Term Paper: Risk Factor Prevention

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Risk Factor Prevention

Risk factor and population

The risk factor addressed in this paper is the use of Tobacco. Tobacco is a plant with a substance called nicotine tartrate. Tobacco can be chewed, smoked and snuffed. Tobacco is associated with the onset of the most heart and lung diseases such as heart attacks, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, mouth and larynx cancer among others. Tobacco being a health risk is propagated by its addictive substance nicotine (Derek Yach, 2000).

Current statistics in Cleveland indicate that the teenagers aged between 14-18 are more at risk of tobacco use and most of them are nicotine dependent especially those of minority groups (native Americans represented by 4% of the population, the blacks also at 4% and the Hispanic at 4% of the Cleveland population) (CDC, 2000).

Scope of the Problem and Contributing Factors

In 2010, the statistics in Cleveland, Oklahoma and the entire United States shows that, in Cleveland 27% of the people is consuming tobacco, 20% of Oklahomans use tobacco while, 17% of the populations in the entire United States use tobacco. From the statistics, the Cleveland County has a higher incidence of tobacco use than in either Oklahoma state or the entire United States. This may be as a result of less strict policies which have made the commodity cheaper and more accessible than in other states (Oklahoma State Department of Health, 2010)

Within the previous 10 years, there has been a steady decline of the prevalence of tobacco use. In 2005 and 2006, Cleveland had a high incidence of tobacco use by 32% and 31.5% of the population respectively, this was found to be higher as compared to the incidence of tobacco use at the state level (Oklahoma), which stood at 21% and 22.4% of the entire state population respectively. While, tobacco smokers in the whole of United States of America stood at 20.9% and 26.5% of the entire population respectively.

Among the teenagers, statistics between the years 1999 to 2007 indicate that, in 1999, the percentage of teenage smokers in Oklahoma was 35% as compared to 28% in the entire United States. While, in 2007, the percentage of teenage smokers within Oklahoma reduced to 25% while in the entire United States it reduces by a smaller margin to 23%. This drop is attributed to the high prices imposed on the cigarettes, its decrease in promotion together with, more health education among the school going children (Oklahoma State Department of Health, 2010).

Contributing factors

The teenagers are nowadays more at risk because of the change in technology and the peer pressure among them. With the current technology, students are exposed advertisement and materials such as magazines, newspapers and the internet, which portrays smoking to be the current trend, hence misleading them (Colby, 2000). Teenagers in the world today are more driven be what their friends do or by what those who they relate to do. Due to this peer pressure, they are exposed to early consumption of alcohol and other drugs including cigarettes. Other reasons include; teenagers perception of them not being prone to illnesses arising from tobacco consumption, increase in stress levels, curiosity, while other do for rebellious reasons.

There are those health determinants / factors that facilitate the incidence of a tobacco use within Cleveland County. The key determinants include socioeconomic status, access to care and insurance policy. While, other determinants are; age, sex, race, education and risky health behavior among people.

Socioeconomic status is a serious health determinant because it is inversely linked to the morbidity and mortality of tobacco related diseases. Some of the people in Cleveland who live below the poverty level are more prone to use and contacting of tobacco associated diseases. This is because acquiring of diseases associated with tobacco consumption is mostly contributed by their living condition and lifestyle, i.e. poor housing, inadequate sanitation, malnutrition and hazardous occupation. All these makes the poor more prone to diseases linked to tobacco use than any other social class. Other cumulative characteristics, that makes the poor more prone to tobacco related diseases include, low level of education, low occupation status, low wages and high unemployment rate. All these contribute towards their tobacco use acquiring of tobacco related diseases (Stanhope, 2010).

Access to healthcare is also a significant determinant to use and acquiring of tobacco related diseases. The main reason towards the delay, difficulty or failure to access of health care include, expensive nature of health services, hence, inability to afford and a number of insurance related reasons such as the physicians refusal to accept their insurance plan, the client's preexisting condition, and the insurer not approving to issue the cover or even pay for the care.

The level of uninsured people is on the rise hence affecting the utilization of tobacco related diseases. The survey done in 2008, indicate the number of people in U.S. who were not insured rose to 47 million (Stanhope, 2010). This is contributed by the fact that many workers are not insured because of, having low paying jobs, temporary or part time jobs or jobs at small businesses.

For example, Medicaid insurance which is intended to improve access to healthcare for the poor is quite underutilized. While most of the Americans with Medicaid insurance, very few of them can still access the necessary health care services such as prescription of drugs, dental care, surgery and eyeglasses. Other hindrances in Cleveland that contribute to the poor's inability to access health care include, distance to the hospital, lack of time or information, communication problem, and community characteristics which include, the prevalence of people consuming tobacco cause overstretching of the facility, wealth and size of the community (Stanhope, 2010). Rationing of health care has also led to reduced quality of services and access to health care. This is shown by the healthcare providers' refusal to accept Medicaid clients especially those in need of essential services.

Age and sex are other vital health determinants; teenagers are more prone to tobacco use. Most of the initial consumption which will determine whether a person will be addicted to it or not starts from his/her teenage years, therefore, the teenage years are the most significant years as far as tobacco use are concerned. On the other hand, male beings are more prone to tobacco use than the female species; hence, determining the prevalence of tobacco related diseases among males than women. Government policies existing in a Cleveland country also determines the use of tobacco. When the government has relaxed its policies through its taxes and legislation, it promotes acquiring and use of tobacco and its related products.

In the past 30 years, the social economic conditions of people have significantly changed, the population has vastly increased. This increase in population has its impacts to the health of the population. Some of its impacts include, health centers being overstretched to meet the high demands and lack of parents guidance to children due to the harsh economic times.

Also, there are notable changes in biological and genetic composition of the present population; this is seen by the presence of more life limiting diseases which are nowadays affecting the younger generation. For example cancer and heart cases has been on the rise with most cases being found on young people, this is because their genetic patterns are changing hence rendering them more prone to these major illnesses.

Targeted Goals

The goal is to reduce disability, illnesses and death associated with tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke. Some of the objective of healthy people 2020 are, to reduce tobacco use among the adolescence, to reduce the proportion of adolescent and young adults of grade 6-12 who are exposed to tobacco advertising and promotion, to reduce the illegal sales rate to minors through enforcement of laws prohibiting the sales of tobacco products to minors and lastly, to increase tobacco free zones In schools including all school facilities, property, vehicles and events (Myers, 2000).

Tobacco use among the teenagers may be reduced by providing more health education to the teenagers on the effects of consumption of tobacco. Also, by prohibiting advertising of tobacco use in television, internet, magazines, etc. can considerably contribute towards a decline of new tobacco use cases. By putting measures to have tobacco free zones in schools will enable more students not to be influences or even come into contact with tobacco, which might lead to their addiction and eventual onset of tobacco related diseases.

The local authority in Cleveland county has tried to enforce these intervention strategies to reduce tobacco use among teenagers such as encouragement of health education in schools, enacting a law that prevents sales of tobacco to minors, also having tobacco free zones to avoid initiation of smoking behavior among children and also to reduce the incidence of diseases caused by second hand smoke.

Intervention

Intervention strategies are divided into clinical and community interventions. Both in Cleveland and Oklahoma State, similar interventions have been put in place to avoid teenage initiation of tobacco use,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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