Altria group of companies can, however, try to find appropriate solutions to the problem that faces them and is likely to continue causing troubles in a foreseeable future. They can choose to publish corrective statements on the harmful use of excess tobacco. The excessive use of tobacco is believed to be a major cause of lung cancer; therefore, Altria can start up centres for lung cancer patients and also launch different alternative health improving campaigns. Altria should also take up the responsibility of educating people on the addictiveness of smoking, the manipulation of nicotine and the harmfulness of second hand smoking. This company should be looking out for the best interests of their customers at all times. They should change completely their advertising strategies that are misleading and violating the Unfair Trade Practices Act.
Altria can also choose to regulate the amount of nicotine they use in their products by doing more researches and investigations on their area of specialization. Another strategic solution is getting the customer and employee involved (Jones, Parker, & Bos 2005). Altria should set up web pages in which they would display their business agenda in an unambiguous way and use this technology to collect feedback from the customers. Though this is a strategy that is already partially in action, it should be improved and taken with more seriousness. In Altria’s code of conduct compliance guidance, employees are also given an opportunity to speak out on any wrong doings that they witness in the company. By doing this, Altria will regain the confidence and trust of its consumers. Though these steps will surely incur a bit of extra cost on the company, they will also help the company to save thousands of life all over the world by enlightening them on tobacco use.
The government, in its turn, despite getting enormous tax from this company, should start a war against the misconduct associated with Altria, especially when human well being is at stake. The government should raise the age limit in which it restricts cigarette smoking so as to protect the youth. It should not ignore the violation of human rights by Altria group of companies. This strategy by the government has, however, begun to be effective with the Obama Administration launching the first ever nationwide tobacco control scheme. The strategy is intended for civic education movement and other measures to avoid tobacco smoking by kids, to assist smokers to quit, and to guard each person against dangerous second-hand smoke. It is vital to continue the movement and to implement other policies so as to ensure that the health risks to which general public is exposed are minimized.
Apart from the solutions above, there are also other ways in which these issues should be dealt with. Altria group of companies needs to start aggressive marketing that is consumer sensitive. They should immediately start advertisements to win their customers back, since the accusations that were brought against Altria have seriously damaged its reputation and image. The people and especially the consumers of their products suffered a big blow when their trusted company was said to be cheating. Altria should in response work to better their products and create more health friendly ones, and then aggressively advertise this change. Altria also tried to defend its interests in court that made some people doubt the faithfulness of the accusations, which helped the company to keep afloat.
Besides, investors of the company have become very uncertain about continuing their investments with this company, while potential investors are scared off by the aggressive anti-smoking movements headed by the President. To retain its customers and attract more, Altria should work with these teams and become part of them. The company should join the movements aimed at educating the nation on the harmfulness of tobacco. By doing so, they will be able to acquire the confidence they need, and also when they come up with healthier products, the movements will work with them, which will lead to the approval by the public. Moreover, it has been made public by the company executives that they have a strategy to improve its corporate image, which is a good move for them. Although there have been issues here and there in the Altria group of companies, they can still try to regain their reputation and position in trade industry by starting to work in accordance with business ethics.
Cigarette smoking is a practice that is harmful to both the smoker and his/her environment. Tobacco’s impact on health is, thus, an issue that should be discussed openly without any information being hidden for the benefit of any company. In every business, including the tobacco industry, there is the business ethics that is crucial for the long lasting success, especially where the society is involved (Altria, Tobacco Product Issues 2012). The Altria group of companies have acted against the business ethics conduct; the company has left many wondering if really ethics is of more importance than profits or not. The years that the company has spent denying the bad effects of smoking have not won it popularity among the public in the long run. It has only won it years of defending itself and especially its image in the courtrooms. All in all, working against business ethics has once again proved to have detrimental outcomes.
For many years, the company has advertised its killing products to kids, deceived its consumers and fought against measures to eradicate or reduce tobacco use, but maybe it is time to change that (Altria, Tobacco Product Issues 2012). Through transparency, the tobacco industry can survive as a potential business in the world. This is due to the rising awareness of the truth behind those well wrapped cigarettes that people often love puffing and befriending during leisure times. But if the tobacco industry led by Altria company could not only try to make profits but also educate on the harmfulness of cigarettes, while also trying to make modifications to the cigarettes, then maybe they can survive in the market. The customer is the most important asset in any business, and it is now clear that all measures taken by a company should be for the good of the consumer, which is what business ethics in general means.