Health Promotion and Tobacco Use
With reference to alcohol, one would legitimately refer to its ‘use’ and ‘abuse’, although, in the latter category, it is the drinker rather than the alcohol which becomes abused. However, when it comes to tobacco, agreement is virtually unanimous in holding that any use of it for human consumption constitutes an abuse of health. It is the very strength of this assurance that so strongly differentiates the complementary roles of health education and health promotion. Indeed, the links between tobacco use and ill-health have been so strongly established, and continue to become even more strongly established with almost every piece of published research in the area, that the health education task is overwhelmingly simple. What is less readily appreciated is the extent to which this may not only be irrelevant in the struggle of many people in their daily lives for health, but may actually further disempower them.