Debate over vapors

E-cigs the hot topic


Cathie Lawrence

Public Debate. Pittsburg City Hall, Friday May 1, 2015.


Pittsburg City Hall filled with an audience for a public debate courtesy of the LMC Debate Team Friday May 1.

The eight debaters, split into teams of four, took turns arguing over whether or not electronic cigarettes, more commonly called e-cigs, did more harm than good.

Veteran debater Dennis Tekell spoke first, defining not only what an e-cig was, but also providing some vital statistics, such as 2.5 million people in the U.S. use E-cigs and in ten years, the e-cig industry is projected to be as big as the tobacco industry.

The government bench argued, while e-cigs have potential for good use, they’re not being used for their intended purpose (aiding smokers in quitting), and since they aren’t regulated in the same way cigarettes are, could pose a greater threat.

The opposition argued e-cigs are a massive improvement upon normal cigarettes, and despite some of the drawbacks, the reduced number of carcinogens (only four, as opposed to the 70 found in normal cigarettes) and lack of secondhand smoke make the e-cigs a safer alternative.

The government team countered noted that while this is a valid point, e-cigs are not being marketed to current smokers, but instead to people who don’t smoke at all.

Veteran debater Josh Noriega argued that this would be a concern if coffee, “canned whipped cream, anything that comes out of a microwave, and diet anything” weren’t just as bad, but worse for you than an e-cig.

With the debate drawing to a conclusion, the team provided a bevy of information for the audience to consider as they shape their opinions on the issue of e-cigs.

Earlier in the day, the debate team hosted an intramural debate for the students of LMC with members of the debate team serving as judges for the debate rounds.

The intramural debate featured four styles of public speaking for students to enter in: Worlds Debate, Informative Speaking, Persuasive Speaking and Improptu Speaking.

The first place team for the Worlds was John Paul Castillo and Dalisha White. Anise Gonzalez and Kalee Kennedy clinched second place and Dulce Gutierrez and Kyle Williams locked down third.

Informative Speaking had an unbreakable tie for first place between Kathryn Dudoroff and John Villanueva. In third place was Kristina Cruz.

Arlena Perez took first place in Persuasive Speaking. For second place there was another tie between Xiuqing (Peggy) Chen and Tonja Razmek.

Finally, in Impromptu Speaking Ashley Pederson took first place. Richard Stanfield took second place and Crysta Beckwith in third.