Tobacco : an Ethical Issue Essay

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Tobacco: An Ethical Issue SOC120: Introduction to Ethics and Social Responsibility Professor Theodore Framan April 5, 2010 Tobacco: An Ethical Issue The history and growth of the tobacco industry is a global industry that consists of growing, marketing, selling tobacco products and has been fraught with questionable ethical practices, as well as an onslaught of lawsuits and litigious actions. Although tobacco is a natural- growing native plant, it is extremely addictive and has many detrimental side-effects for one’s health. Although tobacco experienced popularity throughout the world in the past century, the risks associated with smoking have greatly changed the way tobacco is viewed in the 21st century. The many ethical issues regarding tobacco companies include the advertising strategies, physical and psychological effects on smokers and most importantly the claims by consumers that tobacco companies knowingly withheld findings that tobacco is a carcinogenic. While the tobacco industry is thought to be vital to the economy, the people that have been negatively impacted by the health risks of smoking want the tobacco companies to be held accountable for their actions. The tobacco industry has been plagued for many years by anti-smoking agencies that have tried to submerge the industry with regulations, liability claims and alienation within society (Pearlstein, 1997). In a settlement in 1997 between the tobacco industry and sick smokers, the industry agreed to limitations on advertising and product pricing which would affect the marketability of tobacco in the future (Pearlstein, 1997). The federal cigarette tax raised the price of a pack of cigarettes by 75 cents, so basically new smokers have to pay more for their cigarettes due to the adverse health results of the previous generation of smokers (Pearlstein, 1997). The goal of these regulations
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