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Underage Smoking

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Underage Smoking

In today's world there are many moral issues that take place in society as well as in the business world. On Friday, February 4, 2000, the Washington Post printed an article titled "Underage Smoking Fine Sought for Big Tobacco." Currently and in the past, the tobacco industry has fought many moral issues with the Federal Government and the general public. This particular article written by Charles Babington has two problems, which are, the federal government's threat to increase taxes and fines on the tobacco industry and the industries practice in their advertising which is targeting underage smokers.

The first problem the article states is that the Federal Government is threatening to raise taxes on cigarettes and issue fines for any underage smoking. Fining underage smoking could be a possible ploy for the government to raise taxes on all tobacco products. By issuing a $3,000 fine for every underage smoker, the government would generate as much as 6 billion dollars a year. In addition to the fines, President Clinton may also propose to put a 25-cent-per-pack increase in the Federal tax on cigarettes.

The moral aspect of this problem is that the federal government is receiving billions off of raising taxes on tobacco products and fines for underage smoking. This money is absorbed into the government and redistributed into society towards other social issues. The excess money the government collects on higher tobacco taxes and fines issued to for underage smoking should be used to educate the general public on how the tobacco companies are providing a dangerous product and can be extremely harmful to the human body. The government also needs to provide a program to help prevent underage smoking in the future.

Another problem that was stated in the article was that the tobacco industry was targeting new underage smokers. The underage smokers were targeted through the advertisements on radio programs, television commercials, and social events that young people attend. The advertisements of cigarettes on TV and radio commercials stopped over 20 years ago and at that time the underage smoking did not stop. It is stated that in November 1998, the tobacco industry agreed once again to set restrictions on how cigarettes may be sold and marketed, barring companies from targeting youth in advertising and using cartoons in promotions (Babington, A07). The cigarettes companies were also prohibited from sponsoring sports teams, stadiums, or events such as NASCAR in which participants are underage. Accompanying this problem is the moral issue that banning advertisements on the radio and TV is not enough to prevent underage smoking. The industry needs to reveal in their advertisements the negative aspect of tobacco products. As stated in "Moral Issues in Business," "When advertisers conceal facts, they suppress information that is unflattering to their products. That is, they neglect to mention or distract consumers' attention away from information, knowledge of which would probably make their products less desirable." (Shaw, Barry 474). Every advertiser wants their advertisement to be very attractive to the consumer. Until underage smoking is controlled, the Federal Drug Administration (...

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