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Tobacco Control Policy in the U.S.

Tobacco use is one of the most significant health threats in the modern world. A reduction in tobacco consumption is not possible without clear legislative regulation and long-term anti-tobacco programs. Due to the considerable medical and social consequences, primarily due to the premature death of smokers, as well as a significant proportion of tobacco users among teenagers and young people, it is justified to introduce a more stringent tobacco control policy in the United States. Among pricing mechanisms, increasing tobacco taxes is undeniably the most effective way to reduce tobacco consumption. Non-price policies should concern toughening the ban on smoking in workplaces and other places, the legislative restriction of the age of smokers.

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The policy brief includes U.S.-Japan trade agreement as one of its anti-tobacco advocacies. It is important to note the fact that it is targeted at tobacco companies in order to control their activities (APHA, 2018). Tobacco use affects people from various backgrounds and ages, but the top priority group is young individuals. Tobacco smoking is a worldwide issue that affects all nations and their states.

In the United States, tobacco control has been fighting at the state level since 1794, when Congress approved the first snuff tobacco tax in the amount of 60% of its value (Lydon, Howard, Wilson, & Geier, 2016). However, the United States is not a member of the WHO FCTC, that is, in May 2004, the convention was signed but not ratified (UNTC, 2019). Each state itself restricts smoking, and by 2010, smoking in public places is prohibited in more than half of the states (Ossip et al., 2018). Therefore, there is more freedom for implementing various anti-tobacco strategies.

Americans are allowed to smoke at home, in specially equipped rooms, and in the fresh air. In the state of California, since 1995, there has been a ban on smoking in closed public areas, and since 2004 it is forbidden to approach public institutions with a cigarette closer than 6 meters and smoke in parks (Lydon et al., 2016). In New York, anti-tobacco law has been in force since 2003 (Watson, Gammon, Loomis, Juster, & Anker, 2018).

In addition to the standard ban on smoking in public places and parks, a cigarette tax has been introduced, which is two times higher than the national average. In addition, Times Square has been declared a completely non-smoking area (Watson et al., 2018). In the state of Illinois, strict measures have been applied to the owners of the cafe, if they allow smoking in their establishments, that is, they are fined up to $2,500. In relation to ordinary citizens, those who smoke in their car in the presence of a child less than eight years of age face imprisonment of up to a year (Ossip et al., 2018). Thus, serious measures are put in place in order to protect young people’s health

Evidently, success in the fight against tobacco smoking is possible subject to a conscious desire to quit smoking. The problem statement is that smoking or not smoking is everyone’s personal choice, but if a child, a pregnant woman, or another non-smoking family member is nearby, the person should be responsible for the harm they cause. Smoking in public places – the likelihood of jeopardizing the health of others and smokers should be accountable for the damage.

There are two steps of tobacco control, where the first one is raising taxes on tobacco products. The second approach is non-price mechanisms: such as anti-smoking campaigns in the media, educational programs, and a stricter ban on smoking in workplaces and public places. In addition, the healthcare delivery system will require fewer fund allocations because all the given measures are preventative. In the US, it is feasible to draw attention to the problem of smoking by placing warning images on billboards and increasing the amount of information on cigarette packs. It is necessary to use non-standard, even shocking methods because unusual information is more likely to be remembered and stored in memory.

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APHA. (2018). Health organization comments. Web.

Lydon, D. M., Howard, M. C., Wilson, S. J., & Geier, C. F. (2016). The perceived causal structures of smoking: Smoker and non-smoker comparisons. Journal of Health Psychology, 21(9), 2042-2051.

Ossip, D. J., Johnson, T., Assibey-Mensah, V., Wang, S., McLaren, D., Calabro, K., … McIntosh, S. (2018). Smoke-free home and vehicle policies among community college smokers. Health Education & Behavior, 45(4), 540-549.

UNTC. (2019). 4. WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

Watson, K. A., Gammon, D. G., Loomis, B. R., Juster, H. R., & Anker, E. (2018). Trends in cigarette advertising, price-reducing promotions, and policy compliance in New York State licensed tobacco retailers, 2004 to 2015. American Journal of Health Promotion, 32(8), 1679-1687.

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