Tobacco Abuse in Poland from the 1970s to the 1990s
In the 1980s, in Poland, the problem of severe tobacco abuse occurred. The rates were extremely high, and the country occupied the first place in the world in terms of smoking. Approximately 70% of men and 30% of women aged from 20 to 60 smoked every day. Not surprisingly, the mortality rates from lung cancer significantly increased then. The main reason for this was the intensive production of tobacco by the Polish government. This industry was extremely profitable; therefore, the government tried to suppress any attempt to increase public awareness about the pernicious influence of tobacco on the human organism. At the beginning of the 1980s, a bill regarding tobacco control was introduced (Levine, 2007). However, it was soon rejected, as the Polish government considered it as a threat to their revenue.
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At the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s, many political, economic, and social changes occurred in the country. After the collapse of Communism, the first industry that was privatized was tobacco (“Global health,” 2017). Thus, in order to maintain the status, tobacco industry became one of the main industries in the country, which aggravated the situation with smoking even more. However, at the early 1990s, the first anti-tobacco movement appeared (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2016). Such movements managed to increase public awareness regarding the negative effects of smoking. Additionally, the advocacy of these movements for a healthy lifestyle without smoking resulted in the introduction of several policies restricting the distribution and the consumption of tobacco (Levine, 2007). As a result, in 1995, the Polish government approved a major tobacco-control legislation, which led to a rapid decrease of tobacco use and production in the country.
Handling Cultural Bias
In general, everybody has cultural biases to a certain extent. Certainly, some people can deny it. However, I think that they experience these biases deep inside but simply try to suppress or ignore them. It is natural to have such biases, especially when a person meets another person but with a different cultural background and for the first time (Dayer-Berenson, 2013). As for me, in my practice, I experienced many situations in which I had to communicate with people from other cultures. At first, I feel not very comfortable, but this feeling usually disappears with time. Remarkably, the more I communicate with a particular person, the more I get accustomed to his or her culture and completely forget about my biases.
Certainly, my attitude, as well as that of the overwhelming majority of people, towards different cultures is also different. The main reason for this is the stereotypes. Therefore, when we first meet a person from another culture, the first criterion which determines our judgment of that person is the stereotypes peculiar to this person’s culture. However, after communicating with this person that first impression based on the stereotypes, in most cases, changes. Generally, stereotypes occur when people learn some information about another culture and begin applying it to the whole nation. Of course, learning about other cultures is not bad; on the contrary, it helps understand other people better and unite different cultures (Dayer-Berenson, 2013). However, people must not judge the whole nation by a couple of its representative.
In terms of my practice, I feel that the influence of cultural knowledge changes the way I interact with people, and, most importantly, for the better. In addition, I am sure that everybody must be culturally educated in order to effectively communicate with people from other cultures, which is crucial in the contemporary globalized world. Overall, I can definitely say that the more my cultural knowledge is developed, the less culturally biased I become.
Dayer-Berenson, L. (2013). Cultural competencies for nurses. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
Global health. (2017). Web.
Levine, R. (2007). Case studies in global health: Millions saved. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett.
Stanhope, M., & Lancaster, J. (2016). Public health nursing: Population-centered health care in the community (9th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.