According to the University of Miami Hospital and Clinic, the leading cause of death in Florida is heart disease (“Community health needs assessment 2019-2021,” n.d.). This issue is indeed a burden in the community, having taken the lives of 5,399 Miami-Dade County citizens in 2017. Florida Health Department identifies three major risk factors of heart disease: high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and smoking (“Heart disease,” 2017).
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Due to a dramatic number of community members suffering from heart disease and its complications, including fatal outcomes, it is crucial to introduce new legislation regarding the issue. Since blood pressure and cholesterol levels cannot be regulated by the authorities, the most viable solution would be to make changes to legislation regulating smoking. Specifically, the suggested legislation innovations involve stricter measures regarding smoking in offices and the prohibition of smoking in cars.
Reasons for Seeking Support
- An increasing number of people being diagnosed with heart disease;
- An excessive death toll caused by heart disease in the state of Florida;
- A tight association between the rates of heart disease and smoking (Stallones, 2015);
- The need to deal with the problem at a state level.
Smoking both in public and private places has always been considered a health burden. However, the latest research indicates that this habit contributes not only to individual health issues but also to community health in general. Nearly one-third of Americans have at least one of the three risk factors for heart disease, smoking being one of them (“Heart disease,” 2017). It is of utmost importance to stop this negative phenomenon from spreading, as well as to eliminate its current prevalence.
Implications for the Nursing Profession
If appropriate changes to legislation are made, nursing specialists will have more time to deal with other heart disease-related health issues. Specifically, healthcare professionals will be able to focus more on high blood pressure and high cholesterol management and care. These two factors currently increase the prevalence of heart disease in the area (“Heart disease,” 2017). Hence, new legislation will allow more time and resources to fight against those risk factors that are more difficult to prevent than smoking.
Smoking areas in offices have long been considered as a solution for those who have this bad habit, as well as those who do not want to suffer from it. However, even with special places for smokers in some of the offices, non-smoking employees are not protected from second-hand smoke. More than 60% of adults spend most of their day at the worksite (“Heart disease,” 2017). Naturally, those of them who smoke make pauses during the day, and the frequency of such pauses depends on the severity of one’s addiction. Changing legislation by including monetary subtractions for smoking employees could encourage people to smoke less or quit smoking altogether.
Transport is considered a private possession, and car drivers are not restricted in their right to smoke in their own cars. However, Miami-Dade County is a densely populated location, let alone vast numbers of tourists visiting the area. Traffic jams are not rare in the community, and frequently, drivers who smoke in an open window contribute to non-smoking people’s secondary exposure to deadly cigarette fumes. It is viable to recommend the prohibition of smoking in cars, which should be regulated by fines. Each further violation of the new legislation should be compensated by a bigger fine. That way, the public health level of the community will increase.
Community health needs assessment 2019-2021. (n.d.). Web.
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Heart disease. (2017). Web.
Stallones, R. A. (2015). The association between tobacco smoking and coronary heart disease. International Journal of Epidemiology, 44(3), 735–743. Web.