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No need for nanny
  1. M Daube,
  2. J Stafford,
  3. L Bond
  1. Curtin University of Technology, Bentley, Western Australia, Australia
  1. M Daube, Public Health Advocacy Institute of Western Australia, Health Research Campus, Curtin University of Technology, GPO Box U1987, Perth, Western Australia 6845, Australia; m.daube{at}


The term “nanny state” is regularly used to attack health groups or governments, especially by interest groups bereft of arguments and journalists in search of a cliché. It has become a special favourite of tobacco companies and their supporters. In the present work we argue that the term should be retired in favour of genuine debate on substantive issues.

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  • Competing interests: None.

  • Funding: The authors are supported by Healthway (the Western Australia Health Promotion Foundation).