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Health Promotion: is the smoking ban health fascism?

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I’ve spoken about health promotion a few times in the past, and echoing the title of my last post: have we gone too far? As of the 1st July smoking in an enclosed public place became illegal. As psychology students you learn about health promotion and ways to make the masses ‘more health aware’ – has the government gone too far this time? Is this ‘health fascism?’

A battle is presenting itself: FAGS against the UK Government.

” …Mr Howitt, the self-styled leader of FAGS – Fight Against Government Suppression – which claims that “14 million adult smokers are under house arrest”, said: “I’m not pro-smoking, just pro-freedom.”

He said: “Having a pint and a cigarette in a pub is one of the last great enjoyments left for the working classes. I’m not prepared to shove my customers outside in the wind and the rain to allow them their right to smoke.

“I believe this ban is tantamount to a hate crime. I won’t pay the fine and will go to prison if necessary to make a point while I take this to the court of human rights.”

Mr Howitt, who says he is a non-smoker, said the ban amounted to “health fascism” and was an assault on civil liberties…”

From Guardian.co.uk

As psychologists do we applaud the Government on their ‘preventative’ measures of banning smoking, or are we turning into a nanny state taking away each persons individual freedoms? Related to Health Promotion and Adherence to Medical Requests: is this the best way to do it? Have the government actually raised awareness by banning smoking or have they started something that they can’t finish?

Your thoughts in the comments or in the discussion forums.

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One Response to “Health Promotion: is the smoking ban health fascism?”

  1. Deb July 28, 2007 at 9:52 pm #

    I guess as a smoker it is to be anticipated that I would be somewhat biased on this issue; however ignoring the matter of damage to health for the time being, I HATE the smell of smoky hair, clothes etc. and believe that the smoking ban will vastly improve the air quality and going out experience for all concerned.

    That is all who are still concerned with going out – I didn’t go out much before the smoking ban (too much webstuff to do), but I found myself sitting outside a pub in the ‘summer sunshine’ last week and I concluded that as I don’t drink alcohol and hate the other stuff they serve in pubs there’s pretty much no point me wasting my time and money visiting them any more.

    Has the ban deterred me from smoking / reduced the amount I smoke? Nope! But it’s a nicer world for non-smokers, providing that all of their friends are non-smokers, and the research indicates that this is likely to be the case (peer pressure is a wonderful thing – I know!)

    In the longer term this may actually work – I’ve been to a couple of 18th birthday parties and there were about three of us smokers. Over time the disassociation of smoking and socialising has to positively impact on wouldbe smokers, but those of us who already smoke are least likely to be affected in a positive way.

    Now we not only have an addictive behaviour, smelly clothes, hair, fingers, no money and the perpetual worry about our health, but we’re ostracised in public. People may ask ‘why don’t you just give it up then?’ If only!

    Anyway – apologies – comment turned into a rant!

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