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Interface - Comunicação, Saúde, Educação

On-line version ISSN 1807-5762


SPINK, Mary Jane Paris; LISBOA, Milena Silva  and  RIBEIRO, Flávia Regina Guedes. The social construction of smoking as a public health problem: a merging of political interests and scientific legitimation processes. Interface (Botucatu) [online]. 2009, vol.13, n.29, pp.353-365. ISSN 1807-5762.

The aim of this article is to analyze some aspects of the social construction of smoking as a Public Health problem within the context of the formulation of transnational health policies. Adopting the constructionist perspective, we start from the premise that social phenomena are collective constructions that are historically situated and culturally contingent. We argue that the participation of diverse social actors that can act as spokespeople for specific communities - economic, political, social or scientific - is necessary so that smoking emerges as a Public Health problem. We propose that the current anti-tobacco scenario results from the merging of two narratives: one concerning the constitution of smoking as a health hazard, the other pertaining to the emergence of the transnational political scenario associated with a globalized society.

Keywords : Public Health; Smoking; Framework convention on tobacco control.

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