Ethical Dilemmas in Tobacco Marketing Essay

  • Length: 2 pages
  • Sources: 1
  • Subject: Business - Ethics
  • Type: Essay
  • Paper: #86842002

Excerpt from Essay :

Business Ethics

Janet should not really have a moral dilemma here -- she already knows she can't take the job. The dilemma is presented in a couple of ways. The first is the argument that Janet needs employment, and this job can give her the employment that she needs, and she must weigh this against her own convictions. In fact, that is not quite accurate in terms of framing. First, there are strict laws regarding the marketing of tobacco products to youth. The FDA is tasked with developing and enforcing these laws, as of 2009 in the Tobacco Control Act (NIH, 2015), and that includes a minimum legal age of 18 for the purchase of tobacco products, and a variety of restrictions on the promotion of tobacco products, including smokeless tobacco, to youth (NIH, 2015). If the company is marketing to 12-year-olds, then it is violating both the letter and spirit of the law. There is no ethical middle ground with respect to the debate between one's financial welfare and breaking the law in our society, and any such action that is considered illegal is also considered unethical at the societal level, not just for Janet individually.

For the sake of argument, perhaps this company has changed its practices since she studied them and now complies with all federal and state laws surrounding the marketing of tobacco products. Janet still has her own moral convictions on the issue, and those stem from general welfare. Naturally, consequentialist calculus says that she cannot contribute to selling something that mostly just causes harm, for her own personal gain. The positive outcomes for many of not taking the job outweigh whatever gain that she might enjoy personally from this employment.

There are a couple of other issues raised in this scenario. First, Janet is not facing an either-or situation. Taking this job and enjoying career and financial success are by no means mutually exclusive. The way the argument is framed -- that Janet is essentially choosing between her ethics and her financial and career well-being, is a false dilemma. In fact, she has many other options for her career besides this particular offer; that this is the only offer today does not change the fact that she has many other choices in the form of future offers, or other arrangements that will deliver positive outcomes.

Another issue raised here is the idea that if…

Sources Used in Document:


NIH (2015)

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"Ethical Dilemmas In Tobacco Marketing" (2017, April 08) Retrieved March 24, 2018, from

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