Ethics Computer Marketing Tobacco Dilemma After Returning Term Paper

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Marketing Tobacco Dilemma

After returning from Ohio on a road trip, some friends informed us that on the way back home while gassing up, they were asked by kids on two different occasions to buy them some cigarettes. Our friends told the kids no on each occasion. What does this isolated observation have to do with the tobacco industry? The tobacco industry has continued to market their products to children throughout the nation, and they have even gone after kids in other nations. "Since the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) in 1998, tobacco advertising and promotion has significantly increased in the retail environment." (New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services) The description of the kids, obviously minors, asking an adult to buy them cigarettes is illegal. What the tobacco industry has continued to do in regard to marketing cigarettes to kids is immoral, unethical and illegal. This paper provides insight into the topic of marketing tobacco products.

The tobacco industry was forced to publicly admit that their products are not only addicting and that they have been less than truthful about this fact, they also had to explain how they could for years deny the inherent dangers associated with smoking and more directly, of the effects of tar and nicotine. These admissions have clearly helped many Americans finally kick the habit. But the admission of guilt has not stopped the industry from peddling their wares? The tobacco industry may have made some efforts to reduce smoking in the United States. But, all they really did was to alter their marketing strategy.

The tobacco industry has been forced to look abroad to sell the majority of their cigarettes and third world countries may be perfect targets. "By the year…

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The tobacco industry has been forced to look abroad to sell the majority of their cigarettes and third world countries may be perfect targets. "By the year 2000, 80% of the world's population will live in less-developed countries. These countries already consume more tobacco than the developed countries." (Chapman & Leng, 2004) The United States tobacco giants have gone as far as litigate through international courts to forcefully open up third world nations' markets to tobacco products. In 2000, the Tobacco giants together sued Thailand in General Agreement and Tariffs and Trade court to reduce their tobacco tariffs. The U.S. Tobacco companies were working feverishly to maintain their profitability but they are clearly going about it through an unethical marketing effort.

We all know that how a product is marketed can make a huge difference in sales. "Brazil also has probably the highest level of tobacco advertising per capita in the world. When advertising stopped for a year, cigarette sales fell 4.8% in nine months." (Chapman & Leng, 2004) The American Cancer Society continues to be critical of U.S. tobacco companies' marketing strategies. Everyone hears about the United States' trade surplus. But not many people ever hear that the United States has become the largest exporter of tobacco products in the world. Our tobacco companies have been chastised because they not only sell a product they know is harmful; they boost the very properties that make the product bad when selling abroad. In other words, they sell cigarettes with tar levels that are higher than the products sold in the United States. The worst part of this is that their marketing strategy is directed at women and children in countries that never had high levels of smokers.

There have to be alternatives to this approach of selling high tar laced cigarettes in third world nations to women and children. It just sounds wrong because it is wrong.

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