Population-based health interventions are an essential part of the national health system, as they target not only individuals or small social groups but communities as a whole. It means that interventions cover groups at risk and promote healthy behaviors on a large scale. While there are multiple health intervention programs in Florida, this paper will focus on tobacco control intervention. First, it will provide a thorough analysis of the intervention, then a critique of its accessibility and levels of prevention, and finally, provide a recommendation on how to increase its effectiveness.
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Tobacco Control Intervention
Tobacco control intervention is defined as one of the high-five initiatives, among other state programs, like violence prevention, obesity prevention, regulation of prices on alcohol products. It proved to have a positive record on improving health and reported cost-effectiveness over the lifetime of the population (“Florida Department of Health,” n.d.). So, this program does have an established infrastructure and is supported by numerous affiliated organizations.
Tobacco smoking has an apparent adverse effect on the human body: it can cause heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and more. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2014), more than 16 million Americans live with a smoke-caused disease, and around 32,000 people in Florida die from cigarette smoking yearly. So, the ultimate objective of the tobacco control intervention is the reduction of tobacco use through spreading awareness, providing counseling, and building sufficient infrastructure. In Florida, this infrastructure includes free mechanisms to quit smoking and educational programs on tobacco use prevention, conducted by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and governmental institutions.
Critique of Tobacco Control Intervention
Researchers often argue that in the changing context of community-based health programs or interventions, the role of institutions is often undermined. For instance, Arxer and Murphy (2019) argue that the role of established for the provision of health services institutions is ignored. Besides, they are mistakenly considered to be resistant to changing roles narrative, while in reality, they can quickly adapt and collaborate with new actors (Arxer & Murphy, 2019). This argument proves to be correct by the system built in Florida, where NGOs successfully work together with governmental agencies on the shared goal of reducing tobacco consumption on the state level.
Unfortunately, the government regulations are lagging concerning tobacco taxes, which fall short to meet the national level and adopt to newly spread tobacco products, like e-cigarettes (Truth Initiative, 2019). That indicates one of the significant problems, existing in tobacco control intervention nowadays. As Auerbach (2016) argues, effective community-wide intervention is based on three buckets, that include traditional and innovative clinical prevention, and total population prevention. Thus, it seems that the services regarding tobacco use control in Florida are excessively outsourced.
Last but not least, the problem of minorities’ access to the existing programs is not dealt with well enough. Hooper, Carpenter, Payne, and Resnicow (2018) state that while African Americans are high utilizers of tobacco quitting programs, their cessation rates are lower relative to whites. This data discovers another gap within the existing intervention program, as it fails to include culturally specific approaches, thus, leaves ethnic minorities out of consideration.
As the data by the Truth Initiative suggests, existing efforts by the government or NGOs fall short to meet even national levels of tobacco use regulations (Truth Initiative, 2019). It means that more sophisticated strategies are required to manage tobacco use prevention effectively. Those strategies should include increased institutional engagement, employment of clinical resources, and introduction of culturally-based approaches to tobacco quitlines.
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Population health interventions are inherently necessary, as they present nation-wide strategies and efforts regarding highly pressing health issues, that cannot be targeted in any other way. However, even though there are various prevention programs, all require adjustments that would increase their effectiveness. As for tobacco control intervention in Florida, there is a lot to improve in terms of collaboration of the government and NGOs, which now often leads to a lack of inclusivity and positive outcomes.
Arxer, S., & Murphy, J. (Eds.). (2019). Community-based health interventions in an institutional context. Web.
Auerbach, J. (2016). The three buckets of prevention. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, 22(3), 215-218. Web.
Florida Department of Health. (n.d.) Web.
Hooper, M. W., Carpenter K., Payne M., & Resnicow, K. (2018). Effects of a culturally specific tobacco cessation intervention among African Quitline enrollees: A randomized controlled trial. BMC Public Health, 18(23). Web.
Truth Initiative. (2019). Tobacco use in Florida 2019. Web.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2014). The health consequences of smoking – 50 years of progress. A report of the Surgeon General. Web.