Tobacco Ads in India: Ethics Case Study

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Tobacco is used around the world, and its negative health effects are also public knowledge. Since everyone knows that tobacco can seriously harm people who use it, many countries face the ethical dilemma of allowing this harmful substance to be sold, regulated, and smoked. The case study “Ban on Tobacco Ads by the Government of India” addresses some of the effects of an advertising ban on tobacco in India, as well as the conflict of interest that the advertisement prompts. While I do strongly feel that smoking is harmful and dangerous, I do not think that the government should ban advertisements in India, because if they start by banning ads for one substance, they could move on to banning others. Would anyone like to see caffeine or alcohol banned, just because too much of those substances is harmful? I do not think that anyone would support that ban, so I believe that the government should not ban advertisements, while people should be the ones to regulate their own habits. I will return to this point after summarizing main arguments of the article.
There are many arguments in favor of banning tobacco advertising in India. The main reason for launching the ban was to try to reduce the number of teen smokers, as well as to build the beginnings of an official government anti-tobacco program. According to the case study, people also hoped that starting a ban would make politicians seriously think about tobacco and pursue other ways to make fair choices about tobacco and smoking in India. Reducing teen smokers was crucial, because everyone worried that enticing advertisements would persuade children and teens to start smoking, or at least experiment with tobacco products in order to replicate what they saw in advertisements. ...

... middle of paper ... types of advertising to make these choices for its citizens. Finally, the case study made it very clear that India depends on smoking revenue and other tobacco sales to bring in tax revenue, which India needs in order to build up public service programs and help everyone in India. Until there is a reasonable way for India to make that same kind of tax revenue from other products, I think that the tobacco ban would have more negative consequences than intended. I would support the ban if India came up with a way to create jobs for displaced tobacco workers and had another way to get tax revenue, but until that plan is created, I am not in favor of a ban.

Works Cited

No author. (2001). Ban on Tobacco Ads by the Government of India. IBS Center for
Management Research. Retrieved from
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