Cigarette smoking is harmful to health; smoking is associated with lung cancer, emphysema and heart diseases. Smokers are at a high risk of suffering from the above-named health conditions as opposed to non-smokers. Of all the varieties of cigarettes in the market, none is safe. All predispose smokers to smoking-related health problems. Smoke and other incompletely burnt organic substance contain carcinogens (cancer-causing agents). These carcinogens cause genetic mutations that may eventually cause cancer. Cigarette and other smoker products contain nicotine, a stimulant and the main contributor to the continued urge to smoke. Nicotine causes an individual to depend on cigarettes, thereby making it hard for them to stop smoking. As a discipline in the health sector, public health deals more with the prevention of diseases as opposed to the curative aspect of health. In this case, public health creates awareness of the effects of smoking. It also helps affected individuals to change their smoking habits through health education and promotion sessions (Smoking Cessation Health Center, 2008, p.46). Young people are inadequately informed about the adverse effects of smoking and many of them smoke for fun if not out of peer influence. Both governmental and non-governmental agencies are charged with the responsibility of addressing smoking problems of targeted groups. Therefore, there is the need to explore smoking and its health effects as a public health concern.
Smoking not only reduces the life expectancy of individuals but also affects their quality of life. Smokers are likely to lead years of disabling health problems as opposed to non-smokers. The principal risk of smoking may take the following forms of cancer, lung, cancer of the kidney, larynx, esophagus and breast cancer. Health campaigns conducted are geared towards creating awareness of adverse effects of smoking so that they are motivated to quit smoking. To quit smoking may be one of the most difficult things for a smoker but it is very rewarding. Those who quit smoking boost their health and reduce the risks of contracting smoke-related health problems. Smoking causes harm to the smokers and also those around them second-hand smoke. The risk of contracting diseases associated with smoking is directly related to the duration of time an individual continues to smoke and the amount of the smoke inhaled. When smokers quit damages caused to the body tissues are gradually repaired and health changes can be noticed. To realize a smoking-free country government, non-governmental organizations and the entire public need to collaborate so as to help young people quit smoking and stop those contemplating starting smoking (Smoking Cessation Health Center, 2005, Chap. 1-4).
State, nongovernmental organizations and locals are charged with addressing and managing smoking issues in order to minimize its adverse effects on the community. The state may provide funds to conduct health campaigns and to manage affected individuals. It may also put rehabilitation centers and deploy people to work in them, the state may also increase the tax on cigarettes in order to discourage the youths from smoking. It is also charged with responsibility of developing policy to control smoking among youths especially those in school and smoking in public. The state also bans growing of tobacco to ensure that youths do not have easy access to smoking products. Non-governmental organizations conduct health education and promotion campaigns to the public and in learning institutions to discourage create awareness in smoking. They also provide funds to facilitate health campaigns and promote management of the affected individuals. Local especially the opinions are tasked with educating the youths on adverse effects of smoking. They also act as drivers of change. Adults should quit smoking in order to encourage the youth to quit too or not to start smoking at all. Teachers create awareness of drug abuse to students in learning institutions, guidance and counseling are given to affected youths. They are rehabilitated given moral support so that they are taken as social outcasts (Doll & Hill 1954, p.65).
Increased number of youth who were smoking in learning institutions, questionnaires were used to find out the number of youth smoking. The questionnaires contained demographic part to find out the ages, sex, education level and occupations of the youth. It also investigated the factors which compelled many youths to start smoking. Their awareness of adverse effects of smoking on health and their willingness to quit was also investigated using this tool. Analysis of the strength of association between smoking and occurrence of diseases such as lung cancer is also analyzed by the tools used. The tool aided in data collection from the target group, the data was analyzed and interpreted by the use of computer applications in order to rate the evidence from other epidemiologic studies (Petrie, 2005, p.29).
Youths are prone to indulging in drug abuse activities; they are often curious and suffer from peer pressure. They start smoking in order to experiment with what they might have seen others do especially their peers. Most of them are in learning institutions where they meet people from different backgrounds. Some come from homes whereby they are given freedom to indulge in whatever activities including abuse of drugs such as tobacco. Others were raised by parents who abused drugs some of whom are addicts already. When these groups come together they influence the ones who do not smoke to start smoking. Youths are still developing they need jobs in order to get money to meet their needs. Lack of these causes frustrations which may compel them to drug abuse such as smoking. Early uptake of cigarettes is associated with heavy smoking trends later, when an individual starts smoking at an early age they are in most cases unable to quit than those who start at a later age. The smoking behavior of youth is highly influenced by important people in their social environment; they include parents, sibling, parents and their instructors for those in school (Petrie, 2005, p. 91).
A comprehensive and systematic surveillance system based on evidence obtained from the data collected from the target group is applied. The surveillance system is aimed at identifying health indicators that are associated with risk of smoking and intervention measures. Investigation of direct and indirect consequences of the risk factors is also carried out. Youths interviewed and found to be smoking were asked to provide reasons which compelled them to smoke and any health problem they had ever experienced due to smoking. Continuous monitoring and evaluation of the target group to detect early signs of addiction were used. The process involved collection of data to determine the health outcomes of smoking, risk factors and intervention plans. The intervention strategies helped the youths to quit smoking and encouraged those who had not started smoking not to start. Activities included health education and promotion which created awareness of adverse health effects associated with smoking. Addicted individual who found it difficult to quit is encouraged to join a rehabilitation center. Issues identified in the data collection tool to have been the great contributor to smoking by the youth are addressed. For instance, if it is due to depression better ways of resolving the problem are provided to the youths. These young people are closely monitored to check whether there are positive changes ( Choi 2000, p. 21).
Epidemiological tools are used to illustrate the health situation of the target group and determine health promotion needs to be required to help the specific group. The tools present scientific basis for determining health determinants, distribution of risk of smoking in the community and scope of health education and promotion in addressing adverse health affecting the youths in the community. They assess health promotion needs to be required in determining the extent of smoking effects in the community that is the seriousness and possibility of prevention and control. They analyze the association of smoking with conditions such as lung cancer and heart diseases associated with smoking which is referred to as strength in epidemiological terms. The consistency of effects of health effects observed by different people and specificity of causation is also analyzed by these epidemiological tools. The epidemiological data may be obtained from already existing sources or collected directly from the clients using data collection tools such as questionnaires. Existing data may be obtained from hospital statistics, records of persons diagnosed with smoke-related health conditions. Another source is the national population health surveys, research conducted by the state on smoking of youths. The tools consist of health indicators, risk indicators and intervention indicators. For instance lung cancer is a health indicator whose risk factor may be tobacco use by smoking. The intervention measure to prevent and control adverse health effects may include health education and promotion programs for the youths (Choi 2000, p. 23).
Health campaigns aimed at sensitizing people to be in charge of their health through the creation of awareness of adverse health effects that are caused by their behaviors. The state, non-governmental organizations and locals are tasked with the responsibilities of providing health intervention measures to the community. This can be done through conduction of health campaigns against the identified risk factors predisposing the community to certain health problems. For instance smoking causes diseases such as lung cancer. Cigarette smoking is harmful to health; smoking is associated with lung cancer, emphysema and heart diseases. Smokers are at a high risk of suffering from the above-named health conditions as opposed to non-smokers. An increased number of youths indulges in smoking behavior out of curiosity and desires to experiment with what they may have seen from media or other important people such as their parents. Peer pressure also compels youth to start smoking, most fear being left out or being considered primitive by their fellow peers. Appropriate epidemiological tools are used to investigate public health issues by finding out the health indicators, risks factors and intervention measures. This is meant to help the affected individual such as smokers to quit the behavior and also discourage non-smokers from starting the smoking behavior.
Choi, C. K. 2000. Perspectives on Epidemiologic Surveillance in the 21st Century. Web.
Doll, R., Hill, A.B. (1954). ‘The mortality of doctors in relation to their smoking habits: a preliminary report. Web.
Petrie, G. (2005). Smoking – health risks. Web.
Smoking Cessation Health Center. (2008) Smoking Cessation. Web.