The Triumph and Tragedy of Tobacco Control: A Tale of Nine Nations
25 Pages Posted: 23 Dec 2011
Date Written: December 1, 2011
The use of law and policy to limit tobacco consumption illustrates one of the greatest triumphs of public health in the late twentieth and early twenty-ﬁrst centuries, as well as one of its most fundamental failures. Overall decreases in tobacco consumption throughout the developed world represent millions of saved lives and unquantiﬁable suffering averted. Yet those beneﬁts have not been equally distributed. The poor and the undereducated have enjoyed fewer of the gains. In this review, we build on existing tobacco control scholarship and expand it both conceptually and comparatively. Our focus is the social gradient of smoking both within and across borders and how policy makers have been most effective in limiting smoking prevalence among the more privileged segments of society. To illustrate that point, we reference a range of literature on tobacco taxation, advertising, and public smoking in ﬁve economically advanced democracies — France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States — and four less developed nations — India, China, Brazil, and South Africa — that together comprise 40% of the world’s population.
Keywords: Public health law and policy, smoking, social gradient, comparative law, cigarettes, tobacco control, consumption
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation