Creating demand for better health by using social marketing techniques

Jill K. Jesson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The most significant environmental change to support people who want to give up smoking is the legislation to ban smoking in public places. Following Scotland in March 2006, and Wales and Northern Ireland in April 2007, England moves one step closer to being smoke free on 1 July 2007, when it becomes illegal to smoke in almost every enclosed public place and workplace. Social marketing will be used to support this health promoting policy and will become more prominent in the design of health promotion campaigns of the future. Social marketing is not a new approach to promoting health but its adoption by the Government does represent a paradigm shift in the challenge to change public opinion and social norms. As a result some behaviours, like smoking or excessive alcohol consumption, will no longer be socially acceptable. The Department of Health has decided that social marketing should be used in England to guide all future health promotion efforts directed at achieving behavioural goals. This paradigm shift was announced in Chapter 2 of the “Choosing health” White Paper with its emphasis on the consumer, noting that a wide range of lifestyle choices are marketed to people, although health as a commodity itself has not been marketed. The DoH has an internal social marketing development unit to integrate social marketing principles into its work and ensure that providers deliver. The National Centre for Social Marketing has funding to provide ongoing support, to build capacity and capability in the workforce. This article describes the distinguishing features of the social marketing approach. It seeks to answer some questions. Is this really a new idea, a paradigm shift, or simply a change in terminology? What do the marketing principles offer that is new, or are they merely familiar ideas repackaged in marketing jargon? Will these principles be more effective than current health promotion practice and, if so, how does it work? Finally, what are the implications for community pharmacy?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)776-777
Number of pages2
JournalPharmaceutical Journal
Volume278
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Keywords

  • smoking
  • ban smoking
  • public places
  • smoke free
  • social marketing
  • health promoting policy
  • health promotion campaigns
  • change public opinion
  • social norms
  • socially acceptable
  • community pharmacy

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