Tobacco smoking is one of the major causes of various diseases and premature mortality among adults. The recent statistics show that the smoking prevalence in the United States for both genders is 17%, whereas female prevalence equals 13% and male prevalence is 22% (World Health Organization [WHO], 2017). The highest number of smokers is observed in the European region − the mean prevalence for both genders equals 28%, female prevalence is 19%, and male prevalence is 38% (WHO, 2017). Although the number of smokers in America is lower than in some other regions, smoking remains a significant health concern in the USA. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2016), “an estimated 36.5 million adults in the United States currently smoke cigarettes” (para. 1). Additionally, Jamal et al. (2015) state that the annual costs of smoking in America equal $300 billion in direct health care expenditures. Although smoking has reduced from 20.9% to 16.8% over a nine-year period, the available gaps in citizens’ health knowledge create a favorable environment for tobacco companies to raise their revenues (Jamal et al., 2015).
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Figure 1: Smoking statistics, 2005-2014.
|2005 (N = 13,762)||2014 (N = 16,398)||% decline from 2005 to 2014||2005 (N = 17,666)||2014 (N =20,299)||% decline from 2005 to 2014||2005 (N = 31,428)||2014 (N = 36,697)||% decline from 2005 to 2014|
Advanced Practice Roles and Management Strategies Affecting the Issue
RN’s role in combating the excessive tobacco use is hard to underestimate as they encounter patients suffering from smoking-related illnesses, virtually, on a daily basis. Changing behaviors of patients with addictions turn out to be the primary task of every clinician (Hill, Amos, Clifford, & Platt, 2014). However, changes are impossible to implement without a properly planned intervention strategy. Anti-smoking campaigns, public education, and legislative regulations can help to improve the situation significantly. Also, the advocacy for restrictions on manufacturers’ market opportunities and better tobacco control programs would stimulate a faster behavioral change in the population. Together these activities may form an effective smoking prevention strategy.
Available Community and Social Resources
It is possible to say that retail points become the major resources of negative influence on the community level because it is challenging to control tobacco sales when the financial interests of manufacturers and vendors are involved. At the social level, advertising significantly contributes to the promotion of smoking because any advertising campaign aims to bring out a positive emotional response from the targeted audience while masking possible health risks. Marketers exploit the emotional and psychological needs of potential customers and develop images which, as they suppose, may promote the desired consumer behavior by assuring the audience that consumption of the advertised product will lead to self-enhancement. Thus, cigarette advertisements can have a strong effect especially on those unaware of potential health risks.
The positive impact on both social and community levels is made by various organizations specializing in health promotion, disease prevention, and community education, e.g., the Community Preventive Services Task Force and the American Cancer Society. Moreover, the initiation of the nation-wide Healthy People 2020 program serves as proof that the public wants to take steps towards changing the situation. As a result of these efforts, more and more public organizations became concerned with the problem of tobacco use among adults and involved in the problem-solving process.
Changes in Health Promotion Sphere
The need to respond to the increasing volume of cigarettes’ production has led healthcare organizations to the introduction of strict policies regarding smoking. As Golechha (2016) points out, “with the growing body of evidence of detriment of tobacco to health, many control policies have been implemented as health promotion actions” (p. 7). As to the methods that are normally used in this case, taxation, mass media campaigns, and educational programs arrive as the major tools of the task fulfillment. It is notable that health promotion and community education becomes the only means to fight chronic diseases and change the existing mortality statistics. For that reason mainly, organizations address larger groups instead of particular individuals in their campaigns to achieve the maximum level of effectiveness and cost-efficiency.
To achieve positive results, it is recommended that everyone willing to quit the addiction is added to a nation-wide control system that connects to all shops and supermarkets across the country. To buy cigarettes, one needs to show the identity paper. Eventually, those who are registered in the system are not permitted to buy tobacco products. Restrictions may also be applied to the closest relatives of a person and act for a set period (e.g., a year). Before adding a person to the list, the smoking cessation program leaders will have a conversation with a smoker and his family to improve their health literacy. As to the socioeconomic and cultural aspects, the authority will work in close cooperation with public organizations and funds, thus, offering free participation to everyone regardless of ethnicity or an income level.
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The national campaign for smoking cessation is exposed to many challenges due to increasing volumes of cigarette production and individuals’ low motivation. Thus, the development of community-based programs and the involvement of local organizations in the process of problem elimination is of great importance. The major activities in the suggested strategy include public education and advocacy, as well as the launch of an advertising campaign exposing possible consequences of smoking. The main goals are the development of community members’ health knowledge and risk awareness, and promotion of healthier behaviors. It is possible to say that such measures would make citizens fully responsible for their health.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). Current cigarette smoking among adults in the United States. Web.
Golechha, M. (2016). Health promotion methods for smoking prevention and cessation: A comprehensive review of effectiveness and the way forward. International Journal of Preventive Medicine, 7, 7.
Hill, S., Amos, A., Clifford, D., & Platt, S. (2014). Impact of tobacco control interventions on socioeconomic inequalities in smoking: Review of the evidence. Tobacco Control, 23(e2), e89-e97.
Jamal, A., Homa, D. M., O’Connor, E., Babb, S. D., Caraballo, R. S., Singh, T., & King, B. A. (2015). Current cigarette smoking among adults – United States, 2005-2014. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep, 64(44), 1233-1240.
World Health Organization. (2017). Data and statistics. Web.