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NAQC Newsroom: Research

Decreasing Smoking but Increasing Stigma? Anti-tobacco Campaigns, Public Health, and Cancer Care.

Thursday, July 13, 2017  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
Riley KE, Ulrich MR, Hamann HA, Ostroff JS.
Decreasing Smoking but Increasing Stigma? Anti-tobacco Campaigns, Public Health, and Cancer Care.
AMA J Ethics. 2017 May 1;19(5):475-485. doi: 10.1001/journalofethics.2017.19.5.msoc1-1705.
 
Public health researchers, mental health clinicians, philosophers, and medical ethicists have questioned whether the public health benefits of large-scale anti-tobacco campaigns are justified in light of the potential for exacerbating stigma toward patients diagnosed with lung cancer. Although there is strong evidence for the public health benefits of anti-tobacco campaigns, there is a growing appreciation for the need to better attend to the unintended consequence of lung cancer stigma. We argue that there is an ethical burden for creators of public health campaigns to consider lung cancer stigma in the development and dissemination of hard-hitting anti-tobacco campaigns. We also contend that health care professionals have an ethical responsibility to try to mitigate stigmatizing messages of public health campaigns with empathic patient-clinician communication during clinical encounters.


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