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Jolted into action: untoward crises as catalysts for sustained improvement of public health
  1. Tony H Reinhardt-Rutland
  1. Correspondence to Tony H Reinhardt-Rutland, School of Psychology, University of Ulster, Coleraine BT52 1SA, UK; ah.reinhardt-rutland{at}

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Untoward crises can precipitate change in public health. For example, clean-air legislation in 1950s Britain followed the escalating costs associated with coal-based industries, notably the steam-operated railways.1 Public health improved as moribund industries were reformed.

However, such opportunities can be squandered. In the 1970s, massive increases in …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; not externally peer reviewed.