The Controversy of Nicotine and Its Effects on Altria

Subject: Case Studies
Pages: 1
Words: 675
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: College

The toxicity of tobacco products and their impact on individuals’ health has always been a salient topic of discussion. As an addictive substance that has been shown to cause numerous health problems, nicotine is considered a dangerous product. However, as multiple corporations are involved in the production and distribution of cigarettes, the tobacco industry continues to evolve and expand. Several factors can influence the affluence of nicotine production companies, and their contribution to the organizations’ outputs is essential to consider. As such, tobacco replacement products, public attitudes, and marijuana legalization could greatly affect the financial standing of Altria, a well-recognized nicotine production enterprise.

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When we think of companies going into decline, economics is the first thing we think of. However, social change can also deeply impact businesses in both positive and negative ways. A great example of this is Altria, which is a nicotine company. As many people know, nicotine and tobacco companies experience a lot of pressure and attention for their product’s unhealthy and addictive nature. In New York, buying cigarettes can be expensive as a way to deter people from buying them. This, of course, presents a problem to companies such as Altria. In the ironically named article “Tobacco Industry Research on Nicotine Replacement Therapy: “If Anyone Is Going to Take Away Our Business, It Should Be Us,” the transition from mainly selling nicotine products to the inclusion of nicotine replacement products, like patches and gums, is narrated.

As the title suggests, nicotine companies like Altria are losing business because of the increased awareness of the damage their product does to the public. Numerous studies show a strong correlation between smoking and cancer. It is now an undeniable and publicly accepted consequence of smoking cigarettes. This leaves companies like Altria in need of a new source of revenue and big changes to their way of business. Furthermore, this elevated social awareness transcends mere public opinion. As previously stated, laws make buying nicotine products expensive as a counterbalance to its addictive and unhealthy nature; but that’s not the only way legislation is attempting to suppress the industry.

According to “Tobacco company strategies to identify and promote the benefits of nicotine,” laws make nicotine promotion very difficult, resulting in the need for innovative and new means of promotion and advertisement. In this article, companies fund research to discredit and discover health benefits associated with nicotine usage. They go on to downplay any negatives and highlight any positives. While this tactic seems underhanded, it has been used throughout history by many companies, the sugar industry being another infamous example. One thing both the aforementioned articles have in common is that they both mention the nicotine and tobacco industries were well aware of the addictive nature of their product even before it became a widely accepted reality.

We have already established that the political and social climate of the United States is ever-changing. Another aspect of change that directly impacts Altria is the new legislation and attitude towards marijuana versus nicotine products. As Altria is a nicotine company, it is expected that any changes to nicotine laws would impact them, but the decriminalization of marijuana affects them all the same. At first glance, it may look like the newness of marijuana is just an upcoming competitor for companies like Altria. However, a deeper look will show that the introduction of marijuana in the industry may be just what companies like Altria need to combat the growing problems afflicting their market.

The connection between marijuana and cigarette sales is an important factor for the nicotine production industry. Research suggests that cigarette and tobacco sales tend to increase after the decriminalization of marijuana, proposing that nicotine production companies can benefit from the introduction of marijuana into the industry. Customers that buy cigarettes are more likely to purchase marijuana produce not only due to the tobacco use but also given the more open attitudes toward smoking. From this perspective, nicotine enterprises’ can significantly improve their sales after marijuana restriction laws have been adjusted to allow the use of recreational marijuana.