In an effort to increase market share, the Newport cigarette brand has launched a new campaign, in which air-conditioned, furnished 18-wheelers called “pleasure lounges” travel the country and stop at events that are popular among millennials. Inside the lounges, guests are able to converse, play games, and smoke discounted cigarettes.
Brand representatives for Newport have been distributing coupons, which allow the holder to purchase a pack of cigarettes for $1—nearly an 86% discount. Spokespeople for the company said they are only targeting millennials who are already smokers.
According to the article, published in The Wall Street Journal, the campaign has been successful, leading to a doubled rate of market share growth in the shrinking tobacco market.
There are two main ethical issues in Newport’s campaign that I would like to address. The first of which comes from Calhoun’s “Standing for Something.” In her argument, Calhoun says that integrity is a social virtue, or, one that consists of having the proper relation to others. From there, Calhoun poses the question, “What is worth doing?” In other words, what moral ideas can be considered agreeable not only by oneself, but by others? An example of this would be “drunk driving is wrong.” I would like to argue that another example is “smoking is harmful to you and others around you.” In this sense, I think Newport lacks integrity, because they are encouraging people to smoke.
Another issue comes from McFall’s argument. McFall talks more about integrity as a personal virtue, and her main focus is on coherence and consistency. In the article, a spokesman was quoted, saying that the campaign “exclusively targets smokers because it believes no one should start smoking.” I believe there is a lack of consistency with Newport’s moral principles because, first of all, all of those people “started” smoking, and probably fairly recently, since they are in their twenties, and secondly, how can a company that relies on new smokers to stay in business believe no one should start? The decrease in new smokers is what caused the campaign to increase market share in the first place. Because of this, I believe, once again, that Newport lacks integrity.