What makes public health and therefore public health ethics distinctive 11 population focus the first and perhaps most defining characteristic of public health is that it is committed to 12 government intervention the second distinctive feature of public health with significant . Public health ethics is the first peer reviewed international journal to focus on a systematic analysis of the moral problems in public health and preventive medicine find out more. Public health ethics are also an important consideration at an international level one area we consider is that of the activities of tobacco companies in developing countries and the concept of corporate social responsibility it is well established that tobacco is a highly harmful product. The dominant approach in public health has been to apply the utilitarian theory of ethics to resolving issues relating to public health this theory focuses on achieving the greatest good for the greatest number of people and thus tends to focus on protecting the population rather than the rights of individuals eg laws requiring the reporting of communicable diseases and the mandating of vaccination programs
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