Are cars the new tobacco?

May 21, 2013 · 4 comments

A car smokingThis is just so stupid. I can’t add any words to explain the stupidity. So this is a copy and paste from The Journal of Public Health

Abstract

Background Public health must continually respond to new threats reflecting wider societal changes. Ecological public health recognizes the links between human health and global sustainability. We argue that these links are typified by the harms caused by dependence on private cars.

Methods We present routine data and literature on the health impacts of private car use; the activities of the ‘car lobby’ and factors underpinning car dependence. We compare these with experience of tobacco.

Results Private cars cause significant health harm. The impacts include physical inactivity, obesity, death and injury from crashes, cardio-respiratory disease from air pollution, noise, community severance and climate change. The car lobby resists measures that would restrict car use, using tactics similar to the tobacco industry. Decisions about location and design of neighbourhoods have created environments that reinforce and reflect car dependence. Car ownership and use has greatly increased in recent decades and there is little public support for measures that would reduce this.

Conclusions Car dependence is a potent example of an issue that ecological public health should address. The public health community should advocate strongly for effective policies that reduce car use and increase active travel.

Written by Margaret J. Douglas Consultant in Public Health,

  • Martin Higgins Senior Researcher in Public Health.

H/t Simon Cooke

PG

Author: SadButMadLad

SadButMadLad is a Lad who is Sad that most of the world makes him Mad.

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