Should We Use Stigma to Change Health Behaviors? - Paper Example

Published: 2021-07-29
751 words
3 pages
7 min to read
University of California, Santa Barbara
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Stigma is commonly a standard procedure, experienced or foreseen, portrayed by prohibition, dismissal, fault or cheapening that outcomes, as a matter of fact, recognition or, then again sensible reckoning of a severe social judgment about an individual or a group of people. This view depends on a persevering element of identity gave by a health issue or wellbeing related condition, and the judgment is in some fundamental way medicinally baseless. Notwithstanding its application to people or a gathering, the harsh social judgment may likewise be connected to the illness or similar medical issue itself with repercussions in social and wellbeing strategies. Different types of stigma, which result from unfriendly social judgements about continuing features of character apart from wellbeing related conditions for example race, ethnicity, sexual inclinations), may likewise influence an individuals or group's well-being; these are additional matters that concern inquiries of health-related stigmatization and are considered unethically legitimate (Weiss et al. 2006: 280).

As of late, addictions strategy has focused on the need to balance stigmatization while not forgetting the end goal to advance general wellbeing and human healthcare in general. Nonetheless, as late, researchers have noted that through the broad implementation of tobacco 'denormalization' methodologies, tobacco control advocates seem to have grasped the utilization of stigma as an unequivocal approach policy. In a current article, (Bayer and Stuber, 2006) contends that the implementation of stigma may successfully diminish the predominance of smoking habits connected to tobacco-related mortality and is in this manner not contradictory to general healthcare objectives. This analysis takes up this inquiry or in the case of criticizing smoking may, at last, serve the interests of general wellbeing. Through an examination of the remarkable procedures of tobacco control policies, Bayer proposes that stigmatizing smoking won't eventually diminish smoking habits among burdened smokers. Or maybe, it is probably going to compound wellbeing related complications by constraining smokers' access to human services and hindering smoking in necessary care facilities.

One significant approach is that of (Bayer, 2008) where the focal inquiry identifies with the adequacy of stigma in decreasing smoking habits, and he refers to several cross-sectional research investigations that stigma related to smoking has been favorable in lessening cigarette consumption and smoking habits at a more extensive level (Kim and Shanahan, 2003; Hammond et al., 2006; (Effect of increased social unacceptability of cigarette smoking on reduction in cigarette consumption, 2006).

This means that his conclusion is by all accounts that if using stigma as a means of changing health behavior (particularly temporary stigma that has its objective in the reintegration of those who are stigmatized) is instrumental in evolving ''pathogenic'' examples of conduct then it might be ethically worthy to encourage it to decrease the effects of smoking-related conditions, mortality, and morbidity.

Because of the effects on healthcare and the general state of health, great concentration is put towards health-related stigma, and it has the uppermost priority by sociological and health workers.

However, utilizing stigma as an immediate way of accomplishing the general wellbeing results is quite often not ethically legitimate. Autonomy and societal dignity contemplations are all against it, and the cost-benefit advantage examines that it may, by some people, be taken to exceed these considerations will be in a general sense uncertain (Buchman and →, 2017). It is additionally contended that interventions in cases where stigmatization comes as a result of a condition or a situation to satisfy requirements of proportionality, and that they may fall victims to the dilemma of stigmatization. For example, the dilemma that emerges when all choices of policy are to some point stigmatizing but for different groups of people. At the end when this issue arises the decision maker or the victim ought to pick their kind of intervention that does not prompt a lasting stigmatization and also, one that has little chances of stigmatization.


Weiss, J., Hunsinger, J., Nolan, J. and Trifonas, P. (2006). The International Handbook of Virtual Learning Environments. Dordrecht: Springer.

Bayer, R. and Stuber, J. (2006). Tobacco Control, Stigma, and Public Health: Rethinking the Relations. American Journal of Public Health, 96(1), pp.47-50.

Bayer, R. (2008). Stigma and the ethics of public health: not can we but should we. Social Science & Medicine, 67, 463472.

Kim, S.-H., & Shanahan, J. (2003). Stigmatizing smokers: public sentiment toward cigarette smoking and its relationship to smoking behaviors. Journal of Health Communication, 8, 343367.

Effect of increased social unacceptability of cigarette smoking on reduction in cigarette consumption. (2006). eScholarship, University of California.

Buchman, D. and →, V. (2017). Tobacco Denormalization and Stigma. [online] Neuroethics at the Core. Available at: [Accessed 15 Oct. 2017].

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