The Tanning Bed Industry and the Tobacco Industry: Ethical Sisters?
December 17, 2012
The Tanning Bed Industry and the Tobacco Industry: Ethical Sisters? The tanning industry and has a service to provide for monetary compensation. The industry and shop owners have an interest to protect. Their livelihood, loans to repay, franchise agreements to honor, human resource obligations to pay, and taxes to pay. The industry association and tanning business networks have a plan to further their business (Huber, 2012). The following content will discuss those practices and similarities to tobacco industry practices. Clearly Define the Issue
The tanning industry makes their money from a service that reportedly could be hazardous to the consumer (Huber, 2012). This product is tanning beds that use ultra violet (UV) light to help their consumers become tan and produce vitamin D. The ethical dilemma arises from evidence that UV exposure may cause some types of cancer. Despite these possible hazards the industry continues to claim healthy benefits from using their service. The tanning industry accuses dermatologist and other agencies of either lying, getting paid from other companies, or lacking enough evidence to prove that their service is causative. The industry is also training their employees on what they can say when they are at work and what to tell their friends and family when they are off the clock. They are using their employees as a form of advertisement. They propagate doubt in the minds of possible customers about the possible risks of using tanning beds. The tanning industry appears to be unconcerned that their product could be harming their customers. Basis of the Issue
At 4.9 billion dollars the tanning industry cannot afford to lose customers with claims of cancer risks not proven to be 100 % true. Vitamin D issues are also mixed in the controversy. “Scientists have proven, however, that exposure to all forms of ultraviolet light - both indoors and out - stimulates the natural production of vitamin D” (Huber, 2012, para. 21). Humans require vitamin D to help metabolize calcium and phosphorus. It also helps regulate the immune system (Nordqvist, 2012). The Tanning industry also works with physicians and self-styled health experts who promote that Americans suffer from an epidemic of vitamin D deficiency that puts them at risk for serious health problems. Skin cancer scientists have claimed that indoor tanning is 74% riskier than natural tanning for causing and developing melanoma and other types of skin cancers. Skin cancer risks and the topic of vitamin D are the issues. Which side has the best ethically driven motives? Trevino and Nelson (2007) raise awareness of social responsibility and business conduct. The tobacco industry has been in campaigns of public relations versus social responsibility. In their textbook Christians, Fackler, & Richardson (2012) suggest media and public relations are on a tough road filled with pot holes. Wheeling around potholes could avoid problems or steer head long into others. The road ahead could be smooth or rougher. Both sides of the issue are trying to win the campaign of public relations and social responsibility. Ground Rules that Manifested the Situation
The grounds used by the tanning industry are manifested by publishing contradictory reports and dissuasive publications. In 2005 policy makers considered enacting a bill that would prohibit minors under the age of 18 from indoor tanning facilities. This enraged the tanning companies. They perceived they were under attack similar to besieged tobacco companies, so they looked for some type of proof to push back against the negative feedback. Tanning companies put out information about their tanning machines, saying the tanning booths are a timer tanning machine that minimizes the risk for sunburns and overexposures. The problem with the information that the companies were...
References: Christians, C. G., Fackler, M., & Richardson, K. B. (2012). Media ethics. Cases and moral reasoning (9th ed.). Retrieved from The University of Phoenix eBook Collection database.
Huber, B. (2012). Embattled tanning industry takes its cues from big tobacco. Retrieved from http://business-ethics.com/2012/08/23/1623-embattled-tanning-industry-takes-its-cues-from-big-tobacco/
Levy, J. (2012). Smarttan Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.smarttan.com
Nordqvist, C. (2012). Medical News Today.
Retrieved from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/161618.php
Treviño, L. K., & Nelson, K. A. (2007). Managing business ethics: Straight talk about how to do it right (4th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
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