The politics of health risk promotion: 'Passive drinking': A 'good lie' too far?

Burgess, Adam (2009) The politics of health risk promotion: 'Passive drinking': A 'good lie' too far? Health, Risk & Society, 11 (6). pp. 527-540. ISSN 1369-8575. (doi:https://doi.org/10.1080/13698570903329482) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13698570903329482

Abstract

This article reflects on UK Chief Medical Officer's (CMO) 2009 announcement that alcohol abuse should be understood as a problem of 'passive drinking'. This was an attempt to instrumentally problematise drinking drawing on the successful campaign against 'passive smoking'. An implausible term that originated as an anti-state interventionist joke, both 'passive drinking's' lack of impact but also the lack of criticism its revelation attracted are considered. This curious episode is explained in relation to the CMO's distinctive precautionary style, the growing campaign against alcohol in the UK and a wider acceptance of a contemporary politics of health risk where dramatisation has become relatively routine. Despite the failure of this initiative, a widely drawn 'second hand effects' case against alcohol persists. More generally, risk/harm framed argument has filled the vacuum left by the discrediting of moral-based approaches and recast a similarly polarised approach to a socially complex practice. This episode indicates a pragmatic 'good lie' approach toward lifestyle health risk promotion legitimised by a superficial 'evidence based' foundation. © 2009 Taylor & Francis.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: Health promotion, Passive drinking, Passive smoking, Public health, Risk, alcohol abuse, alcohol consumption, article, consultation, drinking behavior, evidence based medicine, health hazard, health promotion, lifestyle, morality, passive smoking, politics, public health, social problem, United Kingdom
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Mita Mondal
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2013 11:09 UTC
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2014 22:58 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/36541 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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