Professor John Britton is in the top tier of public health professionals in the UK. He is Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Nottingham, Director of the UK Centre of Tobacco Control Studies and Chair of the Royal College of Physicians Tobacco Advisory Group. He has been one of the most important influences on the generally positive approach the UK takes to tobacco harm reduction over at least the last 15 years. A selection of relevant work he has led includes: RCP(2000), RCP(2007), RCP(2008), PHE(2014) and Thorax(2103). And he still runs a respiratory clinic and see people who are ill. So it is always interesting to hear what he has to say and how he chooses to say it. Directly and bluntly, as it turns out…
Here are two slides from a presentation he gave at the UK Society for Behavioural Medicine Conference on 3rd December 2014. He picks out common arguments in the left column and addresses them pragmatically in the right column. This is what real public health looks like in my view.
I hope the bullshitters, fear-mongers and ideologues are paying attention. I’m not going to further dissect or discuss this. But you can… in the comments.
Note: SSS = Stop Smoking Services provided by the National Health Service.