Changing Social Norms to Reduce the Acceptability of Smoking

Changing Social Norms to Reduce the Acceptability of Smoking

[MUSIC] 2014 marks the 50th
anniversary of the first Surgeon General’s Report
on smoking and health. This series of videos
celebrates the progress made-and the work still to be done-to
end tobacco-related disease and death and to make the
next generation tobacco free. [Madeleine Solomon] When I was
growing up in the ’50s, one of my favorite items in the house
was a music box that was on my parents’ coffee table, and
it was a music box that played “Oh My Papa.” And as the music was played,
doors would open, and in each door there were cigarettes
that my mother would carefully place for the guests. [Narrator] For most children
growing up in the United States from the end of World War II
forward, cigarettes were as much a part of home life as sitting
down for a family dinner. But things began to change
with the release of the 1964 Surgeon General’s
report on smoking and health. [Madeleine Solomon]
We’ve changed the social norm. And the way to do that is
by changing the environment so that no longer is tobacco
use seen as attractive. So when you think of what we have achieved
in the last 50 years. No home would have as its
centerpiece on its end table or coffee table a music box
that served cigarettes. In the community level,
the smoke-free air policies have been most powerful. And one of the things that I
got the most satisfaction from was when my own hometown
went smoke-free. [Narrator] Although progress
has been significant, the public health community knows there is
plenty of work left to be done. [Madeleine Solomon] There is a
need to continue the education, to continue to
change policies. Only 50 percent of the
states have strong smoke-free air policies. We know that we can change the
environment so that tobacco is no longer attractive,
it’s less accessible, and fewer young people will want
to engage in the practice. [Narrator] This video is a
production of the Office of the Surgeon General and CDC’s
Office on Smoking and Health.

2 thoughts on “Changing Social Norms to Reduce the Acceptability of Smoking

  1. The use of anti-smoker propaganda has worked very well to change 'social norms' on smoking and millions have quit, but what about the results?

    Over the last 50+ years, in most countries where anti-smoker propaganda has flourished, Lung cancer has grown into the biggest cancer killer with more new lung cancer cases today than at any time in the past. It is probably more correct to say that the true cause of this public health disaster is NOT smoking but anti-smoker propaganda.

    Methinks it is well past time that individuals should have been empowered to make their own decisions about THEIR lives and THEIR health, instead of being coerced by some righteous crusaders purporting to be 'experts'. History shows us that top-down control invariably fails! 'Public health' should be about providing information ONLY – NOT as enforcers of some (any) ideological, puritanical dogma however appealing it may seem at the time!

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