December 9, 2012
MGT 430: Business, Government, and Society
Research Paper: Tobacco Industry
Table of Contents
Role of the tobacco industry in its social, economic, and political setting
Domestic and International Ethics
Ecological and Natural Resources
Rating of Social Responsiveness
Rating in relation to the Saint Leo Core Values
The use of tobacco is a very controversial topic here in the United States. The harmful side effects of tobacco are well known and consequently, many believe that it should be outlawed. Though this has not yet occurred, constant regulations on the industry and the use of the plant has been put in place. This paper will discuss the history of the tobacco industry, its corporate stakeholders and response to their issues, the role of the industry in its social, economic, and political setting, domestic and international ethics, ecological and natural resources, and social issues. The paper will conclude with my ratings of the industry pertaining to its overall social responsiveness and its accomplishments and this area, and of the industry in relation to the Saint Leo University core values. History
Tobacco is a plant that can only be grown in warmer climates; it is naturally only grown in the Americas (both South and North). After harvesting, it is picked, dried, and ground. Afterwards, it can be used in a number of ways. For recreational purposes, it can be smoked, chewed, or sniffed. Traditionally, tobacco was known to have many medicinal purposes. For example, tooth aches were eased by chewing tobacco. Also, tobacco leaves were placed on open wounds in order to heal them. It was also used in religious practices amongst the Native Americans; they smoked it together in what was known as a peace pipe as a communal practice (Haustein, 2003). As demonstrated, the tobacco plant was a highly sacred and valuable crop. When the settlers began to arrive in North America, Native Americans would give the settlers tobacco as peace Dixon 3
offerings. Not only did the settlers use the tobacco, but they also sent some back to Europe. From there, the settlers began to grow tobacco for profit. In fact, it was the first crop to be grown for money in North America. The proceeds helped pay for the American Revolution against England which started in 1775 (History of Tobacco, 2012).
Slowly, tobacco went from being the sacred, religious, and healing plant that it was intended to be into becoming a habit. People were using tobacco more and more for recreational purposes. "[P]eople smoked about 40 cigarettes a year. The first commercial cigarettes were made in 1865 by Washington Duke on his 300-acre farm in Raleigh, North Carolina. His hand-rolled cigarettes were sold to soldiers at the end of the Civil War" (History of Tobacco, 2012).
About two decades after Washington Duke's commercial cigarettes, James Bonsack invented a machine that made 120,000 commercial cigarettes per day. Cigarette smoking took off from there. Bonsack partnered with Washington Duke's son, James "Buck" Duke and they built a factory for cigarette production. "The first brand of cigarettes was packaged in a box with baseball cards and was called Duke of Durham. Buck Duke and his father started the first tobacco company in the U.S. They named it the American Tobacco Company" (History of Tobacco, 2012). Several other tobacco companies followed suit including Marlboro in 1902 and collectively, the tobacco industry had begun. Corporate Stakeholders
Before diving into corporate stakeholders, who they are, and the response to their issues, it is important to define the difference between the stakeholder and the shareholder. Stakeholders and shareholders closely relate to one another and are often misunderstood. Shareholders invest Dixon 4
money into corporations through stocks....
References: Brown, D. (2006, August 31). Nicotine up sharply in many cigarettes. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/30/AR2006083001418.html
CDC. (2012, February 08). History of the surgeon general 's reports on smoking and health. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/sgr/history/index.htm
Haustein, K. (2003). Tobacco or health?: Physiological and social damages caused by tobacco smoking. (p. 1-2). Germany: Springer.
History of tobacco. (2012). Retrieved from http://healthliteracy.worlded.org/docs/tobacco/Unit1/2history_of.html
Lawrence, A., & Weber, J. (2011). Business and society: Stakeholders, ethics, public policy. (13 ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin.
OECD. (1999). The role of stakeholders. Retrieved from http://www.oecd.org/daf/corporateaffairs/corporategovernanceprinciples/1930657.pdf
Simms, J. (1999). The political economy of the tobacco industry. Retrieved from http://org.elon.edu/ipe/simms.pdf
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