BusinessEthics in the Tobacco Industry
Companiesin the Tobacco industry, mostly, focus on their traditional roles ofcreating, producing, packaging, and selling their products for profitwith little regard to consumer`s health. Most of the regulationsinstituted by authorities are meant at protecting the consumers fromthe greediness of some organizations or companies. Consumers cannotbe left alone in deciding on the safety of the products they takebecause they do not have the necessary knowledge. Companies have anethical obligation of protecting people, but it is highly unlikelythey will do that since they risk losing revenue.
Argumentagainst the Industry
Itwould be erroneous to make an assumption that all manufacturers areequal, and most of the regulated ones are targeted unfairly. Thetobacco industry is mostly targeted by regulations as the authoritiesbelieve that the industry cannot regulate itself. For instance, thegovernment needs to control the advertising by tobacco companies as ameasure of preventing more people from being dissuaded from smoking.Smoking is harmful to any human being but in most cases the tobaccocompanies make it look appealing to the youth through advertising.
Roleof Capitalism in Corporate Decision-Making
Ina corporation, capitalism means that there is less governmentinterference and that the stakeholders control decisions. Capitalismplays a huge role in corporate decision making in that it enables thecompany to focus on sales and profits to accumulate wealth. Manycorporations take advantage of the fewer controls by the governmentto make more profit at the expense of the consumer. When thecompanies make a profit, it means that the consumers will suffer inturn due to the harmful tobacco products [ CITATION Lau08 l 1033 ].
Thebasic way that the companies can use to increase their sales andprofit is by advertisements and promotions whereby they only mentionthe benefits of smoking without letting the consumers know of therepercussions of smoking. The best way for corporations in thetobacco industry to make good decisions is by taking intoconsideration the health of the consumers first and not profits.
CateringFor both Company and Consumer Interests
Cateringfor both the interests of corporations and consumers is impracticalin the tobacco industry. It is a well-established scientific factthat tobacco smoking is harmful to the health of human beings. Sincethe main aim of the companies is profit maximization, it is veryunlikely that they will alert their clients to the dangers of smokingtobacco products. Tobacco companies understand that the goods areaddictive, so all they have to do is to entice consumers withadvertisements, and once they are hooked, they will remain loyal [ CITATION Rob08 l 1033 ].
Tobaccosmoking is harmful and worse still it affects even innocent peoplewho happen to be near a smoker. Tobacco companies cannot alert theirclientele on the dangers of smoking due to the weak sales that willfollow up. It is highly unlikely that a tobacco consumer willpurchase a product after its manufacture points out that it isharmful.
Thegrowth of the tobacco companies depends mostly on the ignorance andrecklessness of the consumers regarding the dangers of smoking. Insome instances, tobacco companies sponsored research and studies thatwere meant to show that smoking is not harmful as many people think.The government has since prevailed on the tobacco companies to reducetheir advertising and also not sell the products to people less thaneighteen years of age.
Businessethic demands that companies must be responsible and ensure that thegoods they sell to the public or they produce valid informationregarding the products they are selling. The tobacco industry doesnot follow such a notion since telling their clients about thedangers of their products would mean a reduction of the market [ CITATION Lau08 l 1033 ].
Hartman, L. P. (2008). Business Ethics : Decision-Making for Personal Integrity and Social Responsibility. Boston : McGraw-Hill.
Kolb, R. W. (2008).Encyclopedia Oof and Society . California : Sage .