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The US Veterans: The Problem of Tobacco Smoking

Veterans form an important cultural group in the society. The saddening fact is that such veterans have always been a major challenge to healthcare givers. Although the rate of tobacco use among American veterans has been declining, those returning from Afghanistan and Iraq are smoking at an alarming rate (Bastian & Sherman, 2010). This has become a disturbing situation because smoking is associated with cancer, heart diseases, and stroke. Some diseases such as Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD), cardiovascular problems, and oral cancer dominate the lives of most of these veterans.

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The other disturbing trend is that most of the US veterans do not seek medical or personal assistance because they possess certain traits and personalities such as heroism, sacrifice, and service (Miller, 2012). As a result, most of these veterans experience certain conditions such as anxiety disorder, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and substance abuse. According to Miller (2012), the problem becomes complicated when these veterans begin to use tobacco and other addictive drugs. The practice eventually leads to more health complications and problems. Most of these facts explain why most of the US veterans are homeless or depressed today. Today there are many veterans living in poverty or lacking quality health care.

Smoking is a major problem affecting most of the low-income societies and countries. In the United States, the age of actively smoking ex-soldiers is between 25 and 69 (Miller, 2012). That being the case, experts and healthcare professionals should integrate the three levels of intervention. These levels include primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention. The approach will address most of the health problems affecting this cultural group. The concept behind primary prevention is reducing the prevalence of the health concerns related to smoking. A good example is providing timely sessions on the effects of tobacco. Experts should monitor the emotional statuses of veterans in order to address the problems arising from depression (Iversen & Greenberg, 2009).

Secondary prevention is essential because it helps all the veterans using tobacco. The concept at this level is to find the best treatment and ensure the veterans do not encounter further complications. Some appropriate practices include counseling, pharmacotherapy, offering cessation classes, and family support. Tertiary prevention is relevant because it inhibits most the diseases associated with smoking. The approach prevents further health complications. The important thing behind these three methods of prevention is to manage the habit and ensure the veterans live a good life (Miller, 2012). As well, most of the interventions used during the secondary level are relevant and can be essential for tertiary prevention. This ultimate goal is to help veterans have productive and normal lives.

I strongly believe that smoking is a major challenge affecting many people across the globe today. That being the case, it is necessary to understand the dangers of smoking and use the three levels of prevention to deal with smoking. As well, veterans and their socio-cultural aspects are distinctive. This explains why there is a link between smoking and certain conditions such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Doctors and psychiatrists should employ the best measures in order to understand the problem of smoking (Iversen & Greenberg, 2009). By doing so, it will be possible to offer the best measures depending on the unique needs of every veteran in the country. The leadership of healthcare givers and community agencies can play a major role towards managing this problem. The government should also support different healthcare organizations in order to manage the problem of smoking among the veterans.

Reference List

Bastian, L., & Sherman, S. (2010).

Effects of the Wars on Smoking Among Veterans. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 25(2), 102-103.

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Iversen, A., & Greenberg, N. (2009). Mental health of regular and reserve military veterans. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 15(1), 100-106.

Miller, T. (2012). The Praeger Handbook of Veteran’s Health: History, Challenges, Issues, and Developments. Westport: Praeger.

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