Tobacco has been a highly discussed and controversial topic for many years now. While it has been almost fifty years since the dangers of cigarette smoking were first discovered, it seems as though with each passing day that new information is being discovered or divulged as the case may be. Is this emergence of "new" information going to just lead to more "warning labels", or are manufacturers going to be held accountable for knowingly marketing, distributing, and selling a proven dangerous product?.
Since 1965, when manufacturers were mandated to put warnings on cigarette packages, the tobacco companies, in my opinion, have not willingly agreed to inform the public of the potential dangers of their product. If anything, they have continued to suck in more susceptible customers by purposely manipulating the nicotine levels in the cigarettes they produce to increase the demand for their product. It has only been through the courts that tobacco companies have slowly begun to admit what they have potentially known for years. That is, as recently announced by Phillip Morris, that smoking is addictive and can cause serious health problems. Why then are they continuing to push their dangerous product?.
Although it can be said that the hazards of smoking are more publicized today than in earlier years, and if someone begins to smoke they are doing so at their own risk, I object to the way that tobacco industries market their product. In 1998, Liggett acknowledged that the tobacco industry targets people under the age of eighteen as potential users of their product. This is a blatant disregard to our national laws on the approved age for those legally able to buy tobacco and tobacco related products. While I understand the need or desire for tobacco companies to pull in new customers, so that they can flourish as a company, I find their tactics to be unethical. It has been found that the dangers of smoking are more prevalent if you begin doing so at a young age.