Legal, ethical and company

Tobacco which is most commonly used in smoking, that is in the form of cigarette is well known as an agricultural product and is processed through the use of leaves from plants in the genus, Nicotinia. Tobacco was also used since 3000 BC and had been smoked in many different forms by 2000 BC. However, according studies, tobacco has several harmful effects on the human body and is very addictive. Thus, there are certain ethical and as well as social responsibilities that tobacco industries are facing.

As a commercial organization, every tobacco company desires what is best for the company, which is to gain profit. However, in order to do so, the company must also take responsibility fro their product, both ethical and social. Thus, tobacco companies must constantly deal with making money and as well as aligning the company’s values and actions with the society wherein the company operates. Social and ethical responsibilities by tobacco companies include manufacturing, distribution and promotion of the products in the global market.

The companies must be able to perform these tasks taking into account the impact that their actions can make in the society. Every company must take into account their own ethical responsibilities due to the effects of their actions. Every company also takes into account social responsibilities and aims not only to gain profit. One of the major responsibilities that every company is facing not only the tobacco company is to deal with the smuggling of their goods. Because of the nature of the product, it is very important that the company is able to manage them in a responsible manner.

This also includes ensuring that the products (commonly cigarette) were not smuggled and market to the under age. However, since cigarette is a large market, this responsibility does not only imply to tobacco or cigarette manufacturers but mostly to the distributors. Tobacco companies on the other hand can ensure that they are handing the products to legal consumers, however, the problem lies in those that are responsible for taking the product directly to the costumers.

It is also the company’s responsibility to ensure that the consumers are aware of the risks involved in taking the product. This may seem illogical on a sense since, as stated earlier, every company desires to gain profit as much as possible and informing the consumers about the risks associated with the product will surely not help in the company’s goal to achieve profit and on the contrary, it will surely lessen their potential consumers. However, this action was done by the companies in order to take full responsibility on their products.

Some of the actions that are done by some companies are the precautions included in the commercial of their products stating that cigarette smoking is dangerous to health that is also embedded in some of the packaging of the product. Normally, warning the consumers about its own product is something that is against the will of every company. However, tobacco companies are aware of the risks involved in their products and are also willing to take the risk of losing some costumers in order to take full responsibility on their product.

Thus, it can be said that the tobacco industry is facing a greater problem and challenge because of their situation. Also because of the risks associated in smoking cigarettes which is the most common usage of tobacco, it is also important that the companies have specific target costumers to protect the interest of the people and as well as the reputation of the company. Thus, most advertisement of potential consumers that tobacco companies are aiming are adults that are willing to take buy the product provided that they are aware of the risks in consuming the said product.

Limiting the potential consumers of the product can also be seen as something that will not bring profit to the company and on the contrary, will reduce the number of consumers and eventually, reduce the profit. Still, due to the nature of the product, most tobacco companies does not see this situation as something that is against the benefit of the company since it will also build up not only the reputation of the company but as well as the company’s sense of responsibility and in the long run, more and more consumers will be trusting the company thus, increasing the number of potential consumers.

Another action taken by tobacco companies in order to take responsibility on the impact of their products includes different programs in order to keep unintentional buyers from consuming the product that includes young people and pregnant women. There had been campaigns made by tobacco companies that aim to prevent the youth from smoking. Some companies also assessed the impact of their products in the community where they are operating and as well as the areas that are reached by their product.

On the other hand, it can also be said that not all of the risks associated with cigarette smoking must be put in the shoulder of tobacco companies but on the citizens as well especially those who are consuming the products, the smokers. Smokers are also aware of the risks associated with smoking and thus, they must also take full responsibility on their actions especially the effects on their own health and of others. Smokers must also be responsible of their actions especially on public places. The government is also taking part on addressing the issue through the laws associated not only on smokers but tobacco companies as well.

Such laws include the prohibition of smoking in public places such as schools and likes. Certain limitations had been set and it is up to the citizens and to the companies to follow these laws. Also because tobacco effect almost all people of every group in the society, there are several institutions that are considered to be against the tobacco industry such as educational institution, health institutions and even religious institutions. These institutions help in educating and teaching not only the youth but adults as well about the hazards of cigarette smoking.

However, it can also be said that these institutions are not helping the tobacco industry since these institutions normally prohibits the use of cigarettes. Not only these institutions but as well as most families prohibits their members about cigarette smoking. Every company has its own responsibility in the society and it is important that the companies take full responsibility of the effects of their actions or products. Due to the nature of their product, tobacco companies are aware of the risks involved in their products and as well as their responsibilities in the community.

Thus, tobacco companies are taking actions regarding the effects of their products although it may seem to be disadvantageous for the company. Such actions include educating the consumers about the risk associated with the product and limiting the desired and targeted consumer.

These situation and problems are regularly faced by tobacco companies that prove the hardship faced by the said company. Even though most public and private institutions are against the tobacco industry, the tobacco industry still stands attracting several consumers.This also proves that even with many contradiction of the industry, the tobacco industry is still not indispensable in our community.


Baker, M. (19 June, 2002). Archive: Controversial industries and corporate responsibility. Retrieved April 26, 2008 from http://www. ethicalcorp. com/content. asp? ContentID=118 Bizled. (20 October, 2003). Marketing, Ethics, Mission Statements and Profits. Retrieved April 26, 2008 from http://www. bized. co. uk/current/mind/2003_4/201003. htm. Ethical Performance Company Focus. (No Date).

British American Tobacco: Reporting for Duty. Retrieved April 26, 2008 from http://ethicalperformance. com/bestpractice/companyfocus/pages/cs1. html Ethical Performance Company Focus. (No Date). British American Tobacco: Entering New Territory. Retrieved April 26, 2008 from http://www. ethicalperformance. com/bestpractice/companyfocus/pages/introduction. html World Health Organization. (7 February, 2007). Tobacco Industry and corporate responsibility…an inherent contradiction. Retrieved April 16, 2007 from http://www. who. int/tobacco/media/en/tob-industry. pdf