An interesting piece in the Baltimore Sun about smoking in Maryland, indirectly raises a larger question, can public scolding modify people's behavior?

I ask the question in light of some positive news on smoking in Maryland. Maryland smoking rates have declined steadily across the last five years to 15% of the adult population. This is well below the national rate of 21%.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, believe this decline has been fueled by cessation and prevention programs launched in the 1990's with money derived from the lawsuits against big tobacco.

Interestingly, this has come against the backdrop of national smoking rates holding steady.

Okay, so does that mean that from a public health standpoint we can translate this success to a reduction in other deadly behaviors such as drinking or texting and driving? http://www.maryland-law.com/blog/cell-phones-and-negligent-driving-hand-in-hand.cfm

The statistical information is certainly out there but absent the funds to bring a message to the broader public who knows? http://www.vtnews.vt.edu/story.php?relyear=2009&itemno=571
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