Preventing tobacco use and harm: what is evidence based policy?

Younie, Sandra, Scollo, Michelle, Hill, David and Borland, Ron 2005, Preventing tobacco use and harm: what is evidence based policy?. In Stockwell, Tim, Gruenewald, Paul and Toumbourou, John (ed), Preventing harmful substance use: the evidence base for policy and practice., John Wiley & Sons Ltd., Chichester, England, pp.337-350.

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Title Preventing tobacco use and harm: what is evidence based policy?
Author(s) Younie, Sandra
Scollo, Michelle
Hill, David
Borland, Ron
Title of book Preventing harmful substance use: the evidence base for policy and practice.
Editor(s) Stockwell, Tim
Gruenewald, Paul
Toumbourou, JohnORCID iD for Toumbourou, John
Publication date 2005
Chapter number 6:4
Total chapters 36
Start page 337
End page 350
Total pages 14
Publisher John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Place of Publication Chichester, England
Summary The majority of tobacco users commence in early to mid-adolescence. Tobacco smoking can be characterised as a chronic, relapsing disorder. While risk increases with amount smoked, there is no safe level of use (i.e., all use is risky). Duration of use is the most important predictor of premature death with the majority of excess morbidity and mortality avoidable if people quit before middle age. Investment in initiatives that reduce smoking among pregnant women and those at risk of cardiovascular disease provide quickest returns -in reduced health care episodes and expenditure.  Measures that successfully reduce smoking among parents probably reduce smoking uptake by children, and high levels of smoking among both children and parents appear to be associated with higher levels of illicit drug use.
The evidence base for pharmcotherapies in the treatment of tobacco dependence is very strong. Population-level initiatives such as tax increases, mass media-led campaigns and smoke-free policies are all highly cost-effective in reducing population-smoking levels, including among children and young people.
Australian tobacco control initiatives have been based on "social ecology" conceptualisations of the problem, which acknowledge the pivotal role of the media in shaping social values, and public and political opinion.
Broad social change, as well as more focused prevention and cessation initiatives, has drawn heavily on research findings from the behavioural sciences. Considerable effort (mainly, in Australian, in the NGO sector) has gone into documenting policy inputs and monitoring impact and outcome measures.
This chapter discusses why conceptualising tobacco-related harm from legal, economic and social policy perspectives should also help build support for tobacco control policy among academic and practising economists and lawyers, and in the business, welfare and government sectors.
ISBN 0470092270
Language eng
Field of Research 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category B1.1 Book chapter
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Document type: Book Chapter
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Health and Social Development
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