Absinthe--Is Its History Relevant for Current Public Health?

Martijn Huisman; Johannes Brug; Johan Mackenbach


Int J Epidemiol. 2007;36(4):738-744. 

In This Article


This paper briefly addresses the history of the social experience with absinthe in France during the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. We draw on some important parallels of this history with that of smoking to demonstrate that public health threats in the form of (ill-)health related behaviour recur in different disguises, while the social causes if these threats are left to endure. Probably the most important of the parallels between absinthe and smoking is their association with social disadvantage. Nevertheless, it appears that it is not yet fully realized that tackling these threats requires an equity approach.


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