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Home > Ethical dilemmas and human rights considerations arising from the evaluation of a smoking policy in a health promoting setting.

Harvey, Harold D and Fleming, Paul and Patterson, Michael (2002) Ethical dilemmas and human rights considerations arising from the evaluation of a smoking policy in a health promoting setting. International Journal of Environmental Health Research, 12, (3), . DOI:10.1080/0960312021000001023.

One of the key challenges in managing the Health Promoting Workplace is the development of an effective policy for the control of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). This paper explores the ethical consequences raised when the implementation of such a policy was evaluated in a large multi-campus university.

In a three-stage evaluation, the first stage involved a qualitative enquiry with the Health and Safety Committee to obtain the management perspective on the working of the policy. A survey of the perception of the ETS policy and smoking behaviours with a representative sample of staff and students constituted the second stage. In the final stage the Health and Safety Committee was engaged with the findings of stages 1 and 2 to develop a response to the evaluation.

The ethical implications which arise from this evaluation centre, firstly, on the underlying reasons for undertaking an evaluation. Secondly, consideration is given to the consequences of applying utilitarian principles to smoking policy for the minority who smoke and thus find their work or study patterns affected by a smoking ban. Such a ban limits their autonomy and while it may be helpful (beneficent) in terms of their longer-term physical health, it may have harmful (maleficent) effects on their psychological wellbeing and the potential for negative consequences if they choose to contravene the ban on smoking. The implications of addressing this situation are explored.


Item Type
Article
Publication Type
Irish-related, Article
Drug Type
Tobacco / Nicotine
Intervention Type
Policy
Date
2002
Identification #
DOI:10.1080/0960312021000001023
Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Volume
12
Number
3
EndNote
Accession Number
HRB (Not in collection)
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