The Importance Of Tobacco

1071 Words 5 Pages
“Government is necessary to ensure the proper use of force. For this reason it must

specify objective lows to clarify the use of force, and it must have the ability to

enforce these laws. The purpose of government is to protect the individual rights

of its citizens” [1]

In 2001 the Government of India said it would propose a bill banning Tobacco

Companies from advertising and promoting sporting and cultural events. This led

to major debate in India about the feasibility of such a law as well as the

Governments rights to do such a thing. Many questions were raised including if

this was a good move for the Government financially as well as the ethical role of

the Government in having regulatory powers over something that it benefits
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2) There is a fear the Tobacco companies are targeting children and young adults that are less responsible in their decision making. Trying to get young people to smoke, knowing the addictive properties of their product, was trying to get customers for life.

3) Animated advertising specifically targets young people.

4) Revenues generated by Tobacco sales were a lower percentage of the GDP that money spent in the health care system due to Tobacco related illness.

5) More jobs could be created and the economy improved because citizens would be spending their money on local goods and services instead of buying tobacco products.

6) Studies of other countries showed that advertising bans could have significant impact on reducing smoking in those countries.

There were also many arguments opposed to the advertising ban.

1) The Government was trying to control the individuals decision making process and removing the freedom of choice.

2) The state has no right to decide what is acceptable behavior.

3) Tobacco is not illegal. Advertising is aimed at convincing smokers to use a certain brand, not to convince non smokers to start
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Likewise Mahatma Ghandi was against the overreach of Government. In his

review of the political views of Ghandi, Joseph Fieldman wrote that Ghandi

favored a limited civil law and instead wish for a “moral framework that

would express the collective will of the people” (p.3) Fieldmen also said

that Ghandi belived that “Government was an impediment to moral

existence rather that a conduit to its attainment.”

I do not personally believe that it is the role of the Government to legislate

morality. While I am not a smoker and believe that it is bad for my health, I

believe the Governments role is to keep the public informed of the truth and

that is all. It is up to me to make personal choices about my life and my

health insofar as those choices do not infringe on the rights of others.

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