Tobacco Advertising Ethics

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Ethics of Government regulation of Smoking Advertisements

There are many ethical issues related to the advertising of tobacco products. The banning of this type of advertising has been central to many Tobacco Control Programs. The main ethical issues at the root of this idea to either ban or continue to allow tobacco advertising involve many assumptions. For example, supporters of tobacco advertising tend to base the platform of their defense by arguing tobacco products are equal to all other types of consumer products -thus, it is unfair their product is not treated in the same manner as all other products. They argue it is discriminatory to restrict or ban advertising, and yet let others freely advertise their products. This is summarized as “if a product is legally sold, it should be legally advertised” [Chapman, 1996] The other side of the argument argues that tobacco is absolutely not equivalent to other mainstream products in the marketplace. Instead, they suggest because of its addictive qualities and the
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They further argue that advertising was not intended to sell the concept of smoking but instead is used as a way “to assist adults in making informed brand choice”[Ban on Tobacco, 2001] For example, opponents of the advertising ban, claim advertising allows manufacturers to educate consumers about differing qualities of products, allowing people to choose higher quality less harmful tobacco products. If a ban were in place this service would no longer be available. Sponsorship of sporting and other events was another defense used by opponents. It was argued that a ban on advertising would put India at a disadvantage as tobacco companies were large contributors to these events and the countries cultural and sporting events availability would suffer as a result of the

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