by Jonathan Rothwell

[LINK] And while we're on what's right...

Simon Howard provides an interesting spin on Arment’s “Right versus pragmatic” post:

It’s easy to say “lose weight”, “drink less”, or “stop smoking”, and we all know that such messages are *right*. But all have a multitude of maintaining habitual behaviours and causal factors, and maintaining the status quo is all-to-often “easier, faster and cheaper”. The secret of great public health interventions is to turn the “right” choice into the “pragmatic” choice – and, in truth, we’re not always great at doing that.

One does wonder how we’re going to solve the problem, for instance, of smoking. As someone who’s never smoked in my life, the idea of inhaling from a burning cylinder of vegetation and paper seems bizarre and revolting to me. Rationally, it’s dangerous, unpleasant and decidedly anti-social, but people continue to puff on fags outside office doors, at bus stops (even though it’s illegal) and round the back of the bike sheds.

A lot of attention is paid in providing assistance to those who want to quit smoking, but how do we stop people from starting to smoke in the first place?