Tobacco company, is still a company. Anyone with business should have the rights to do whatever they like with their business. It's up to people to choose wether or not they want to buy a product such as tobacco. So as long as people are willing to buy tobacco, regardless of advertisement, people will get their fix.
Until the cigarette industry is banned altogether, it is still a a company that sells its wares just like any other company and should be allowed to advertise its goods. I am an ex smoker and wish I had never started but as long as it is a legitimate business, it has its rights.
In a democratic society this must be permitted. Every person, institution and even commercial enterprise has the right to defend themselves and any decent government will allow tobacco companies to engage in civil debate, as we are practising here on DDO, because they have the right to do so. This is not a question of the content of the ads, but the principle of how a democratic society should work.
Smoking is addictive and can be seen a lot in public areas. That is their advertizing. It is so bad for you that something needed to be done about the way kids seen them. Its not like you can dringk in public so their advertizing is sufficent for their market.
Tobacco companies fund Anti Smoking adds. They are technically supposed to by law but they really don't mind doing it because anti smoking adds have been shown to make people want to smoke. Weather its just hearing about smoking that makes smokers want to go get more or from smokers being annoyed enough by the commercial to go smoke to spite the commercial. Lots of young people smoke primarily because mainstream culture tells them not to. Have you ever noticed that the kids they show in antismoking adds are all either good students or athletes the kids that are least likely to smoke in the first place. This makes kids who don't fit into what most would call mainstream more attracted to smoking because it separates them from the "goodie goodies" and there are people who don't care about the health problems smoking causes so they are not effected by the adds anyway. Those Anti Smoking adds do very little to reduce smoking usually just the opposite so the tobacco industry doesn't really need adds.
Should tobacco companies be allowed to advertise as much as their anti-smoking counterparts, there are a few reasonable deductions as to what would happen:
1. More people would choose to smoke
2. More people would get harmed by the negative effects of tobacco
3. The general wellbeing of the population would be negatively affected
4. Medical funds required would increase
5. There would be a larger burden on the government
6. People would not value or treasure good health as much
7. The next generations would be more and more open to tobacco smoking, leading to more serious variations of the above points listed
This is a matter of public health. It is a matter of how we educate the younger generation, what kind of values we present to them and what kind of things we teach them. This is not the government "assuming power" or "overstepping its boundaries". The government has to be concerned if something harms public health, as the government has the duty to ensure general wellbeing of the society. The government has to be concerned about the finance of its region. It has to be concerned when medical bills increase.
By allowing tobacco companies to advertise as much as their counterparts, the government would not be presenting the strong "stay healthy, don't smoke" image it should. This would not be desirable for educating the younger generation or ensuring general wellbeing.
While we all do have a freedom to smoke, we must remember that this is not an oppression of smoking; merely a prevention of the advertising of smoking. We have the freedom to smoke, but that doesn't mean the government should support the encouragement of smoking. Allowing more tobacco advertisements could be interpreted as a form of encouragement to smoke, which is not what we want.