Advocacy for health: lessons from the anti-tobacco campaign

A newspaper columnist in the UK recently grumbled that, ‘The anti-smoking groundswell seems to have come from nowhere. Why didn’t it occur in 2000 or 1996 or 1986?’ He admitted to being a smoker, and wondered why he was becoming a ‘social pariah’. The reality, of course, is that the health risks of smoking have been known for more than a generation; that the health community has long been demanding a public policy approach to effective tobacco control, and that political change – especially concerning sensitive and contested issues – takes time. In this article, Andrew Hayes looks at the experience of European anti-tobacco campaigners and focuses on the lessons arising from their work for those advocating more effective policies to prevent diabetes and provide adequate care for people with the condition.
tobacco, smoking, cessation, campaign, advocacy, health warnings, European Commission