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Where do Business Responsibilities End and Individual Respon

            We have all read and heard the reports on how smoking causes cancer and other diseases. There have been investigations and lawsuits against the tobacco industries for their failure to be responsible to the public by not disclosing the health risk of all the different types of tobacco. In our society today, even a five-year-old child can tell people that smoking is bad. So where does the social responsibility of business end and the responsibility of the individual for their actions begin?.
             No one is disputing the fact that there is proof that tobacco is linked to certain types of cancer. Just as no one is arguing that the tobacco companies were wrong for not warning the consumers of the link on their own accord. States have sued the tobacco companies and won. The settlement basically states:.
             1. Settles 40 state lawsuits and 17 class-action suits against industry. Pending individual suits against tobacco companies not affected.
             2. Tobacco companies pay $360 billion in first 25 years, and then $15 billion a year. .
             3. FDA could regulate nicotine as a drug but could not ban it until 2009.
             4. Individual smokers could still sue the industry, but punitive damages are disallowed. Any "actual damages" awards for medical bills or lost wages would come out of annual $5 billion tobacco company fund.
             5. Bans most cigarette advertising. Sharp restrictions on advertising that would appeal to children.
             6. Outlaws sale of cigarettes through vending machines.
             7. Subjects industry to fines if youth smoking does not drop by 60 percent in 10 years.
             8. Industry agrees to move warning labels to the front of the package. The labels would include new language that would say that cigarettes are addictive and that tobacco smoke causes fatal lung disease in non-smokers. (Murphy, 2000).
             There still are other settlements which I have not listed and also on going lawsuits. So in all likelihood the total pay out that the tobacco companies will pay over the next 25 years will increase dramatically.

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