The lives and daily routines of many Americans are affected by corporate activities. Corporations provide the basic necessities like food and water as well as luxuries and pleasures of everyday living. These corporations generate wealth for the economy and their shareholders, and provide employment for much of the population. One of these powerful corporations is Philip Morris who manufactures and distributes tobacco products such as Marlboro (Morris, 1). This tobacco manufacturer not only generates wealth but also generates health hazardous risks for the consumer.
Despite increasing warnings about the health hazards of smoking and widespread bans on smoking in public places, Americans disregard these warnings and still continue to smoke (Smoking, 4). Later then finding themselves dealing with the consequences of their poorly made decisions. Therefore, a corporation should not be held responsible for providing a product. It is the users who should be held accountable for their choices. The American people have the right to choose whether to smoke or not to smoke.
There is a lot of information of cancer risks from using tobacco available to Americans, particularly in the media. The American Cancer Society estimates that cigarettes are responsible for more than 400,000 deaths in the United States each year (Smoking, 2). American consumers have been informed that tobacco contains nicotine, an addictive drug. They also know that by smoking tobacco, it causes lung cancer, emphysema, and other respiratory diseases. It also contributes to heart disease and low birth weight of newborns.
Chewing tobacco and inhaling snuff causes cancer of the mouth, nose, and throat (Tobacco, 8). Regardless of these astonishing facts, forty-seven million people still continue to use tobacco products (Smoking, 1). Therefore, corporations should not be blamed for consumers poor decision-making. Indeed, tobacco corporations are aware of the health risks tobacco can have on the human body. But can consumers blame these producers for their health defects when they are fully aware of the consequences smoking tobacco has on the human respiratory system?
Absolutely not, if this were true then the manufacturers of guns would be held responsible for all the people that have been wounded and assassinated by a gun. Or the automotive corporations would be held liable for all the accidents that occur each year. Nevertheless, consumers are the ones responsible when they buy a product, more importantly, what they decide to do with it. Although consumers make their own choices in smoking cigarettes, do non-smokers have the choice of inhaling second-hand smoke?
It is unfair for non-smokers to breath the air that is contaminated by second-hand smoke. Each year about 3,000 non-smoking adults die of lung cancer as a result of breathing the second-hand smoke from others cigarettes (Tobacco, 8). These deaths can be easily prevented if smokers took interest in their own health, and by doing so, they will be preventing non-smokers from attaining serious health risks as well as their own. Tobacco companies such as Philip Morris are not only involved in manufacturing tobacco products, but are also great economic contributors to society.
The Philip Morris Corporation has been supporting education causes, equal opportunity, and respect for diversity since 1956 (Morris, 1). In the last decade, Philip Morris has contributed more than $380 million in direct grants and food donations to hunger-relief charities. Furthermore, this corporation has been supporting humanitarian efforts around the world whether there are earthquakes, hurricanes, fires, floods, tornadoes, ice storms and tragic human calamities. American advocates should consider and appreciate the deed of goodness that the Philip Morris Corporation is doing for people around the world (Morris, 2).
It is ironic that the Philip Morris Company contributes to society but at the same time they are also manufacturing a product that is harmful to society. Philip Morris Corporation real intent is to seek society validation by campaigning anti-youth smoking prevention. When in reality it is not reasonable to believe that this tobacco corporation would want the youth to stop smoking. Their strategy is to make cigarettes have the Forbidden Fruit effect (Klein, 465). These teenagers are instinctively lured to want what they tell them they are not old enough to have.
When this happens the profit increases for the corporation. Corporate responsibility is not an issue of being responsible of the consumers poorly made decisions. A corporation s mere responsibility is to generate income for the economy and to provide the necessary information on their product. Therefore, it is the consumer s choice and responsibility to decide whether a product is suited for them or not, and if they are willing to deal with the responsibility that comes with it.