The ethics of the tobacco industry

Fundamental issues in the ethics of marketing[ edit ] Frameworks of analysis for marketing Possible frameworks[ edit ] Value -oriented framework, analyzing ethical problems on the basis of the values which they infringe e.

The ethics of the tobacco industry

Institutions, pension funds and individuals have faced pressure to divest from investments in controversial industries, including so-called sin stocks such as alcohol, tobacco and arms companies.

The debate around sin stocks, though, is a confused one that risks misrepresenting what ethical investment should focus on.

The ethics of the tobacco industry

The real point behind targeting sin stocks is not to eradicate private behaviours like gambling but to challenge the excessive power of groups that have private interests in systemically promoting such public behaviour. Rather it is about challenging the self-serving executive group that deliberately tries to manipulate people into smoking for the purposes of profit maximisation.

Tobacco companies have long history of suppressing research into its harmful effects and promoting their own spurious studies. Similarly, an authentic need for weapons in situations of national danger must be distinguished from the goals of a bloated war industry that lobbies politicians to engage in conflict.

These industries have incentives to aggressively promote situations that are not aligned with the best interests of the public.

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The continued backing of such companies by investors is an implicit vote in favour of their distorted viewpoints.

Some investors are deliberately unapologetic about their investment in these stocks. In the US the Barrier Fund — formerly known as the Vice Fund — is infamous for targeting investment in arms and tobacco companies, arguing that they outperform in the long run, and offer stable, safe returns.

Furthermore, the fund argues that the returns are counter-cyclical, it claims people increasingly turn to alcoholic when economic times are tough, and nation-states get more warlike.

WHO | Tobacco product regulation

They are thus counter-recessionary. Various papers have backed these claims up. For example, recent research from Credit Suisse argues that, in the long term, tobacco shares have been the best performers in the US stock market, while alcohol shares are top performers in the UK stock market.

Like other papers of this sort, it appears to be a dispassionate descriptive account of how different portfolios perform, and yet contains an implicit prescriptive message: It is entirely plausible to have a socially responsible tobacco company Aside from the fact that another paper concluded that investments in sin stocks does not not produce extra returns, the framing of this Credit Suisse report is juvenile.

In addition to using the childlike language of good versus bad, this genre of investment literature sets up an imaginary battle between a realm of non-ethical investment and an ethical one.

There is no ethics-free investing. You either choose to recognise the ethics — and take responsibility for them — or you pretend that they do not exist. Does it really matter whether sin stocks perform well or not?

Just because an arms dealer makes good investment returns does not somehow justify my decision to bankroll him. If investors wish to own and benefit from the stocks of companies implicated in negatively manipulating public behaviour then they should do so. But they should also have the courage to accept that they are contributing to the perpetuation of that manipulation.

Labelling product-defined industrial groups as sinful, though, leaves a lot to be desired. It is in the practice and motives of the company that promotes a product. Furthermore, in focussing the mind on individual moral virtues, the sin concept ignores the fact that individual actions that are seen as benign can lead to collective damage.

For example, nobody filling their car up with fuel is engaging in vice, and yet collectively this supports, and is promoted by, fossil fuel companies that are deeply at odds with our need to move to sustainable energy.

We need to go beyond the shallow language of individual sin. The major problems of the world are not narrow vices like gambling. Rather, we need to shift investment away from all companies that privately benefit from aggressively promoting behaviour that creates collective ecological damage and social inequality.Tobacco product regulation - Tobacco is one of the few openly available commercial products that is virtually unregulated in terms of its contents and emissions.

At the same time, it is the only legally available product that kills up to one half of its regular users when consumed as recommended by . The tobacco industry prioritizes the stakeholders in what they believe to be order of importance or primacy. Given the fact that the main objective of the retail companies within the tobacco industry is it to maximize profit and return on invest, there most important .

Examples of the Tobacco Industry Tobacco companies knowingly violated the terms of the Master Settlement Agreement.

The ethics of the tobacco industry

In August , U.S. District Court Judge Gladys Kessler released her opinion in the U.S. Government’s landmark case against tobacco companies.

How does tobacco product advertising affect youth smoking?

If I understand you correctly, you are suggesting that the case against investing in tobacco is not confined to ethics, there is a economic as well as an ESG angle to it that all investors, regardless of their ethical stance, need to consider. Civil Warriors: The Legal Siege on the Tobacco Industry [Dan Zegart] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.

A landmark narrative of an epic legal battle, Civil Warriors is the gripping behind-the-scenes account of how one tenacious lawyer led the charge against the titans of the tobacco industry.

Drawing on five years of eyewitness reporting. Ethics of the Tobacco Industry The tobacco industry is a very unethical industry, due to the long term effects of tobacco on humans.

The industry also does not assess the ethical and social responsibility the best way that it should.

Tobacco and ethics