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Tobacco Industry Essay

1435 words - 6 pages

The tobacco industry continues to abuse the ethics of corporate social responsibility (CSR) to change their public image, whilst also attempting to achieve their goals. This is evident in the ways the industry manipulates data and targets youth smokers. This could be characterised by the analysis of the transparency, dignity and citizenship principles of the Global Business Standards Codex (GBSC).

The manipulation of data by the tobacco industry expresses the abuse of the transparency principle, demonstrating their involvement in deception. The tobacco industry has utilised its economic power, political influence, marketing and manipulation of the media to discredit scientific research ...view middle of the document...

The business community, consumer groups and the general public should lobby policymakers and the public to be more watchful and critical about tobacco companies’ CSR activities.

Tobacco industry targets youth through advertisements and other promotional activities in encouraging them to smoke or take up smoking, as they are the next generation consumers, demonstrating the abuse of the dignity principle in the GBSC, this is clearly evident as they do not show respect for the individual, or for the individuals’ health and safety (Paine 2005). Previously sports events were sponsored by the tobacco industry example Benson & Hedges cricket series. The reason behind these sponsorships were to encourage the youth to idolise sportsmen who smoked, which in turn promotes smoking. The intention of the tobacco industry is to introduce smoking to under aged smokers as they are the next generation, guaranteeing their markets.

Palazzo & Richter (2005) states the industry targeted teenagers as the main future market, well aware that early addiction to tobacco will ensure future sales. Citing Cummins et al (2002 i7), they state as far back as 1970, Philip Morris was aware that their best selling brand for teenagers was Marlboro. Johnston et al (1981 p.1) state today’s teenager is tomorrow’s potential customer, and they start smoking whilst they are in their teens. Evidence was found that the tobacco industry was explicitly marketing its products to youth, which in turn damaged their public image. In a judgement, Judge Kessler found the tobacco industry had lied, misrepresented and deceived the US public, to encourage the youth as replacement smokers to balance quitters (Schoenberg 2006). The tobacco industry ignores the facts and statistics on the mortality rate linked with smoking and denies the links to cancer. WHO estimates deaths due to smoking will rise from four million a year in 1998 to about ten million in 2030.

In an attempt to counter the effects of the under aged smoking campaign, the tobacco industry introduced the new mini packs to target, economically affected under aged smokers, making it affordable for them. The tobacco industry needs to make a legitimate attempt at reducing under aged smoking, by introducing educational programs to discourage smoking or increase cigarette prices, or stop the manufacture and sale of the mini packs. The increase in tax and resultant price hikes could discourage youth smoking, in the low income groups (Barbeau 2004).

The tobacco industry is a negative industry, however participate in positive events to balance the ill effects. Third world countries benefit from the tobacco industry through the citizenship principle of GBSC by economic and educational programmes. In Australia, the tobacco industry’s focus has been on charities and groups with high credentials, specifically sick children and domestic violence, as part of their corporate responsibility.

According to the government website (Scollo...

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