New Zealand: Smoking is not a disease of poverty
Smoking is increasingly being called a disease of poverty. In 1997 in Tobacco Control, Flint and Novotny (1997) concluded that ‘persons below the poverty threshold continue to be more likely than those at or above the threshold both to be current smokers and not to have quit.’ Poverty status, they say, ‘probably represents determinants that extend beyond issues of individual or household income.’ In this paper I explain why smoking is neither a disease of poverty nor necessarily a response to inequality and oppression. These viewpoints are defeatist and condescending and shift focus from the real reason why oppressed and poor groups generally have higher smoking prevalence rates than their richer, more privileged neighbours.
KeywordsIncome Nicotine Smoke Flint
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