littering is cigarettes butts. "According to Keep America Beautiful, Inc. smokers litter about 4.5 trillion cigarette butts yearly." (Celestin, Paragraph 2) Because a ban would prohibit smoking in public, there would be less littering in and around public areas. Not to mention the amount of fires that would be reduced by carelessly thrown cigarette butts.

Non-smokers are constantly exposed to secondhand smoke and shouldn't have to be if they don't want to. Non-smokers do not have to not be exposed to cigarette smoke because they have a constitutional right to a healthy environment. Putting people at risk by being in a smoke-filled environment violates this right.

A ban on smoking in public would cause an overall decrease in smoking as a whole, thus, decreasing the number of unwanted disease among innocent people. It would also greatly decrease the amount of pollution to our environment. Smoking is an economic and social burden for just about everyone and should be stopped in all public places. A ban wouldn't harm anyone in anyway shape or form, only protect people and the environment around us.
linmark 2 / 328 7  
Apr 19, 2010   #2
I couldn't find any fallacies in your essay, only need for some organization.
Your thesis statement is smoking should not be allowed in public places for three reasons a) because it harms smokers; b) non-smokers and c) the environment. You can then make topic sentences for each subsequent paragraph to elaborate on each point, followed by your closing sentence:

A ban wouldn't harm anyone in any way, shape or form.It could only protect people and the environment around us.

breaking it up into two sentences for more effect.
Notoman 20 / 419  
Apr 19, 2010   #3
Smoking is one of the most deadly things a person can do to themselves and to others.

Really? More deadly than bulimia, assault, suicide, war? Death from smoking is not a certainty. I don't know any 18 year olds with lung cancer or emphysema.

non-smokers to not be exposed to the deadly chemicals in cigarettes. In doing so, this would reduce the amount of diseases non-smokers would have acquired.

More deadly than arsenic? How long do the chemicals take to kill someone? Would this ban also reduce all diseases? Even chicken pox?
OP Teerunky 1 / 3  
Apr 19, 2010   #4
Any other tips or suggestions would be helpful! and some more people looking for any fallacies!
Notoman 20 / 419  
Apr 19, 2010   #5
Please don't feel like I am picking on you or that I am trying to start an argument. English is such a tricky language with so many nuances. I am picking apart your sentences looking for potential fallacies. Here are a few more potential issues ...

Smoking is currently allowed in most public places

You might need to define this more precisely. Many countries (Great Britain, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Italy, and India, to name a few) have banned or restricted smoking in the workplace and in indoor public places and even in outdoor public spaces and privately-owned automobiles. Most states also have restrictions on public smoking; in fact, only ELEVEN states do not have statewide restrictions and only one of those eleven states does not allow local governments to enact their own smoking regulations (making Oklahoma the only state without some bans on smoking).

for every seven smokers who die from smoking, at least one non-smoker dies from cigarette smoke.

Are smokers dying from smoking? Not really. They may die from smoking-related diseases. They may die in house fires when they fall asleep while smoking. They may die when their cigarettes ignite flammable substances in the air. They may die when their parents catch them filching cigarettes and beat them to death. Smoking, in and of itself, is not a cause of death. Likewise, cigarette smoke doesn't kill nonsmokers.

One of the biggest contributors to littering is cigarettes butts.

But, but (butt, butt)... cigarette butts are so small--in the literal sense at least. Wouldn't abandoned cars and mattresses be a "bigger" contributor?

Not to mention the amount of fires that would be reduced by carelessly thrown cigarette butts.

Watch your wording! Carelessly thrown cigarette butts DO NOT reduce the amount of fires.

Non-smokers are constantly exposed to secondhand smoke and shouldn't have to be if they don't want to.

Again, watch the wording. "Constantly" implies, well, constantly. No, nonsmokers are not constantly exposed to secondhand smoke. They are only exposed to secondhand smoke when they are in the presence of someone who is smoking.

they have a constitutional right to a healthy environment.

Nope. Nothing about a healthy environment in the Constitution. We have 26 amendments in effect and none of them have to do with the environment. Smokers could claim that the ninth amendment, assuring the recognition of rights that people may have but are not listed in the Constitution, applies to the right to smoke, but nonsmokers don't have a claim to a healthy environment--at least Constitutionally.

A ban wouldn't harm anyone in anyway shape or form

A ban has potential to harm tobacco companies, their employees, and their investors as well as vendors of tobacco products. Bans could financially harm establishments, bars and pubs for instance, where a large percentage of patrons are smokers. A ban also has potential to harm, in the legal sense at least, people who face consequences for violating the ban.
OP Teerunky 1 / 3  
Apr 19, 2010   #6
These are veryyyyy helpful! anyone else want to give it a go :)
linmark 2 / 328 7  
Apr 20, 2010   #7
Troy, why don't you post a revised essay and we'll comment. Notoman has given you plenty to work on - he has raised great potential "holes" that you can easily patch up.

(Quantity in feedback does not necessarily bring quality!!)


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