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date: 19 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides an overview of the ethics of noncommunicable diseases, one of the areas of focus in The Oxford Handbook of Public Health Ethics. Key areas of ethics attention include tobacco, alcohol and other drugs, and cancer, which affect populations in higher- and lower-income societies alike. The ability of society to respond to these challenges will have major implications for future gains in global life expectancy. While there exists a strong evidence base for public health intervention, the ability to respond is hindered by political constraints and limited progress on addressing the social inequalities that are often root causes of noncommunicable diseases. A commitment to reducing noncommunicable diseases is likely to advance social equity, and vice versa.

Keywords: noncommunicable diseases, cancer, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, life expectancy, public health ethics, public health intervention, social inequality

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