The Choosing health: making healthy choices easier white paper was published following a public consultation which found that people mostly wanted to make their own decisions and choices when it came to their health, but that they needed support from the government to do this.
The government committed to developing a behaviour change which would include public communications campaigns with a focus on sexual health, obesity, smoking and alcohol consumption. Other initiatives in the paper focused on reducing smoking, reducing obesity, encouraging more active lifestyles and improving mental health. For example, the government committed to working with the food industry to develop better food labelling.
Reducing the rates of smoking was one of the key themes of the white paper. The government committed to making all government departments and NHS organisations (bar a few exceptions) smoke-free environments and pledged that by 2008 all enclosed public places and workplaces would be smoke-free (with some specific exemptions).