Share
Explore BrainMass

Ethical Considerations in the WHO and Smoking

From an ethical perspective, examine the pros and cons (based on the following reading) of the WHO's strategies to promote smoking cessation (i.e. - what ethical arguments can be made in support of these strategies? Against these strategies?).
Discuss both (a) the argument in support of the WHO's strategy, and (b) the arguments that do not support the WHO's strategy.

Shocking images deter cigarette smokers: WHO

(Reuters) - Cigarette packages should show graphic images of yellow teeth, blackened gums, protruding neck tumors and bleeding brains to alert smokers to their disease risks, the World Health Organization said on Friday.
More than 20 countries, including Britain, Iran, Peru and Malaysia, already use visual warnings on their tobacco products, the head of the WHO's Tobacco Free Initiative said.

"Although some people question the need for such pictures, the evidence is absolutely clear that they convince people to quit," Douglas Bettcher told a news conference ahead of World No Tobacco Day, to be held on Sunday.
Bettcher pointed to a warning that read "smoking causes brain strokes" and showed blood oozing from a brain.
He has called for such images to be printed on all tobacco product packages and on tags to water pipes that are popular in the Middle East. Bettcher added that the "disgust, fear, sadness or worry" from the warnings can discourage smoking.

The WHO, which requires all its staff to be non-smokers or to agree to try to quit, has been campaigning for more than two decades to discourage smoking and fight efforts by big companies such as Philip Morris International, Imperial Tobacco, Japan Tobacco and British American Tobacco to attract new customers.

Bettcher said the tobacco industry opposed visual warnings, viewing them as a threat to profits.

Tobacco is the world's leading preventable cause of death, killing more than 5 million people a year, the WHO says,
Around 80 percent of smokers live in developing countries, where smoking rates have risen sharply in recent years alongside a ramping-up of tobacco marketing and production in poorer states, Bettcher said.In addition to package warnings, the WHO supports bans on tobacco marketing and sponsorship, prohibitions of smoking in public buildings, and high taxes on tobacco products.

The recent emergence of designer cigarette pack-holders and other accessories to cover up health warnings showed the warnings were having an impact, Rob Cunningham of the Canadian Cancer Society said.

"That is a good indication, because smokers are noticing enough that they feel that they must not look at them," Cunningham said.

Solution Preview

I have outlined several areas that can be used and provided a limited reasoning. You can use the two references to gain more information and expand on the information.

Pros: health, illnesses, appearance

Appearance is one that is used as a deterrent in the article's subject. Appearance is important, especially to those who are targeted as new customers for smoking. Young people get the picture of appearing cool from ads, and should have the picture of the effects of smoking on appearance as well. This is especially true in countries where poverty and limited access to good healthcare is the norm. These tie into the other important issues weighing heavily in favor of the campaign, health and illness. Showing people with bad teeth, discoloured nails, lines, and physical changes brought on by smoking are powerful messages that should be used to warn people of how smoking affects ...

Solution Summary

A review of some of the pros and cons of the WHO's stand against tobacco use.

$2.19