Applying an equity lens to tobacco-control policies and their uptake in six Western-European countries

J Public Health Policy. 2007 Jul;28(2):261-80. doi: 10.1057/palgrave.jphp.3200132.


We identified policies that may be effective in reducing smoking among socioeconomically disadvantaged groups, and examined trends in their level of application between 1985 and 2000 in six western-European countries (Sweden, Finland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, and Spain). We located studies from literature searches in major databases, and acquired policy data from international data banks and questionnaires distributed to tobacco policy organisations/researchers. Advertising bans, smoking bans in workplaces, removing barriers to smoking cessation therapies, and increasing the cost of cigarettes have the potential to reduce socioeconomic inequalities in smoking. Between 1985 and 2000, tobacco control policies in most countries have become more targeted to decrease the smoking behaviour of low-socioeconomic groups. Despite this, many national tobacco-control strategies in western-European countries still fall short of a comprehensive policy approach to addressing smoking inequalities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Advertising / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Databases as Topic
  • Europe
  • Health Education*
  • Humans
  • Internationality
  • Public Policy*
  • Smoking / economics
  • Smoking / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Smoking Cessation / economics
  • Smoking Cessation / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Tobacco Industry / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Vulnerable Populations* / psychology
  • Vulnerable Populations* / statistics & numerical data