The Triumph and Tragedy of Tobacco Control: A Tale of Nine Nations

Posted: 10 Jan 2012

See all articles by Eric A. Feldman

Eric A. Feldman

University of Pennsylvania Law School

Ronald Bayer

Columbia University - Mailman School of Public Health

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 2011

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Feldman, Eric A. and Bayer, Ronald, The Triumph and Tragedy of Tobacco Control: A Tale of Nine Nations (December 2011). Annual Review of Law and Social Science, Vol. 7, pp. 79-100, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1982344 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-lawsocsci-102510-105427

Eric A. Feldman (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania Law School ( email )

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Ronald Bayer

Columbia University - Mailman School of Public Health ( email )

Center for the History and Ethics of Public Health
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New York, NY 10032
United States

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