Swati answered on
Aug 21 2021
Smoking Ban Policy- UK
The public policy analysis field is approached by scholars since 1950s by use of a framework that is based on multiple stage series. The core of this field lies in the methodological framework that helps to develop rules which are applicable generally to a wide range of contexts and problems. (Fischer et al, 2007). The basic model of policy analysis divided in 6 varying stages is still most relevant to analyze the choices of public policy.
Throughout the UK, a smoking ban in enclosed workplaces and public places came into effect in July 2007 under the Health Act, 2006. (H. Mamudu et al, 2015: 857). During that time, health risks evidence was increasing due to passive smoking. This caused build up of public opinion in order to support ban. Various pro-smoking lo
ying business and groups opposed this policy initially but still this was complied throughout United Kingdom (H. Mamudu et al, 2015: 858). To engage with this smoking ban policy, I have found the cycle to be completely relevant and applicable as there is detail about the need of such policy, definition of problem and policy issue construction followed by its entry in agenda and formulation of policy along with associated decision (Fischer, S., Miller J, et al , 2007: 44 ) Also, implementation and evaluation of policy are discussed which made the UK to have the most comprehensive tobacco control regulations throughout world.
In this paper, I would attempt to highlight the insight of policy cycle and the way this resembles with my case study.
Smoking ban policy
Studies showing the impact of passive smoking on the health of people as well as causing lung cancer provoked for this ban and were initiated in 1950 whereas a campaign for same emerged after 2005 while the impact of passive smoking was highlighted (Robert Proctor, 2011). This resulted in formulation of smoking policy with strict regulations to cease the negative impact of same.
The case study here looks at particular landmarks in decades long effort wherein in order to reduce smoking rates specifically impact of passive smoking over individuals. In enclosed public areas, smoking was completely ban from 1st July, 2007 in England. This ban was caused because of a long campaign whose study rooted up in year 1950s while demonstrated a link between lung cancer and smoking. Department of health commissioned a review which stated the smoking ban impact. As per department of health, this ban was caused because of change in behaviors and attitudes of people. With the help of this ban, children were less exposed to passive smoking resulting in lesser hospital admission of children for heart attacks. The decrease was significant to show the impact of the smoking ban. When this smoking ban came into effect, it was not universally popular and MPs were given free vote on Health act, 2006 which
ought in the legislation to strictly adhere to ban restrictions and follow the policy. (George Jones, 2005). Hospitality industry was a lot wo
ied due to potential economic impact caused by this ban whereas few campaigns suggested that ban was illiberal and disproportionate.( Michelle Scollo, et al, 2003). This policy was initially domestic which spread internationally later on.
This case study is structured according to the six stages of the policy cycle – problem definition, agenda setting, decision-making, policy implementation, policy evaluation, and policy evidences.
In this section, I would discuss the problem definition stage of smoking ban policy which started from year 1950s and got resolved by
inging up of this policy in year 2007 (Deborah Arnott et al , 2007). Government Public health policies have focused for over 40 years on the reduction of death and disease toll because of usage of tobacco. Due to these government initiatives, there was reduction in smoking prevalence from 70% to 24% from year 1962 to 2005 respectively (Nicholas Wald and Ans Nicolaides-Bouman, 2011: 3). Even after that, there were approximately hundred thousand deaths every year because of smoking. Out of these deaths, around 11000 were blamed as caused by the passive smoking. (Nicholas & Nicolaides-Bouman, 2011: 4)
Passive smoking health impacts were studied more and evidence to support the same were increasing leading to increased focus on the public places smoking. Compliance levels with voluntary ban were quite low and by early 2000s it was clear that there was need of a statutory ban with the help of government regulations. A partial ban was proposed by the Labour party’s manifesto in year 2005 (Charles Webster, 2007). Later a full ban on smoking at public places was accepted widely with a high compliance in general. This case study reveal that policy-making is a contested process involving social and political conflict as there was social need of comprehensive ban but due to political forces it took more than 40 years to
ing it in effect. This was because of shaping up of political issues in debate and
inging up importance of value conflicts while designing policy (Knill, 2013: 309).The target group involved in this case study was passive smoking group as they were the ones whose health was getting impacted and thus the need of this policy emerged. This case study is more oriented towards social construction of problem as this policy reflects the social values about it. Passive smoking was impacting the health which was totally unacceptable and undesirable. This issue of impact of smoking on passive smokers was not recognized initially but later there was need to ban smoking in public places and enclosed areas to cease this negative impact (Dorey (2015: 11-14).
This section targets on analyzing the issues that came across while setting agenda for the policy along with the path that was followed to
ing this policy in legislation. (McCombs, 1972). ‘Of the thousands and thousands of demands made upon government, only a small portion receive serious attention from public policy-makers’ (Anderson, 1975: 59). This problem made to agenda as dangers of smoking as well as passive smoking were becoming more and more apparent to public along with health professionals and voluntary ban were started by people to cease the damage (Allan Hackshaw, 2003). However, all the issues getting on agenda may not lead to policy change (Dorey, 2013). There may be window dressing but this smoking ban policy made to window of opportunity due to several triggering events that demanded actions and
ought optimism to solve (Downs, 1972).
The model used for agenda setting is MSF model that consists of policy, problem as well as political streams. Smoking ban policy does include all three streams and hence MSF model fits in.
In July 1999, an approved code of practice on passive smoking at work was proposed by the Health and safety commission. Even though this code of practice was drafted, it never got implemented because of concerns from tobacco manufacturers and hospitality industry about job and profit loss ( Deborah Arnott, et al., 2007: 423). The decision was taken from department of Health meanwhile to work with hospitality sector so as to draw up a voluntary agreement over the smoking ban at public places. In September, 1999, 14 industry associations signed up the public places charter stating that 50% of premises must adopt a formal policy associated with smoking along with restricting smoking to designated areas in around 35% premises (H.Mamudu et al, 2015). The chief medical officer of government wanted to strongly recommend the ban by using his position and publishing the recommendation in annual report of 2002 because there was no quick reduction in health risks resulting from voluntary agreements. This was a bold departure from government policy but several difficulties came in way. Eventually the CMO’s report was released giving evidence that this ban would be addressed for election manifesto of Labour’s 2005 (Deborah Arnott, et al., 2007: 423).
Another trigger to raise this issue in agenda was continuous arguments against ban. This protests by the hospitality trade and lo
ought much attention about the damage to economic consequences. Claims were made that number of customers will be reduced due to this ban resulting in spending less money and time in pubs. This argument was nullified based on 97 studies around world stating no such evidence has been found (Michelle Scollo, et al., 2003 :19).
Another argument raised was that there would be discrimination against smokers infringing personal freedom of them. FOREST, a smoker’s pressure group supported the idea to
ing a policy of making separate places for non smokers and smokers. Also, it was pointed by several anti-smoking campaigners that there is no need to practice this at all places because some were small and could not afford ventilation systems. Legislation aim was to protect health of non smokers and not stopping the people from using their legal right to smoke thus still smokers were free to smoke elsewhere (Patrick Wintour and Colin Blackstock 2004).
Another triggering event for this policy was publishing of public health white paper in November 2004 by the UK Department of Health with topic “Choosing health: Making healthy choices easier” (Robert Proctor,2011). Main emphasis of paper was to press need to protect citizens from passive smoke. It also stated that legislative intervention was favored by the public as per opinion. Post the round of several consultations, the ban came in effect by the Health Act, 2006.
Also the events of banning smoke in public premises and workplaces by Scotland in March 2006 as well as Wales and Northern Ireland in April 2007 boosted England to implement ban in July 2007.
Public opinion strongly favored the decision. MORI opinion poll in 2004 indicated 54% people in favor of smoking ban which increases to 78% at the time when 2006 Act came. Hence the strong public confidence was another crucial trigger to put this issue on policy agenda (M Scollo et al, 2003)
Also, the main stakeholders which include local councils, medical professional, police, general...