This week, Members of Parliament revealed a decision to consider harms, including addictive and compulsive behaviours, in the next stage of their comprehensive inquiry into preventing the poor physical and mental condition of British residents.
The effectiveness of regulation and messaging regarding the negative consequences caused by various factors that contribute to poor health, such as gambling, smoking, drugs, and alcohol, has been included in the agenda of the UK lawmakers.
The Chair of the Health and Social Care Committee, Steve Brine, shared that the British Members of Parliament were all well aware of the harms, including addictive behaviours, that could be caused by the aforementioned factors. He shared that the UK Government’s plans announced in the King’s Speech to introduce legislation to establish a “smoke-free generation” are very good news because local lawmakers would make an effort to protect the most vulnerable members of society.
Unfortunately, he explained that those measures would not truly safeguard the current generation of children if the latter continue to be affected by their parents’ gambling or smoking habits, for example. Mr Brine MP further noted that people who smoke, drink alcohol, or participate in gambling activities, should be well aware of the risks that such activities could pose to their health but the industries offering such products or services should also share some of the responsibilities to protect the UK residents’ health and well-being.
According to the Health and Social Care Committee’s Chair, the Government had to step in to encourage some changes across the country’s population and prevent poor physical and mental health caused by gambling, smoking, drugs, and alcohol. The Committee is set to question the impact of public health messaging on avoiding the risky and harmful behaviour that is attributed to ill-health, on one hand, and will consider the existing regulation’s effectiveness, on the other hand.
British Government Puts Prevention in Health and Social Care in the Spotlight
In January 2023, the Health and Social Care Committee officially announced ten topics that were set to be examined as part of its major new inquiry into preventing British residents’ poor physical and mental health. The full list of themes that will be considered by the Committee includes healthy places; mental health and well-being; health inequalities, vaccination; cancer prevention; gambling, smoking, alcohol, and drugs; obesity and healthy eating; sexual health; early years and childhood; and other major conditions.
The subjects vastly ranged from risk associated with childhood and early years to potential detrimental effects of gambling and alcohol and were chosen as a result of more than 600 submissions received by UK lawmakers from organisations and researchers linked to preventative healthcare.
As revealed at the time, the comprehensive inquiry is set to examine a variety of environmental and social factors and their effects on people’s health and well-being. Then, Members of Parliament will consider the possible measures that could be taken to prevent Brits’ deteriorating health.
As Steve Brine MP previously shared, health and social care services in the UK have been under increasing pressure, so it was high time for the Government to identify the possible steps that could be taken to improve health outcomes for local people in the longer term. According to him, the future sustainability of the National Health Service pretty much depended on lawmakers getting that right.
Daniel Williams has started his writing career as a freelance author at a local paper media. After working there for a couple of years and writing on various topics, he found his interest for the gambling industry.