Free «Should tobacco companies be held responsible for smoking-related illnesses and deaths?» Essay Sample

Any company or industry that manufactures a given product requires a customer in order for the business to be successful in the long run. In most cases, business organizations use marketing or advertisements in order to get people to try their products. However, the tobacco industry has used chemicals to add flavor to their cigarettes and thus making most people to get addicted.


Tobacco is a plant that is grown in America which can be compared to apple pie. The active chemical in tobacco is known as nicotine which a very addictive chemical. However, tobacco is known to cause various lung diseases, emphysema, cancer and other chronic illness. According to Douglas, Davis & Beasley (2006), it is also one of the most leading causes of death in the United States and other countries. Definitely, these are well known outcomes of smoking and the general public is well conversant with, and it is important to not that it solely depends on the decision of an individual. Like in America, the average age that is allowed to purchase cigarette or any other tobacco product is eighteen and above. Tobacco products can be found and purchased in any liquor stores, almost worldwide. This paper therefore focuses on whether the tobacco manufacturing companies should be held responsible for the causes of illness and deaths.

Personal opinion whether tobacco companies should be blamed for tobacco related illness and deaths.

I am of the opinion that tobacco companies should not be held responsible for the penalties for the illness that are related to smoking or death because as nation or individuals we have a choice on whether or not to smoke cigarette. Anyway, it is true that tobacco companies aren't accountable for why people smoke or the side effects that are caused as a result of smoking, they are simply a conglomerate that sells a product, and people can either decide whether to buy or not. Nonetheless, it is evident that if the companies didn't sell tobacco people would still find other means to buy tobacco if they choose to. People know the risk of smoking and still choose to do so, perceptive of the detrimental effects. Commercial adverts for tobacco products can be found in magazines, billboards, store windows and states that smoking is harmful to our health but people are just ignorant but they are conversant with the effects which include: back pain, erectile deficiency, asthma, common cold and numerous other symptoms (Douglas, Davis & Beasley, 2006).

Special offer for new customers!
Get 15% Off
your first order

Tobacco alone sells itself due to the fact that it is very tranquil to someone who is usually stressed out effortlessly and the tobacco company is just giving people what they want. It is also important to note that tobacco is not only risky to the smoker; it is also damaging to anyone in the region within the parameter in which an individual inhales the smoke which is also recognized as second hand smokers. Many of these chemicals that are found in cigarettes are recognized to be carcinogenic. Some of these carcinogenic include the following; cadium, chromium, benzene, radon, nickel, and vinyl chloride.

Diseases caused by smoking

Smoking in most instances increases the chance of an individual getting a heart attack or stroke. This is due to the fact tat various ingredients that are used in the manufacturing of tobacco cause narrowing of blood vessels which as a result leads to high blood pressure.

Furthermore, tobacco remains to be the leading avoidable cause of death in various countries with a yearly death toll exceeding 400,000. Theoretically it is preventable but most people have seized to put this into practice. Douglas, Davis & Beasley (2006) point out that this case usually affects the poor, less disenfranchised are the victims who smoke regularly as compared to their counterparts. Consequently, they suffer a disproportionate burden of tobacco- related illness and death. They are also the most exploited victims of predatory marketing practices that take advantage of on their illiteracy as well as vulnerabilities.

Douglas, Davis & Beasley (2006) assert that in case there can be a preventive method that can be used, it may lead to long-term saving to any given nation. The coverage of Medicaid to make smoking cessation accessible and affordable to even the poor is fundamental. In the long run, comprehensive treatment plans can therefore save providers funds. According to a study carried out by Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) expenses found that former smoker's health care costs to be higher in the first year of quitting smoking after which it continued to drop as the trend went by.

In reality, tobacco companies have been successful in making those who have little information concerning the health risks of cause by smoking.

Get 24/7 Free consulting
Toll free


    Preparing Orders



    Active Writers



    Positive Feedback



    Support Agents


Type of service ?
Type of assignment ?
Number of pages ?
Academic level ?
Timeframes ?
Spacing ?
Currency ?
  • Total price
Continue to order

The tobacco industry is very profitable. This can be attributed to the oligopoly which the companies enjoy therefore making entry into the market very difficult. The legal cost required by the government which should come from the high levels of sales makes it difficult for new companies to enter in to the market.

Christofides, Chapman & Dominello1 (999) observe that several changes have been made to reduce tobacco consumption by various governments. Billboard advertising, bus sides and on top of taxis are some of the measures that have been taken by the governments to effect the desired change. Taxes on tobacco can also be increased in order to indirectly reduce tobacco consumption. Effects brought about by smoking have different reactions from different people. one could blame the companies that manufacture the cigarette or even the victim who went ahead and bought the cigarette. It is worth noting that the use of tobacco accounts for a very significant percentage of cancer deaths. It is also a major cause of heart disease, colds, gastric ulcers, cerebrovascular disease and emphysema.

There are instances where the tobacco companies have agreed to take care of treating people who suffer from smoking-related illnesses. The companies also go an extra mile to provide funding for the potential use in to tobacco control meant to prevent people especially the young from starting to smoke and encourage current smokers to reduce and even quit smoking.

There are also a couple of arguments that do not support the idea that tobacco companies are responsible as much as many people have died due to tobacco related illnesses. Research done by some scientists show that there is possibility of some percentage of genetic disposition towards people who contract lung cancer and those who does not. The study went ahead to reveal that the risk of contracting cancer of the lung for the relatives of people who smoked nearly doubles and that there was no single evidence to show that those who did not smoke would have lung cancer. Some researchers have lined these predispositions to the sharing of genes, exposures or a combination of both. This, Christofides, Chapman & Dominello (1999), assert that requires social responsibility as to whether to or not to take cigarettes. This idea means that tobacco companies are responsible for personal actions. There have been instances where a tobacco company has been ordered to compensate a dying victim of cigarette smoking illness.

Ethical Implications

Ethic is a term that used in referring to the universal character of morals and the precise proper choices an individual makes in relating to others. Like most major issues, the tobacco issue poses some decent questions that are complex to counter. One factor that makes these ethical questions so complex is that people commonly search for the answers that please them the most. For example, if one were to ask a person who had developed lung cancer from smoking whether or not the big tobacco companies should be answerable for his or her disease, he or she would possibly answer with assent (Christofides, Chapman & Dominello, 1999).

However, if someone were to ask a nonsmoker who should be responsible, he or she would probably answer that the individual himself is responsible. Some of the ethical issues that society is facing with the tobacco industry are: the placement of responsibility on the consumer or the producer, the question of whether the producers have to pay compensatory damages for smoking illnesses, the issue of involuntary smoking, selling in foreign markets and lastly the promotion of tobacco products

In fact, when smokers buy a pack of cigarettes, they know what they are buying! Just like many other products that are sold today, they are dangerous to our health if used exceptionally. If it were to be decided that the tobacco companies were responsible for smoking related illnesses, it could open up a whole new view on product accountability. Take the alcohol manufacturing companies for example: drinking an undue amount of intoxicating beverages has been proven to increase the chances of increasing solemn health tribulations. Should the alcohol manufacturers be responsible for this? The coherent and reasonable response is NO! There have been warnings posted on cigarette packs since 1966 informing the consumer of the carcinogenic contents of cigarettes and their dangerous effects (Christofides, Chapman & Dominello, 1999).


Regulars of tobacco products identify with the fact that there are certain health risks involved in smoking. For that matter it is not a case of simply enlightening people about the risks caused by smoking (Christofides, Chapman & Dominello, 1999).

What it comes down to is individual freedom: people have the right to smoke and the right as well to decide not to smoke and this should not be misunderstood and hence pose blames on to the tobacco companies. Supplementary to any type of right or concession are penalties and errands associated with excessive or regular smoking. People usually make the mindful option of smoking and must consequently acknowledge the costs of whatever choice they make.


What Our Customers Say

Now Accepting Apple Pay!
Click here to chat with us