The Tobacco Deal U.S. Tobacco Industry Case Study

1229 words - 5 pages

Five key companies dominate the U.S. tobacco industry. These corporations mainly specialize in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes. At the forefront, controlling almost half of the U.S. market for cigarettes and owning the Marlboro brand, lies Philip Morris Companies, Inc. Only half of their revenues come from the sale of tobacco products; Philip Morris also includes and owns food and beverage businesses, notably Kraft and Miller Brewing.Next in line is RJR Nabisco Holdings Corp. This company's tobacco subsidiary consisted of R.J. Reynolds, who produced products such as Camel and Winston cigarettes. The food subsidiary of the company, Nabisco, accounted for approximately half of the company's revenue, however the majority of sales and profits came from their cigarettes.The ladder 3 companies, consisting of BAT Industries, Loews Corporation, and the smallest being Brooke Group Ltd., are the other players in the field. BAT, being based in Britain, was the manufacturer of brands such as Lucky Strike and Kool cigarettes. Loews' holdings included that of the Lorrillard Tobacco Company, who produced cigarette brands Kent, Newport, and True. Brooke's Liggett division mainly specialized in discount varieties of cigarettes, such as Chesterfield, L&M, and Lark to name a few. These 5 companies were being called out in the case known as The Tobacco Deal.For years the tobacco industry had adequate defense against government regulation and lawsuits. By maintaining that tobacco and cigarettes had not been proven to cause cancer or other disease, the tobacco industry was able to overturn all lawsuits filed up until 1996. Warning labels invoked in 1965 on cigarette packaging helped companies to argue the fact that consumers knew the harmful effects associated with smoking, but assumed the consequences and the risks anyway. Coupled with large donations to political parties, these factors helped the tobacco industry to not only win court cases, but also aided in its ability to maintain good relations with public and governmental organizations.The Industry Whistle-BlowersThe question that has to be on everyone's mind is why did they come forward now after so long and so much has pasted. What changes for these individuals? Did their ethical outlook change or the economical situation change? Was there something that happened to them personally that made the truth of what they were supporting not as advantageous as before? Did they loose someone that was close to them to one of the deadly diseases that are brought on by smoking? After these individuals brought forward the documents and information that they had access to, the tobacco industry took a hard hit. As all the real and correct information was released, there was fighting clarity to how much the industry had been misinforming the public and how they wanted to expose the nations children to this additive drug. How much they had been hiding from us as to what they could do to make nicotine more additive...

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