Not All Companies Are Viewed As Equal Essay Examples
In a free market economy, entities have the privilege to enter or exit the market at will. Nevertheless, not all industries are viewed equally by consumers. Tobacco industry in particular is an example of industries whose products remain controversial. Various health experts, scholars, analysts, and nutritionists among other interest groups have expressed divergent views on tobacco products. From their views, two groups emerge, the consumer advocates versus the business advocates groups. Most discussions on tobacco revolve around health and ethics. In evaluating the view towards companies, the principles of ethics provide essential tools for judging companies and their products. Every decision justifying the existence of an organization stems from ethical considerations. This paper presents an essay advocating for the tobacco industry to have an ethical obligation to protect consumers from partaking in unhealthy products.
The position of this paper is that companies have an ethical obligation to protect the people from consuming unhealthy products. According to deontology ethics principle, every organization or individual has rights but those rights come with responsibilities (Scheid J., 2013). In this view, tobacco industries operate in a free trade economy where the laws guarantee their rights to produce and market their products. However, deontology ethics requires organizations to enjoy their rights but as well fulfill their obligations. Protecting the health of the consumers is part of the obligations that tobacco companies have to fulfill.
Secondly, tobacco smoking poses a wide range of health risks both to the smokers and to non-smokers also known as the passive smokers. A number of researches on tobacco smoking have shown that smoking causes various kinds of cancer, heart disease, and respiratory illness, all of which are fatal to human health. In fact, tobacco is responsible for over 4 million annual global death toll, a figure that is likely to escalate to 10 million by 2030 (Prabhat J., Phil D. & Peto R., 2014). Nicotine per se is highly addictive just as heroin and cocaine. Accordingly, it is ethical for the tobacco industry to ensure that the consumers do not partake in unhealthy products. Basing on the consequentialism or teleology ethics, the wrongness or rightness of each action depends on its consequences. In this view, actions whose outcomes are harmful are unethical. Thus, advertising tobacco products without educating or protecting the potential customers from its dangers is an unethical practice.
In the modern capitalist society, the top executive of large profit-oriented organizations plays a significant role in shaping the collective life of the whole society. Capitalism influence corporate decision-making. Organizations seek to make profits in the capitalist view by engaging in activities that go beyond the economic aspects. Most co-operate decisions seek to protect the social interest of the society while expanding business activities. In this view, it is notable that modern capitalism shapes corporate decisions by encouraging activities that go beyond the economic interests.
It is highly debatable whether a company can cater for both its rights and that of the consumers conjointly. This paper draws from the deontology principle that advocates for enjoying rights while simultaneously respecting the duties that come with those rights (Scheid J., 2013). As such, a company can cater for its rights while protecting the needs of the consumers. For example, tobacco industries can serve this responsibility by advertising their products while also educating the users on its dangers. This paper, therefore, concludes that it is ethical for companies to protect the people from consuming unhealthy products.
McMahon C. (2012). Public Capitalism: The Political Authority of Corporate Executives. Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press: http://www.upenn.edu/pennpress/book/toc/15047.html.
Prabhat J., Phil D. & Peto R. . (2014). Global Effects of Smoking, of Quitting, and of Taxing Tobacco. The New England Journal of Medicine: DOI: 10.1056/NEJMra1308383, 60-68: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMra1308383. Retrieved from http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CB8QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.who.int%2Ftobacco%2Fmedia%2Fen%2FTobaccoExplained.pdf&ei=lrGyVKeiAsr1UK7MgagP&usg=AFQjCNFqb_XrHcc92WksBqZ6cZbtxeO6_A&sig2=qAAAvvOUawQWhmO7W1h-
Scheid J. . (2013, April 4). Real-World Examples of Bad Business Ethics. Retrieved February 22, 2014, from http://www.brighthub.com/office/entrepreneurs/articles/115557.aspx
Tobacco in Australia. (2011). The merits of banning tobacco advertising. Retrieved from Tobacco in Australia: A Comprehensive Online Resource : http://www.tobaccoinaustralia.org.au/11-1-the-merits-of-banning-tobacco-advertising
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