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Cigarette smoking is still the most important preventable cause of premature death in Australia It has been found that the use of tabacco has resulted in a loss of more than 18000 lives in Australia each year while costing the Australian community more than 127 billion per annum which in annual economic costs in terms of lost years of life loss of income and medical and related costs were estimated to be at around two percent of the gross national product Thus reducing the prevalence of smoking rightly remains a high priority on Australias public health agenda In this paper I will describe the way in which a structural functionalist approach is implicit in the area of health promotion programmes on smoke free environments Aaron Antonovsky proposed that health is created where people live love learn work and play This ultimately results to a disproportionately prevalent use of tobacco where it is found that smoking prevalence is inversely related to education and socioeconomic status This complements the structuralist theory which assumes that what people believe and how individuals behave is mediated through social institutions Structural functionalists argue that social institutions like the family the education system and health care play a role in socializing people Social roles derived through consensus regulate social action including how we behave with respect to health promotion Parsons believe that there exists interpersonal and inter-institutional ties within the society These ties have a compelling effect on the individual to perform and adopt a certain action Every member of the society has his or her own obligations and responsibility to the society There exists a social pressure on him for which he cannot disregard his roles and responsibilities to the society and his own family as well This explains the behavior change by an individuals motivation to comply with those other peoples wishes which is evident in the health promotion concept where environment shapes behavior This has been found
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