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Chesapeake: Community Health Report Essay

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Updated: Aug 5th, 2021

Hazards

The main hazard causing an increased rate of cardiovascular diseases in Chesapeake is carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning due to tobacco smoking. The toxic chemicals in cigarettes significantly reduce blood oxygen capacity due to the CO. Smoking is recognized as one of the leading causes of health loss and premature mortality in the world. This disappointing pattern applies to both economically developed countries and developing countries. However, despite this, the attitude of modern society to smoking is not as straightforward as it may seem at first glance. With the widespread understanding of the harm to health, the prevalence of smoking in a single state is a complex problem. It largely depends on the socio-economic relations that have developed between the country and the tobacco industry.

Consideration of the problem in this perspective is characteristic, first of all, for developed democratic institutions. The tobacco industry is often an integral part of society, representing a large employer, taxpayer, directly funding key humanitarian projects. A similar situation is observed in several economically developed towns, such as Chesapeake, most of which have recently seen a tendency towards a significant limitation of social partnership with tobacco producers (Mourre & Gurviez, 2015). In Chesapeake, as well as other states that are in a transitional period of their development, due to natural political and socio-economic processes, the country has developed a tolerant attitude to the production and distribution of tobacco products. It was one of the most important conditions for unlimited smoking among the population. The problem of the socio-demographic consequences of tobacco use in these states is most acute, and there is a tendency to further deterioration. A similar situation is observed in developing counties, in which the peak of death due to smoking can be seen.

Researched diseases and Environmental factors

Because smoking is the leading problem of modern health care, the role of tobacco consumption in the occurrence of various diseases is best studied. Researched conditions of smoking are cancer of the lip, lung, pancreas, and bladder, coronary heart disease, right ventricular failure, aortic aneurysm, peripheral vascular disease, and chronic nonspecific lung diseases (Bakhshaie, Zvolensky, Salazar, Vujanovic, & Schmidt, 2016). The contribution of smoking to these nine causes of death accounts for 14–17% of all deaths (Aune, Schlesinger, Norat, & Riboli, 2019). In addition, in the occurrence of several diseases, tobacco use plays either an independent role or acts in combination with other factors. Such disorders include cancer of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, hypertension, cerebral thrombosis, atherosclerosis, and possibly liver and cervical cancer (Aune et al., 2019). To make society aware of the seriousness of the problem associated with tobacco use, and to direct its efforts towards its solution, it is necessary to understand the social and economic consequences of smoking clearly.

These diseases are caused by tobacco smoking, which is a primary environmental factor. Additional risks for heart failure can be a cardiovascular disturbance, accompanied by an increased risk of emboli, such as severe rhythm disturbances, defects, and prosthetic heart valves, atrial septal defect, myocardial infarction, and cardiomyopathy (Bakhshaie et al., 2016). Risk factors can be divided into modifiable and non-modifiable ones. Non-modifiable risk factors include age, gender, and genetic susceptibility to cerebrovascular diseases (Aune et al., 2019). The incidence of stroke increases with age, in men, stroke develops more often than in women. Smoking is included in the structure of modifiable risk factors, which also include high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, non-infestation of the oval window, acute myocardial infarction, aortic stenosis, prosthetic heart valves, left ventricular hypokinetic cardiomyopathy (Aune et al., 2019). The combination of overweight and physical inactivity is often an underestimated risk factor that contributes to the occurrence of hypertension and diabetes.

Carbon monoxide is an additional environmental factor causing increasing rates of smoking-related diseases. Migraine with thick blood is a significant risk factor influencing the chance of heart failure; thus, it leads to the pathogenesis of increased risk of ischemic stroke during smoking (Bakhshaie et al., 2016). The effect of smoking on the development of heart failure has not been finally clarified. It is probably multifactorial and is primarily associated with the stimulation of atherosclerosis. In modern studies, smoking is regarded as a mediated environmental factor, which causes several diseases and increases the risk of heart failure.

Potential sources of the hazards and Mitigation

The smoking problem in Chesapeake is mainly caused by weak local anti-smoking campaigns, which can be considered as a potential source of the given issue. Tobacco marketing has a strong influence on the consumption of tobacco products, especially the formation of habits among people. Due to the advertising of tobacco products, a tolerant attitude towards smoking is formed in society, thereby weakening the positive effect of tobacco control efforts.

Moreover, when analyzing the documents of tobacco companies, it becomes obvious that the main target audience is young people and teenagers (Mourre & Gurviez, 2015). Thus, a partial ban leaves enough room for maneuver, because the ways to promote tobacco products are extremely diverse. They include not only the types of advertisements mentioned in the law, but also ads that are made in places of direct sales, on the Internet, in windows, and signboards (Chen, Yeh, Tang, & Yu, 2015). These marketing techniques are carried out as sponsorship of events popular with young people, such as festivals, sports competitions, in the form of distribution of free samples, brand stretching for other products. Numerous studies show that to be effective, bans must be complete and apply to all categories of marketing and sales promotion (Mourre & Gurviez, 2015). If a partial ban on advertising is introduced, as in Chesapeake, the tobacco industry always redirects funds to other types of marketing (Mourre & Gurviez, 2015). In addition, despite the direct ban on advertising in magazines for teens, nothing prevents tobacco companies from successfully placing ads in magazines with a significant proportion of teenage readers.

The main approach to mitigate the given issue is to persuasive an anti-smoking campaign in Chesapeake. Analyzing the effectiveness of anti-tobacco campaigns is difficult since the procedure depends on how they are organized. Funds can be spent ineptly, and then the effect at best will be invisible. Health care organizations warn that the tobacco industry sometimes creates its anti-tobacco advertising aimed at preventing smoking among people (Yoo & Jin, 2018). However, these efforts do little to reduce smoking and may even lead to an increase in its distribution. It is also known that, despite political popularity and public support, anti-tobacco programs aimed at children as part of school lessons do not have a significant impact on young people (Chen et al., 2015). Moreover, the concentration of anti-tobacco education on children can be detrimental to a holistic approach aimed at the entire population and having more visible long-term results. It is important to note that anti-tobacco programs are usually expensive, but there are opportunities for cost reduction (Mourre & Gurviez, 2015). One of the ways is by adapting existing commercials, posters, and other materials to the specifics of a particular state, and the other is by getting free or low-cost air on television and radio.

Environmental health risks, Health, and Comparison with other cities

The major environmental health risk in my neighborhood in Chesapeake is an increased rate of heart diseases, which are directly caused by CO intoxication due to smoking. In addition, tobacco consumption leads to significant air pollution, which affects non-smokers. Data from Chesapeake shows that citizens of the given town suffer from cardiovascular diseases more often than the average heart disease rate of the state of Virginia (Chesapeake Regional Medical Center, 2015). In other words, it means that unhealthy smoking habit is prevalent among the Chesapeake community, which is in direct correlation with cardiovascular problems.

Overall, health statistics in the given location are equal to national average values, except for cardiovascular problems. The local government attempts to designate a specific place for smoking people to minimize the exposure of non-smokers to tobacco smoke (Chesapeake Regional Medical Center, 2015). The popularity of a healthy lifestyle is also increasing, which means that young people are becoming more cautious and responsible for their health. Therefore, it is a healthy place to live due to the gradual improvements taking place.

Chesapeake is a small town with a slightly below-average income than national values. However, in comparison with South Hampton Roads, which has a population of more than a million, Chesapeake shows higher occurrences of heart diseases (Chesapeake Regional Medical Center, 2015). The main cause is the presence of a highly efficient anti-smoking campaign in South Hampton Roads.

Current regulations and Suggested actions

The current policies and regulations of the Chesapeake regarding the anti-tobacco campaign should control the existing hazards of smoking. Individual entrepreneurs, legal entities, in the ownership or economic management of which the objects are located, are required to allocate special smoking areas at these facilities, equipped with appropriate exhaust and ventilation systems (Oh, Ahn, & Lim, 2019). Medical and educational institutions are encouraged to disseminate and promote effective methods of smoking cessation, to conduct among the population, especially among adolescents and young people, smoking parents and pregnant women, active explanatory work about the dangers of smoking for health.

Several strict measures to combat tobacco smoking were taken by the executive authorities in various regions of the republic. It was forbidden to smoke in health care organizations, education, workplaces, hotels, railway, and bus stations (Yoo & Jin, 2018). In institutions, enterprises, hotels, bars, and restaurants, special equipment was placed in smoking areas equipped with exhaust and ventilation systems (Chen et al., 2015). These measures create certain inconveniences for smokers who are forced to follow the rules of smoking in public places and use special areas for smoking, which certainly affects the regularity of tobacco use. However, these actions did not significantly reduce the number of smokers (Yoo & Jin, 2018). Due to the strengthening of state control over the production, turnover, and consumption of tobacco products in the country has practically disappeared. Trade-in tobacco products are carried out by state and private stores that have a state license.

I believe that strengthening the current regulations regarding the anti-tobacco campaign can be the next step in preventing smoking-related diseases. Reducing the consumption of tobacco products by the population depends on the effectiveness of measures to prevent and combat smoking, which is used by state institutions of public health, education, culture, civic organizations, and voluntary societies (Oh et al., 2019). These measures can be divided into three basic groups, where the first group includes informational, educational as well as social, and preventive actions (Oh et al., 2019). The most important goal is to disseminate comprehensive health information to the population and to form a negative attitude toward smoking. Information and educational measures are aimed at preventing tobacco consumption by informing the public about the dangers of tobacco consumption and its health consequences.

The main aim of educational measures is to form a negative public opinion and attitude to smoking among the population. They are widely used by social workers, teachers, medical personnel in practical work with adolescents, minors, and young people in explaining the dangers of smoking and its consequences for health (Oh et al., 2019). The second group consists of medical and rehabilitation measures that are directly related to the prevention and treatment of patients for various diseases associated with the abuse of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco (Chen et al., 2015). Their goal is to provide medical care to patients who want to get rid of various kinds of addictions and return to a healthy lifestyle. The third group includes administrative measures, which are designed to control the production and sale of alcohol and tobacco products, restrict their access to minors (Oh et al., 2019). They also provide for the administrative and criminal liability of persons who smuggle and distribute tobacco products. Administrative and penal measures are applied to persons who violate the current rules for trade in tobacco products and smoking in public places.

When developing strategic directions for combating smoking, it is necessary to take into account a combination of objective and subjective factors that influence the spread of smoking among the population. The objective factors include social status, financial status, level of education, social conditions, and environment (Oh et al., 2019). These components have a strong influence on the worldview, cultural and spiritual, and moral values, social orientations, and lifestyle of people. It is based on the subjective attitude of people towards the most important values ​​in life, such as health, work, family, friends, and people around (Chen et al., 2015). Most people begin to smoke in their teens or youth when they have not yet developed a rational attitude to their health.

An important object of preventive smoking prevention activities should be parents whose children smoke or have other bad habits. Representatives of the administration of educational institutions, teachers, social workers in the community should work with parents (Chen et al., 2015). Important forms of work with parents are inviting parents to school for an individual conversation, family visits to meet parents and adolescent living conditions, encouraging parents to a meeting, and call them to the reception of the educational council.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is important to note that Chesapeake is undergoing gradual improvements regarding health. However, the problem of smoking and tobacco-related diseases persists in the given location. The hazards of CO poisoning and cardiovascular issues are caused by widespread cigarette consumption. It is due to the lack of an effective anti-smoking campaign, which should be developed by local authorities. It can serve as a major mitigation tool and result in a significant decrease in tobacco use, which will reduce the occurrence rates of cardiovascular diseases.

References

Aune, D., Schlesinger, S., Norat, T., & Riboli, E. (2019). Tobacco smoking and the risk of heart failure: A systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, 26(3), 279-288.

Bakhshaie, J., Zvolensky, M. J., Salazar, A., Vujanovic, A. A., & Schmidt, N. B. (2016). Anxiety sensitivity and smoking behavior among trauma-exposed daily smokers: The explanatory role of smoking-related avoidance and inflexibility. Behavior Modification, 40(1), 218-238.

Chen, C. J., Yeh, M. C., Tang, F. I., & Yu, S. (2015). The smoking outcome expectation scale and anti-smoking self-efficacy scale for early adolescents: Instrument development and validation. The Journal of School Nursing, 31(5), 363-373.

Chesapeake Regional Medical Center. (2015). Web.

Mourre, M. L., & Gurviez, P. (2015). A proposed integrated model of resistance to anti-smoking messages. Recherche et Applications En Marketing, 30(3), 33-60.

Oh, J., Ahn, J., & Lim, H. S. (2019). Interactivity as a double-edged sword: Parsing out the effects of modality interactivity on anti-smoking message processing and persuasion. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 1(1), 3-9.

Yoo, J., & Jin, Y. (2018). Comparative impact of fear appeals and induced hypocrisy advertising in encouraging intent to quit smoking: Applying self-construal theory to consumers’ attitudes. Global Health Promotion, 1(1), 2-8.

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