My argument is that the industry of tobacco has an ethical duty to consumers against the negative effects of its products. Tobacco use, despite being legal, is responsible for more than 7 million preventable deaths annually. In order to appeal to youth and other vulnerable groups, tobacco industry has long been known for misleading the public about health hazards associated with smoking.
My support of this industry’s consumer is based on the idea of corporate social responsibility. The theory states that companies have a moral obligation to think about the consequences of their actions and take measures to minimize any adverse effects. For the tobacco industry this would mean taking measures to lessen the harmful effects of their products as well as to educate the public about the health risks that come with smoking.
My support for consumers is also based on the idea of consumer sovereignty. This means that customers should be able to choose the product they want. For the tobacco industry this would mean providing complete and accurate information regarding the health hazards associated with smoking as well as not misleading vulnerable people with misleading advertisements.
Capitalism is known to place profit above ethics in company decision making. The tobacco industry is an example of this. Many companies prioritize profit over the well-being and health of customers. But it’s possible for companies to simultaneously serve the best interests of both themselves and their customers. It is possible to achieve this by putting in place corporate social responsibility policies, and prioritizing honesty and transparency in marketing and advertising.