Should Tobacco Ads Be Allowed
Tobacco advertising is not violating the rights or infringing the privacy of anyone; in fact, tobacco advertising is covered under free speech and press. Some articles have been written assuming that it is already illegal to advertise tobacco anywhere in the world, but it is indeed legal in some countries such as Canada and the United States. The debate here is whether it should remain so, or whether it should be made illegal to advertise.
The undesirable effects of smoking are life-threatening. In fact, the tobacco companies admit and even warn people about the effects of smoking. So why have the tobacco companies been put under pressure and looked upon as menaces? But I digress. The tobacco companies may still have the right to advertise their product. They are, in fact, businesses, producing and marketing a viable product in a capitalist market. The expected path for any normal company is to advertise its product as much as possible, even if they have to put fine-print warnings on the product to let people know it could kill them.
While I do not support the use of tobacco in any form, I also do not believe that tobacco companies should be kept from marketing their product. Though supposedly less harmful products such as soft drinks are often advertised publicly, are these companies invading privacy or infringing on any rights? No, they are not. Alcoholic beverages are also dangerous and life-threatening, causing problems from regular drunkenness to liver disease, yet few people complain about beer or vodka ads and commercials.
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Another harmful product is ironically designed to help cure diseases prescription drugs. Have you ever taken the time to read the side effects to your prescribed pain medication, antibiotics, or other drugs? Some prescription drugs can even cause death, yet tobacco products, far from causing immediate harm, are judged upon. Of course, many will argue that the side-effects are rare and that the benefits of prescription drugs out-weigh the possible harm. I admit, that may be true, but tobacco’s effects are also not felt till long after a habit has formed, giving the person plenty of time to get off of it.
How can tobacco companies be singled out and told not to advertise their product, when many other companies are marketing products just as or more harmful than tobacco?