Katherine E Smith

Katherine E Smith
The University of Edinburgh | UoE · Global Public Health Unit

About

71
Publications
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Introduction

Publications

Publications (71)
Article
Background Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) have become subject to highly contested public and political debates regarding approaches to regulation and marketing, which relate to the lack of evidence regarding their potential benefits and harms. This is a common scenario for new technologies, though one in which the evolving role of the tobacco...
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Background Public health’s terms of engagement with unhealthy commodity industries (alcohol, tobacco and ultra-processed food and drinks) have become increasingly contested in policy and research. We sought to identify approaches that could attract consensus support within and across policy domains. Methods Using snowball sampling, we undertook an...
Article
BACKGROUND: Media representations play a crucial role in informing public and policy opinions about the causes of, and solutions to, ill-health. This paper reviews studies analysing media coverage of non-communicable disease (NCD) debates, focusing on how the industries marketing commodities that increase NCD risk are represented. METHODS: A scopin...
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Background Media representations play a crucial role in informing public and policy opinions about the causes of, and solutions to, ill-health. This paper reviews studies analysing media coverage of non-communicable disease (NCD) debates, focusing on how the industries marketing commodities that increase NCD risk are represented. MethodsA scoping r...
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In recent years the academic landscape has been shifting and significantly affected by the introduction of an ‘impact agenda’. Academics are increasingly expected to demonstrate their broader engagement with the world and evidence related outcomes. Whilst different countries are at various stages along this impact journey, the UK is the first count...
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Of all the social sciences, social policy is one of the most obviously policy-orientated. One might, therefore, expect a research and funding agenda which prioritises and rewards policy relevance to garner an enthusiastic response among social policy scholars. Yet, the social policy response to the way in which major funders and the Research Excell...
Book
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Informed by a wealth of available research, between 1997 and 2010, the UK Labour government introduced a raft of policies to reduce health inequalities. Despite this, by most measures, the UK's health inequalities have continued to widen. This failure has prompted calls for new approaches to health inequalities research and some consensus that publ...
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Following government commitments to reducing health inequalities from 1997 onwards, the UK has been recognised as a global leader in health inequalities research and policy. Yet health inequalities have continued to widen by most measures, prompting calls for new research agendas and advocacy to facilitate greater public support for the upstream po...
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Background To identify the key opportunities and issues in research collaborations between academics, health professionals and the non-profit/voluntary sector. Methods Qualitative one-day symposium with fifty participants from across policy, practice (healthcare and the non-profit/voluntary sector) and research in Scotland. The research team facili...
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It is now widely accepted that health inequalities are directly linked to inequalities in power and material resources. Reflecting this, persuasive accounts of both the production of health inequalities and the failure of high-income countries to reduce these inequalities have been underpinned by references to structural (particularly neo-Marxist)...
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Concerns about the limited influence of research on decision making have prompted the development of tools intended to mediate evidence for policy audiences. This article focuses on three examples, prominent in public health: impact assessments; systematic reviews; and economic decision-making tools (cost-benefit analysis and scenario modelling). E...
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This article argues that, while it can be politically expedient for governments to engage with health inequalities, they cannot, within the confines of neo-liberalism, realistically propose actions that evidence suggests will effectively reduce them – such as tackling power inequalities, social status and connections or class inequality. Indeed, a...
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There are growing calls within public health for researchers and practitioners working to improve and protect the public’s health to become more involved in politics and advocacy. Such a move takes practitioners and researchers beyond the traditional, evidence-based public health paradigm, raising potential dilemmas and risks for those who undertak...
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Over the past fifteen years, an interconnected set of regulatory reforms, known as Better Regulation, has been adopted across Europe, marking a significant shift in the way that European Union (EU) policies are developed. There has been little exploration of the origins of these reforms, which include mandatory ex ante impact assessment. Drawing on...
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Background Despite a wealth of research and policy initiatives, progress in tackling the UK's health inequalities has been limited. This article explores whether there appears to be consensus among researchers about the kinds of policies likely to reduce health inequalities. Methods Ninety-nine proposals for addressing health inequalities were ide...
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Public health research is overtly orientated towards influencing policy and yet, despite official commitments to ‘evidence-based policy’, most analyses conclude that the impact of public health research has been limited. Based on an analysis of post-1997 UK policy statements and interviews with 112 key actors, this paper argues that the failure of...
Article
Public health is overtly policy-orientated and there is widespread support for the notion that health policies should be strongly informed by evidence. Despite this, studies consistently find that public health policies are not evidence-based. This is often explained by reference to popular theories about research-policy relations which highlight,...
Article
Taking health inequalities in the United Kingdom as a case study, this article adopts a 'discursive institutionalist' approach to explore how the organisation of policy-making bodies shapes the relationship between research and policy. It demonstrates how policy 'silos' and hierarchies work as filters to research-based ideas, encouraging those idea...
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Public health practitioners and researchers often seek to influence public policies in order to improve population health and/or reduce health inequalities. However, these efforts frequently appear to be uninformed by the many empirically-based theories about policymaking that have been developed within political science. This glossary provides a b...
Article
Increasing the conditionality of welfare benefits is a growing trend in many developed countries, particularly in relation to some groups who may be perceived as undeserving of state support. Problem drug users (PDUs) are one such group, and in the UK most PDUs do not work and a high proportion claim benefits. Facilitating the movement of these ind...
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Objective: To systematically review studies of tobacco industry efforts to influence tobacco tax policies. Methods: Searches were conducted between 1 October 2009 and 31 March 2010 in 14 databases/websites, in relevant bibliographies and via experts. Studies were included if they focused on industry efforts to influence tobacco tax policies, dre...
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Japanese translation of the abstract by RS. (DOCX)
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Czech translation of the abstract by HR and Eva Kralikova. (DOC)
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The Czech Republic has one of the poorest tobacco control records in Europe. This paper examines transnational tobacco companies' (TTCs') efforts to influence policy there, paying particular attention to excise policies, as high taxes are one of the most effective means of reducing tobacco consumption, and tax structures are an important aspect of...
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In successfully negotiating the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the World Health Organization (WHO) has led a significant innovation in global health governance, helping to transform international tobacco control. This article provides the first comprehensive review of the diverse campaign initiated by transnational tobacco corporat...
Article
Employing the interdisciplinary field of health inequalities as a case study, this paper draws on interviews to explore subjective accounts of academic identities. It finds widespread acceptance that academia is a market place in which research‐active careers require academics to function as entrepreneurs marketing ideas to funders. Beyond this, tw...
Article
Health is perhaps the most significant policy area to be devolved to decision-makers in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Consequently, there has been a great deal of interest in assessing the extent to which health policies (which already differed somewhat prior to devolution) have diverged since 1999. To date, analyses have tended to focus ei...
Article
Studies exploring how and why evidence informs decisions (or not) often focus on perceived cultural, communicative and institutional gaps between research producers and users. More recently, there has been a growing interest in exploring how political differences between competing 'policy networks' might shape research utilisation. Drawing on two p...
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Recent attempts by large tobacco companies to represent themselves as socially responsible have been widely dismissed as image management. Existing research supports such claims by pointing to the failings and misleading nature of corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. However, few studies have focused in depth on what tobacco companies...
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To explore similarities and differences in policy content and the political context of the three main English government reports on health inequalities: the Black Report (1980), the Acheson Enquiry (1998), and the Marmot Review (2010). Thematic policy and context analysis of the Black Report (1980), the Acheson Enquiry (1998), and the Marmot Review...
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Employability initiatives are becoming increasingly popular in government discourse as a means of tackling worklessness. Here we discuss the findings of a small-scale, qualitative study which mapped the impacts of a multi-intervention programme on participants’ health, wellbeing and employability. Each of the 13 interventions was independently appr...
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European policymakers have recently become increasingly committed to using Impact Assessment (IA) to inform policy decisions. Welcoming this development, the public health community has not yet paid sufficient attention to conceptual concerns about IA or to corporate efforts to shape the way in which IA is used. This essay is a thematic analysis of...
Chapter
This chapter considers in more detail definitions of public health and how these in turn influence conceptions of a public health system. It does so in the light of the varying, and often contested, views and assumptions as to what public health is, what its guiding values are and who actually conducts public health. The latter is connected to a co...
Chapter
This chapter looks ahead to some of the key threats to the health of the public and the challenges facing a public health system in future. These include climate change and environmental concerns; the need for a concern for health and wellbeing to permeate a far wider range of policies, tasks and activities than at present and to become a priority...
Chapter
This chapter is structured around a series of issues that have currently come to the fore in the public health system, all of which have their roots in the history of public health charted in the preceding chapters. These issues represent the key policy and practice challenges facing the public health system as it moves through the twenty-first cen...
Chapter
This chapter reviews the policy and organisational changes that have occurred since 1997 following a change of government. New Labour sought to accord a high priority to the health of the public and was strongly committed to putting both health improvement and health inequalities back on the policy agenda. An important symbol of this new policy emp...
Chapter
This chapter charts in some detail the evolution of the public health system in England from 1974 to 1997, noting key features and policy developments. It presents an analysis of key shifts in the way that public health was understood, including the emergence of the ‘new’ public health in the 1970s and 1980s, following a series of international ini...
Book
Health systems everywhere are experiencing rapid change in response to new threats to health, including from lifestyle diseases, risks of pandemic flu, and the global effects of climate change but health inequalities continue to widen. Such developments have profound implications for the future direction of public health policy and practice. The pu...
Article
In recent years, there has been a great deal of collective rumination about social scientists' role in society. In the post-1997 UK context, public policy commitments to 'evidence-based policy' and 'knowledge transfer' have further stimulated such reflections. More recently, Michael Burawoy's 2004 address to the American Sociological Association, w...
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Income maintenance during unemployment, old age or long-term sickness is a key facet of welfare provision and an important mediatory factor in the relationship between socio-economic position and health status. Since October 2008, the main long-term sickness absence benefit in the UK (Incapacity Benefit) has been replaced by Employment Support Allo...
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Since 1997, the English government has committed itself to the twin (and inter-linked) policy aims of reducing health inequalities and tackling social exclusion. Welfare to work interventions have formed a key part of the policy response to both of these problems. So far, this approach has been largely supply-side focused and ‘gender-blind’, treati...
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Portuguese translation of the abstract by Sandra Tavares Moreira. (0.07 MB DOC)
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Spanish translation of the abstract by Sandra Tavares Moreira. (0.08 MB DOC)
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French translation of the abstract by Florence Berteletti Kemp. (0.11 MB DOC)
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German translation of the abstract by HW. (0.03 MB DOC)
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Italian translation of the abstract by Massimo Giornetti. (0.03 MB DOC)
Article
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Impact assessment (IA) of all major European Union (EU) policies is now mandatory. The form of IA used has been criticised for favouring corporate interests by overemphasising economic impacts and failing to adequately assess health impacts. Our study sought to assess how, why, and in what ways corporations, and particularly the tobacco industry, i...
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Partnership working has been a central feature of New Labour's approach to the delivery of health and social policy since 1997. A number of partnership-based initiatives have centred on reducing health inequalities and improving health. This article reports on the findings from a systematic review of the impact of partnership working on public heal...
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The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control1 (FCTC), which has now been ratified by 166 countries, is the first global public health treaty to be developed by the World Health Organization and represents a crucial milestone for tobacco control. In recognition of systematic, often covert tobacco industry efforts to undermine tobacco control policy,...
Article
Condition Management Programmes (CMPs), delivered through primary care settings, have been identified as possible vehicles to facilitate return to work for individuals with chronic health problems. There is little research, however, which examines how such programmes are received by patients. To explore patients' experiences of CMPs in terms of hea...
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Since the advent of political devolution in the UK, it has been widely reported that markedly different health policies have emerged. However, most of these analyses are based on a comparison of health care policies and, as such, only tell part of a complex and evolving story. This paper considers official responses to a shared public health policy...
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To systematically review the available evidence on the impact of organizational partnerships on public health outcomes (health improvement and/or a reduction in health inequalities) in England between 1997 and 2008. Systematic review of quantitative (longitudinal before and after) and qualitative studies (1997-2008) reporting on the health (and hea...
Article
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Objectives: The election of a Labour government in 1997 brought the issue of health inequalities firmly back on to the policy agenda across the UK. Since then, in the wake of devolution, the need to tackle health inequalities has been highlighted as a policy priority in all three mainland UK countries, albeit with varying degrees of emphasis. This...
Article
Both the UK's Labour Government and Scotland's devolved Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition Executive have committed themselves to reducing health inequalities. Furthermore, both institutions have emphasised the importance of using evidence to inform policy responses. In light of such political commitments, a significant amount of work has been under...
Article
Methodological debates about interviewing ‘elites’ have recently received significant attention within human geography. Many of the contributors to this debate have suggested that there is something intrinsically different about interviewing ‘up’, which geography’s methodological literature needs to make space to consider. This paper argues that, i...

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