The Ethics Of The Tobacco Industry

1360 Words6 Pages
Businesses may be focused on their missions, goals, and making a profit, but they must not forget their obligations to society. As huge companies have much power and influence, it is their responsibility to make sure that they do not cause irreversible harm to the society and the environment that helps sustain their business. Ethics in business is always a hot topic issue; the government of India has cracked down on the tobacco industry by banning the advertising and sponsorship of sports and cultural events by tobacco companies (Ban on Tobacco Ads by the Government of India, 2001). The Indian government claims that is for ethical reasons; tobacco jeopardizes the health of its users and the government believes banning the advertising will help discourage young people from using it. Such a significant move from the government has started debates between opposing sides, some in favor of the ban and others in opposition. There have been many studies that show the health risks that may occur when one uses tobacco. Therefore, tobacco companies are knowingly advertising something harmful to society. Advertisements are meant to be eye catching; their goal is to entice people into buying and using their product or service. The advertising of tobacco glamorizes something dangerous, makes it look appealing, fun, or cool. This is especially dangerous when adolescents are exposed to such flashy advertisements, as they tend to be easier to influence- particularly with things considered ‘cool’ or ‘dangerous’. In 1997 the RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company had to remove its Joe Camel mascot from all advertising (Ban on Tobacco Ads by the Government of India, 2001). The mascot was an anthropomorphic camel- often featured in colorful and ‘cool’ looking... ... middle of paper ... that the government should not ban advertising. If substances like alcohol are being advertised, so should cigarettes. Advertising gives a product visibility; if the government was completely against tobacco and its harmful effects on health they should have banned tobacco altogether. Advertising should be allowed, but users must be told of the harmful effects the substance has. Like advertisements for medicine, they should dedicate a part of the advertisement to warn users of the harmful side effects. Users may only be of a certain age, perhaps at the very least 18 years old. Smoking should only be done in appropriate areas; smoking would not be permitted in indoor public spaces and certain outdoor public spaces. I do believe that smoking is harmful, but I do not believe that tobacco or the advertising of it should be banned while substances like alcohol are not.
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