Case Study: Whistleblowing in the Tobacco Industry

961 Words4 Pages
Case study: Whistleblowing in the tobacco industry Q1. Briefly discern and report the background for the ethical situation. The tobacco industry has a curious status in the American economy and in American culture. On one hand, virtually everyone knows that tobacco is dangerous to human health. Unlike consuming alcohol, there is no 'safe limit' for consuming tobacco and unlike powerful prescription drugs, nicotine has no medicinal value. "The number of people in the U.S. who die each year from smoking-related illnesses: 430,000" (Salter 2002). Yet selling cigarettes is completely legal, although there are certain legal restrictions placed upon the product in terms of how it can be advertised and sold to minors. The tobacco industry first tried to deny its product was harmful, and when it could no longer in do so because of the overwhelming nature of the scientific evidence, it began to promote 'safer' cigarettes (such as low-tar varieties). It also crafted advertising campaigns such as the Virginia Slims "you've come a long way baby" ads to suggest that cigarette smoking was liberating for women and the Joe Camel cartoon which seemed to be targeted at adolescents rather than adults. Statistics indicate that tobacco companies profit from targeting a primarily youthful audience, making them smokers for life: "The percentage of adult smokers who started before they turned 18: 80% to 90%. The amount of money tobacco companies spend on advertising each year: more than $8

More about Case Study: Whistleblowing in the Tobacco Industry

Open Document