Cigarette Production and CSR
For the capstone course we are supposed to do research which consists of research proposal, research diary and final report, which should include finally all the facts, knowledge of research question, final report is the result of the project. I was always interested in cigarette industry, I mean how do cigarette corporations like Philip Morris or British American Tobacco, for instance, promote and sell production even it is so harmful for our health. Therefore, my research question is the Cigarette industry and Corporate Social Responsibility. I have decided to base my research on Philip Morris International, because last term we were visiting its factory in Neuchatel and I had got a lot of knowledge about this multinational company.
First of all, I want to start with the definition of Corporate Social responsibility. According to EU definiton: CSR is a concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis. Basically, the tobacco industry has used corporate social responsibility tactics to improve its corporate image with the public, press, and regulators who increasingly have grown to view it as a merchant of death. There is, however, an intractable problem that corporate social responsibility efforts can mask but not resolve: the tobacco industry's products are lethal when used as directed, and there is no amount of corporate social responsibility activity which can adjust that fundamental contradiction with ethical corporate citizenship. This study's focus is to better understand the tobacco industry's corporate social responsibility efforts and to assess whether there has been any substantive change in the way it does business with regard to the issue of exposure to secondhand smoke. The results show that the industry has made no substantial changes and in fact has continued with business as usual.
The tobacco industry is a very unethical industry, due to the long term effects of tobacco on humans. The industry also does not assess the ethical and social responsibility the best way that it should. There are many factors that make the industry unethical; some of the reasons are the way the cigarette companies around the world advertise, the way governments and cigarette companies make a huge profit from the sales of cigarettes, and the labeling health risks. I do believe however that there is something that the tobacco companies can do to better their strategy as far as their ethics go. I think that they should, always be looking for the best interest on their consumers, as well as advertise strictly on the effects that the cigarettes and what the people are getting for their money.
As an example I took PMI (Philip Morris International). Philip Morris International Inc. is an American global cigarette and tobacco company, with products sold in over 200 countries with 15.6% of the international cigarette market outside the United States. Because tobacco, the main constituent of cigarettes, is the single greatest cause of preventable death globally and is addictive, the company's operations are highly controversial and are increasingly the subject of litigation and restrictive legislation from governments concerned about the health impacts of its products. In 2007, PMI sold 831 billion cigarettes, or the biggest non-government tobacco company in the world by volume. PMI has a large research and development program, and declares its priority to be "developing products with the potential to reduce the risks of smoking-related diseases." They explain the focus of the R&D program is reducing the levels of toxic chemical compounds produced during the process of burning tobacco within a cigarette with what they describe as «new, next generation products.»
In 1999, Philip Morris (PM) launched...