Consider the tobacco industry:
Cigarettes are an especially dangerous product, and their manufacture, marketing, advertising, and sale raise a number of acute questions relevant to the consumer issues discussed in this chapter. For instance, what are the responsibilities to consumers of companies that sell potentially or (in the case of cigarettes) inherently harmful products? To what extent do manufacturers abuse advertising? When is advertising deceptive? Can advertisers create or at least stimulate desires for products that consumers would not otherwise want or would not otherwise want as much? How, if at all, should advertising be restricted?
Are consumers sufficiently well informed about the products they buy? Are they misled by deceptive labeling and packaging? In general, how far should society go in controlling the claims of advertisers, in regulating product packaging and labels, in monitoring product quality and price, and in upholding explicit standards of reliability and safety? What are the moral responsibilities of businesses in these matters? In a market-oriented economic system, how do we balance the interests of business with the rights of consumers? How do we promote social well-being while still respecting the choices of individuals?
Write an initial post addressing some of the following questions. Unlike our previous discussions, you do not need to address every prompt, feel free to respond generally and address a few of the questions presented. Your post should, however, be thoughtful and use the ethical frameworks, rationalizations, and logical analyses to consider the questions you choose to address.
Reply to two of your classmates, including the following prompt:
At least one of your replies should raise an argument that is in conflict with your initial post.