Within my professional research work into health education and the media, it has been noticeable that there is a common Western cultural belief that bodies which have been damaged, for example by smoking, can be repaired by medical science. When this proves to be untrue, the demand is to improve medical science - to find a better doctor, a better hospital, a more advanced technological solution in order to obtain a "cure" - rather than to encourage people to accept any responsibility for their own health or to recognise that bodies cannot be "made better". It was noticeable that many of the conference delegates smoked heavily. It would be sad to think they did this in the belief that in the future medical science could "make it better" or would allow them to escape from their bodies into cyberspace, rather than accepting the illness and disability smoking was likely to bring or deciding to quit. NB: yes, I do write as a sometimes ex-smoker.

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