Government inaction

Experimental visualization of narrower problems
Other Names:
Government inertia on social health issues
Government paralysis
Governmental resistance in response to problems
Government avoidance of action
Passive government
Government avoidance of scientific evidence
Government delay in response to symptoms of problems

The inability or unwillingness for a government to act on perceived and acknowledged problems frequently exacerbates suffering and increases the extent of damage done by the problems.


A 1991 report found that western European governments were ignoring evidence from Canada and New Zealand that there is a direct relationship between the prevalence of tobacco advertisements and national smoking habits. The 1989 introduction of a smoking advertisement ban in Canada led to a 6 percent drop in smoking among women aged 16-24 in one year. A similar ban in New Zealand led to a fall in tobacco sales of nearly 10 percent within 6 months in 1991. According to a 1991 British Medical Association review, for every £1 spent on health education against tobacco use, the tobacco industry spends £25 to attract new customers.

Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-beingGOAL 13: Climate ActionGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
Problem Type:
C: Cross-sectoral problems
Date of last update
04.10.2020 – 22:48 CEST