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Tuesday, 25 June 2013 14:44

Ethics Behind The Advertisement Of Cigarettes Featured

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Ethics Behind The Advertisement Of Cigarettes

The issue picked for this paper is that on the ethics behind the advertisement of cigarettes. The only thing that is legal is the selling of cigarettes to persons above the age of 18 years. Although cigarette advertisement is legal, this does not make it ethical. The law does not make the advertisement of cigarettes the right thing to do (cloud, 2012). Despite legality, cigarettes are harmful to the consumer. The advertisement of cigarettes is intended at winning customers for profits not to warn them against the harm caused. This compares to the advertisement of alcohol or legal steroids in which the immediate use is overemphasized compared to the associated effects. This means that such items are deceptively advertised.

 In order to understand the non ethical nature of advertising cigarettes, the consequentialism theory becomes handy.  During the design of cigarette advertisements, companies only overemphasize on the ultimate drive purchase (cloud, 2012). There is usually no balance in the issues considered in the design of such potentially hazardous products. Through consequentialism, the consequences or the motive behind an act is what makes an action morally right by individuals and public. Advertising cigarettes do not consider the consequences on people’s health that come with the use of alcohol. For the company, moral prudentialism fallacy argues that only the interests of the company are served and not those of the consumer.

             In both the movie and the chat, the law is used to permit the advertisement of cigarettes. However, the law only acts in serving the interest of the cigarette manufacturers at the expense of the cigarette consumers who are many (cloud, 2012). As a result, companies make money while consumers spend even more to meet medical expenses as a consequence of cigarette smoking. Given that the consequences for the manufacturers are better cigarette sales, the actions are considered morally right. Conversely, the consequences related with cigarette consumptions are not morally right.

            In my opinion, I feel that advertisers should act in kind. Advertisers are not fulfilling their moral obligation of protecting the interests of the company (cloud, 2012). Unfortunately, companies do not act on their interests as there are others who only have the company’s interests and try to sway companies from doing the right thing. Consequentialism does not offer companies the responsibility to the community. Again, the issue of ethics should not be overlooked in education as young people need to be taught on the ethics contained in advertisements.


Cloud, S., (2012). Ethical theories and advertising. Retrieved from


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