From youth protection to individual responsibility: addressing smoking among young people in post-war West Germany

Elliot, R. (2010) From youth protection to individual responsibility: addressing smoking among young people in post-war West Germany. Medizinhistorisches Journal, 45(1), pp. 66-101.

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This article draws on health education material produced on smoking in the 1950s and 1960s in West Germany to question the extent to which smoking and health disappeared from the agenda in the post war decades, following the experience of the anti-smoking propaganda of the Third Reich. The article suggests that continuities can be seen in anti-smoking literature and campaigns both before and after the Third Reich around the notion of youth protection. In the 1960s, there was a more decisive break with the past with the foundation of the Ministry of Health and a growing determination to make health education a federal responsibility. There is an evident shift towards notions of individual responsibility and rational choice, informed by a growing body of international epidemiological evidence on smoking and health. There were also some attempts to engage with youth culture in the 1960s, rather than seeing youth culture as a threat to the social order, as had been the case in older youth protection arguments against smoking.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Smoking – health education – youth culture – West Germany – tobacco taxation
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Elliot, Dr Rosemary
Authors: Elliot, R.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
D History General and Old World > DD Germany
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Social Scientists working in Health and Wellbeing
College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Economic and Social History
Journal Name:Medizinhistorisches Journal
Publisher:Franz-Steiner Verlag
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2010 Franz-Steiner Verlag
First Published:First published in Medizinhistorisches Journal 45(1):66-101
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher
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