The Pros And Cons Of Big Tobacco

959 Words 4 Pages
In studying the question of ethics in business and the complexities which can often arise, no subject is better suited for exploring these considerations than that of big tobacco and the recent banning of cigarette advertising in various countries. In India, an on-going battle with big tobacco has been raging, in an effort to “send a message” to Indians and to Indian youth that discourages smoking. However, like other governments embroiled in such a situation, the process is not clear cut. Arguments in favour of the tobacco ban are extensive and obvious. These include statistics garnered from years of smoking-related mortalities, and projection statistics. Included among these are WHO statistics citing “3 million deaths from smoking in 1990,” …show more content…
This ruling was partially on the basis of internal documents which demonstrated that the tobacco company was targeting new smokers quite ruthlessly, and citing youthful age groups while developing a campaign (icmrindia.org, 2001). Furthermore, studies such as a large 1997 study by the UK’s “Society for the Study of Addiction to Alcohol and Other Drugs,” have shown that reducing smoking with the use of policies was more likely to increase productivity and employment, in other words, it did not harm the economy. Another major study showed a stringent ban on advertising such as those implemented in Canada, Norway, Finland and New Zealand displayed a drop in smoking among young people when combined with other supportive tobacco control policy (icmrindia.org, 2001). Arguments opposing the ban on tobacco advertising, however, are not easily dismissed. In India in the year before the proposed ban, the “tobacco industry was a major contributor to the State Exchequer, in the year previous to the bill proposal it had contribute Rs. 8000 Crores in excise revenue, “ and the economic argument goes further. The industry provides “direct and indirect employment to 26 million people” in India, which is a massive tobacco …show more content…
Furthermore, Tobacco companies should be able to market if they are legally allowed to sell, but the marketing is always the delicate question. The Indian marketing Bureau threw in its two cents when it conducted a survey that said in 1998 that half of Indian smokers had started smoking “to see what it was like” 24% said, “all my friends smoke,” and not one said advertising had induced them to start smoking. Of course the vested interest of this study does make it somewhat less relevant than the massive studies generated by the anti-smoking campaigner, but the smoking lobby had another criticism, that of moral policing. This issue is extremely loudly declared by the smokers lobby, and it does have some relevance. It has even been brought to the Supreme Court of Canada, which identified it as a problematic form of paternalism designed to “control the thought, behavior and belief of its citizens” (icmrindia.org, 2001). Other critics from a business standpoint have remarked that a ban would “reduce the consumer ability to distinguish between products of differing quality” and pointed out that domestic cigarette companies would be hard hit, while foreign companies would be able to continue to influence the Indian public through foreign channels,

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