The Ethics of Selling Cigarrettes to Minors

The Ethics of Selling Cigarrettes to Minors

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Ethically as we Americans have defined is not on the minds of these executives of the cigarette firms. Our society has made it ethically and legally wrong to sell cigarettes to a minor. These companies located in the United States adhere to the laws and ethical issues within our borders, so what is the difference when they practice these unethical business transactions in smaller countries. These smaller, less developed countries do not have the technology and understanding to disallow the sale of cigarettes to minors. These gigantic tobacco companies should follow the same practices in smaller countries as they do in their home country the U.S.
I believe giving free sample packs of cigarettes to minors in foreign countries to be some form of bribery. You need to ask yourself why are the free samples being distributed? Merely to get younger generations hooked, so these companies have a long time consumer. Bribery doesn’t always have to consist of money; this is a form of brainwashing in my opinion. By getting the younger, less intelligent population hooked early on cigarette’s, these companies have opened up a new market to extend their own profits. I’m sure the tobacco companies realize that a couple thousand free sample now is fine compared to the long term spending they will encounter from the individuals that get hooked.
The cigarrette companies are not acting with social responsibility. Why or how could this be any bit of an ethical decision by the executives of the tobacco companies? These companies should believe and follow it’s moral set in the country it belongs and carry them into every business transaction that they make, whether it be in New York City or Mongolia. It is too bad that as a capitalistic society we lower ourselves below ethical lines just to earn a buck or two!
I believe this problem can be addressed and solved through education. The United States has introduced the Foreign Corrupt Act Policy to disallow any bribery in foreign Markets whether or not the country allows it, it is merely enough that you belong to The U.S. that you follow their ethically values wherever your business may go. We need to educate these countries and their youth about the bad problems derived from smoking before they get hooked. We weren’t aware of the initial effects smoking had on us, and this allowed it to be socially acceptable.

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If we had been made aware of all the issues from the get go, maybe smoking would not be tolerated at all in our country. I feel this is the only way to help other countries fight the war against money hungry tobacco companies. This would be a hard task, but slowly and surely it can only help!
Summary
The main issue is whether or not is an ethical business practice to sell cigarettes to minors in other foreign countries. The main blockade is all the money that the gigantic tobacco firms have compared to the very little money and knowledge the foreign countries have to fight against this issue. If you are to specifically look at Argentina and realize that they get Twenty-two percent of their taxes from cigarette revenue, now what country wants to give up that kind of money coming in?
Solving this problem is going to be very costly and time consuming. Everyone, meaning lesser-developed countries, has to play catch to America. What we know and understand about cigarettes and the ways of the tobacco countries allow us to make decisions in an ethical manner, while these money hungry little countries will turn there heads to ensure money for their own economic growth.




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