The main questions presented are (1) to what extent does the government have an ethical obligation to protect its citizens from their own bad choices; and (2) how does a government balance its ethical obligations against its commercial obligations. This led to a big split between those that believe that the government 's primary concern should be the protection of its citizens and those that believe that people have a right to make their own choices whether good or bad.
Arguments in Favor of the Ban on Tobacco Advertising
Those in support of the government 's ban cited various reasons. First, similar bans were implemented in European nations such as Belgium, France, Finland and Norway. Additionally, the supreme courts of both Belgium and France declared the bans constitutional based on the fact that governments place restrictions on the sales and/or advertisements of products considered to be dangerous to society at large such as drugs or guns. Restricting the advertisement of tobacco is no different as tobacco is a known health hazard. Furthermore, medical costs related to the care of those suffering from the adverse health effects of tobacco are a strain on a country 's economy.
Secondly, it became known that the tobacco industry was targeting youth as “tomorrow 's cigarette business”. R.J. Reynolds used an animated camel named Joe the Camel to sell Camel cigar...
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... like that cool, successful, powerful superwoman in the ads. I chose to smoke Virginia Slims which was advertised heavily for women with slogans like “You’ve come a long way, baby” and “We make Virginia Slims especially for women because they are biologically superior to men”. Additionally, I could get free make-up.
So I agree with the ban on tobacco advertising. The lure of the marketing ads is much stronger than the knowledge that something may make you sick especially when you are a teenager. Teens believe they are invincible. Cigarettes are known to be highly addictive. Once a teen becomes addicted, it will be nearly impossible to quit. This was the tobacco industry’s target. Start them young and they will be customers for life. By the way, I no longer smoke. I quit the day I found I was pregnant. I had someone more important than me to think about then.
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