Are public health ideas spreading across government? The case of ‘prevention' policy in the UK and US
Methods: We triangulate interviews and archival documents to identify the extent that prevention policies have diffused more widely into government policymaking in the UK and US. We focus on broad terms ‘prevention’ and ‘early intervention’ to describe a broad philosophy about addressing problems before they become acute and relatively expensive, by shifting resources to early years interventions.
Results: In the UK, tobacco control is relatively ‘comprehensive’ and its experience is becoming a model for alcohol and obesity. In devolved areas, such as Scotland, there is a much wider shift to prevention and early intervention as a way to reduce inequality. This idea has emerged on the US agenda through policies such as the Family Smoking Prevention and the Tobacco Control Act and the Affordable Care Act, which has made resources available for preventive programs and access to preventive services, although major states such as California and Massachusetts have adopted such approach for decades.
Conclusion: The thinking about prevention policies has a long history to address health inequalities, but we examine the extent to which relatively recent public health success in areas such as tobacco control has helped push them further up government agendas.
Learning Areas:Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Compare how policies to address non-communicable diseases (NCDs) diffused across the UK and US Conceptualize and theorize the preventive policy approach Examine how tobacco control has informed other policies and programs to address NCDs Analyze the value of prevention and early detection of NCDs
Keyword(s): Public Health Policy, Prevention
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conduct research in tobacco use and control, including public health policies.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.