The British Medical Journal Letters and Rapid Responses

The letters and rapid responses provide important information about key health promotion topics. They will be useful for locating the latest and/or significant documents including national and international strategies, policies and guidelines. Some seminal documents such as the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion appear in more than one rapid response. Principles of health promotion and education are also discussed.


Please click on the links below to view The BMJ Rapid Responses:


  1. Inequalities in 2020: time for a health strategy that unites the country.
  2. Public health priorities for 2020 – Inequalities in 2020: time for a health strategy that unites the country (Letter)
  3. Child Health in the UK: we need to help them survive and thrive.
  4. Health promoting hospitals – back to the future!
  5. Covid-19: we need to give testing the priority it deserves.
  6. UK infant mortality. Child health in the UK: we need to help children survive and thrive (Letter)
  7. Improving health by creating supportive environments.
  8. Ageism in the UK: we need a fundamental shift in culture.
  9. NHS staff: in the future we need to promote their health.


  1. NHS long term plan: all patients to have access to online GP consultations by 2023-24
  2. Why the rules should not be relaxed for e-cigarettes to encourage people to stop smoking (Letter)
  3. The need to include accident prevention as a key area in the forthcoming Green Paper on Prevention
  4. Time to put GPs first by investing in general practice
  5. Alcohol excess—time for a new positive and multifaceted strategy
  6. Child accident prevention: evidence-based approaches
  7. Pressure on General Practice in England – Time to put GPs first by investing in General practice (Letter & Letter of the week)
  8. Alcohol excess – time for a new positive and multifaceted strategy (Letter)
  9. The need for a health strategy that unites the country.
  10. The obesity epidemic: bold and decisive action needed.
  11. “Best Buy in Public Health”: Physical Activity.
  12. Obesity epidemic: bold and decisive action needed (Letter)
  13. Nursing crisis: Missed opportunities in promoting the health of the country


  1. David Oliver: Getting serious about prevention
  2. Government must get serious about prevention (Letter)
  3. NHS must prioritise health of children and young people
  4. Fight childhood obesity with multiple methods, not just more taxes, MPs hear
  5. Childhood obesity: government’s plan targets energy drinks and junk food advertising
  6. E-cigarettes: relax rules to help more smokers quit, say MPs
  7. Lessons from history – public health successes
  8. Lowering hospital walls to achieve health equity
  9. Hancock pledges to invest in prevention to tackle “root causes” of ill health
  10. Alma Ata and primary healthcare: back to the future


  1. Over 1000 doctors sign letter calling for new tobacco plan for England
  2. Government’s response to inquiry on public health raises fears of more cuts. There should be investment – not cuts.
  3. Tobacco Control Plan is needed to fight the power of big tobacco.  (Letter)
  4. UK children have “alarming gap” in health between rich and poor, report finds
  5. Time for the UK to commit to tackling child obesity
  6. Government’s childhood obesity plan does not go far enough, say MPs
  7. Next government must tackle public health “ticking time bomb,” says BMA
  8. Time to put health at the heart of all policy making
  9. Doctors can act as advocates on health effects of poverty, says BMA
  10. Spending on public health cut as councils look to save money
  11. Tobacco plan aims to produce England’s first smoke-free generation


  1. Public health—the frontline cuts begin
  2. Need for increased investment in public health (Letter & letter of the week)
  3. Tackling the crisis in general practice
  4. Ten towns that promote health to be built in England
  5. Prioritising prevention and health promotion (Letter)
  6. Taxing sugar
  7. True patient participation is difficult and takes dialogue
  8. We need “healthy towns” across all of England (Letter)
  9. Government changes are jeopardising public health
  10. GP services in England get multibillion cash injection in landmark deal
  11. Report calls for bold action to prevent early deaths
  12. Sixty seconds on . . . road traffic crashes
  13. Clinicians underwhelmed by “watered down” childhood obesity strategy. LESSONS FROM RIO.
  14. Health must be embedded across all government policy, MPs say
  15. Directors of public health are pivotal in tackling health inequalities (Letter & letter of the week)
  16. Over a third of children aged 10 – 11 in England are overweight or obese
  17. Government must not shy away from bold action on public health, says MP


  1. Crashes involving young drivers
  2. Patterns and trends in sources of information about sex among young people in Britain: evidence from three National Surveys of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (eLetter)
  3. Why don’t people exercise, even a little?
  4. Alcohol—who is paying the price?
  5. Why e-cigarettes are dividing the public health community
  6. Seismic shift in policy needed to increase physical activity (Letter)
  7. BMA calls for 20% sugar tax to subsidise cost of fruit and vegetables
  8. Why we shouldn’t normalise the use of e-cigarettes (Letter)
  9. Taxing sugar should be just one element of a multifaceted campaign. (Letter)
  10. Fuming about e-cigarettes and harm
  11. Evidence about electronic cigarettes: a foundation built on rock or sand? Fifteen questions to clear the fog around e-cigarettes.
  12. How to assess quality in primary care


  1. Doctors and teachers receive new guidance on the internet’s effect on young people’s sex lives and relationships
  2. Raiding the public health budget
  3. Raiding the public health budget. Action is needed to tackle current public health threats (Letter)
  4. Regulation of electronic cigarettes
  5. Future government should prioritise public health, BMA says
  6. Promoting the health of the population (Letter)
  7. Future shape of general practice in England
  8. NHS plan calls for new models of care and greater emphasis on prevention
  9. E-cigarettes latest: users on the up but rules tighten
  10. Health charities call on UK prime minister to put prevention at top of agenda


  1. Long term effect of reduced pack sizes of paracetamol on poisoning deaths and liver transplant activity in England and Wales: interrupted time series analyses
  2. Maps of premature deaths across England will help tackle variation, say public health chiefs
  3. Consistent food labelling system is rolled out across UK
  4. The strength of primary care systems.
  5. It’s time to ban junk food on hospital premise
  6. Premature deaths across England Time to focus on positive health indicators to reduce health inequalities (Letter)
  7. BMJ briefing: meet the new masters of public health
  8. A substantial tax on sugar sweetened drinks could help reduce obesity


  1. Doctors are told to “make every contact count” to reduce costs of poor lifestyles
  2. Finland leads 31 European countries in tackling child injuries with Greece last
  3. Put health at the heart of transport policies, says BMA report