The article titled, “ Nearly 30 percent of U.S. cancer deaths tied to smoking cigarettes” by Ashley Welch is about how cigarette smoking contributes to approximately one in four of cancer deaths. In United States, the rates of cancer deaths are highest among men who live in Southern states. Welsh (2016) includes that, “Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia had the highest estimated proportion of smoking-attributable cancer deaths in men.”(para, 5). Due to weak enforcement of tobacco, smoking is more common in the South. The low price of cigarettes, easy accessibility to cigarettes, and non-existent smoking cessation programs each plays an influence to the high mortality of cancer. Cigarette use accounts for about 30% of cancer deaths.
This article is a public health issue. Smoking cigarettes is a dangerous habit that can lead to long-term health outcomes and even death. According to Welch (2016):
“They [American Cancer Society] estimated of the number of cancer deaths attributable to cigarette smoking using relative risks for 12 types of cancer that can be related to smoking, including lung, pancreas, liver, and stomach cancers.” (para ,3).
Smoking can cause cancer in almost every organ of the body. Everyone is affected by the inhalation of smoke. Exposure of smoke can increase the risk of developing disease and severe health complications. These health complications include stroke, cataracts, diabetes, and reproductive difficulties. Smoking is hazardous to our health and others who expose themselves.
Cause of Severity of the Issue
Tobacco use can cause harm for any human, including those who smoke and as well as those who are expose to the smoke. The exposure of smoke inhaled in from other people's cigarettes is called secondhand smoking. Secondhand smoking puts others around at risk for serious health concerns. This can include adults, children, and pets. Smokefree.gov (n.d) stated, “Secondhand smoke is especially dangerous for children, babies, and women who are pregnant.” (para, 2) Children are highly susceptible to development of asthma, ear infections, and breathing problems. Pregnant women who are exposed to secondhand smoke put both the mother and the unborn baby in danger. It can result in miscarriage, premature birth, and low birth weight. Smoking has the ability to affect one's health without that person ever touching a cigarette a day in their life.
Statistics indicate cigarette smoking is more common in men than women. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] (2014), “Men are more likely to be current cigarette smokers than women.” Smoking is highest among adults found in the Southern states. According to the (CDC), a map shown on the website demonstrates the percentage of adults in each state who were current smokers. It displays that majority of 25.3-29.2% of current smokers are found in Kentucky and West Virginia. Cigarette use is greater amongst people who live below the poverty level. Also, the data released on the CDC website, the current cigarette use for smokers below the poverty level is 26.3% in comparison to at or above poverty level accounts for 15.2%. Poverty and smoking are closely linked. Majority of current smokers are men who live below the poverty level in the Southern states.
The risk factors of smoking consist of being easily accessible to cigarettes, weak control of tobacco policy, low cost of cigarettes, and little cessation of smoking programs. These factors play an influence to smoking related to cancer mortality. Cigarettes are easily available to children. Underage children are able to purchase cigarettes from stores due to merchants not asking for proof of age. This can increase underage children the risk of lifelong addiction. In certain states of the United States, control of secondhand smoke exposure and ban on tobacco use in public places isn't enforced. This damages and harms the health of others. Cigarette taxes are among the lowest in the South. The prices of cigarettes are found to be cheaper. Not having any access to smoking cessation programs makes it difficult for smokers to successfully quit the addiction. These risk factors make it difficult to end tobacco use widespread.
Public health interventions include the National Tobacco Control Program (NTCP) and Healthy People 2020. NTCP is created by the CDC's Office on Smoking and Health (OSH). The goal of NTCP is to decrease and reduce tobacco related diseases and deaths. According to the CDC website, “the four components of NTCP are population-based community interventions, counter-marketing, program policy/regulation, surveillance and evaluation.” These are their methods to eliminate tobacco use. According to Healthy People 2020, “Research has identified effective strategies that will contribute to ending the tobacco use epidemic.” The Healthy People 2020 Tobacco Use cons towards three key areas: tobacco use prevalence, health system changes, and social and environmental changes. These are some of the public health interventions involved to remedying tobacco use.
Recommendations to prevent smoking may include creating smoke-free environments, promoting tobacco control programs, and enforcing more strict laws on tobacco use. To establish a strong control of tobacco policy, it is best to eliminate exposure of secondhand smoke. Smoking should be banned from public places. This will protect non-smokers from exposure of cigarette smoke. It will also reduce the risk of health problems they could have potentially contracted. Also, an expansion of cessation programs and treatments would immensely help with smoking addicts. It would lessen the rate of prevalence of current smokers. Another method would be to decrease the marketing of smoking advertisements and commercials. The tobacco industry continues to try to attract new smokers. This will protect new smokers and even young children. These are several different approaches to prevent cigarette use.
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