PRELIMINARY NEEDS ASSESSMENT
Dr. Chanadra Young-Whiting
PRELIMINARY NEEDS ASSESSMENT
Specific HP 2010 objective: Tobacco Use
Targeted behavior: Increase the awareness of the dangers related to tobacco use and provision of education and facts and figures to the people to decrease the use of this drug in the future.
Specific target population: Individuals over 18 years old.
Purpose of Needs Assessment
Tobacco is a plant that is highly valued for its leaves. These leaves, known as tobacco leaves, are used for making drugs, the most common of which is the tobacco cigarettes (ODPHP, 2020). These death packs contain small bundles of dried-up tobacco leaves, which, when burned, are used by the smokers to satisfy their needs. It includes many harmful chemicals like nicotine that have a negative effect on the human body and can result in a lot of fatal diseases like cancer.
The use of tobacco has been a part of almost every society on earth for more than a century. This nicotine-packed drug is consumed by millions of people daily, and sadly, with each passing day, the number of its users is also increasing. It can arguably be said that this drug has claimed more lives than any other drug available in the streets, and there is no practical way found, until now, that can stop the masses from continuing its use.
This assignment aims to get an inside look as to the causes of tobacco use, how it affects the human body, and the steps that can be taken to prevent the users from using it in the future.
There are many ways through which the use of this poison can be minimized, but because of its excessive use and presumably minimal harmful effect, combined with the high demand and cheap pricing, most of these ways never go mainstream (Antigona C. Trofor, 2018). Those who do make it to the top of the surface have little to no effect on the masses because of not being taken severely by those who can make a difference.
In just the last five to six years, approximately 20 million Americans have died due to reasons which were directly related to smoking. From this, it is not hard to imagine the sheer size and number of people worldwide who die from this seemingly ordinary drug yearly. And millions more fall victim to these drugs every year, which results in various crimes, among many other undesirable things. This assessment is critical in order to raise awareness about the seriousness of this issue and save lives in the future.
Health Risks of Tobacco Use
There are a lot of risks associated with the use of the potentially lethal drug. The most common of all is lung cancer. One of the significant downsides of this drug is that it slowly affects the consumer’s body from the inside. There are no immediate side effects right away, but after the continuous use of this drug, the consumer’s body is slowly poisoned from inside. In the worst-case scenario, the subject’s lungs or the consumer, when examined, are jet black. This results from the deposition of tar, which can be considered a by-product of this drug.
Another downside of this drug is that the soothing effect lasts for a concise amount of time. After which, the user has to take another dose, or another cigarette, in this case, to keep the brain stimulated. Another health risk of tobacco use includes:
· Other types of cancer including kidney, liver, bladder, stomach, acute myeloid leukemia, etc.
· Stroke as well as heart diseases
· Various lung diseases including chronic airway obstruction, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, etc.
· Various reproductive effects are incredibly harmful, including congenital disabilities like cleft-lip and cleft palate, ectopic pregnancy, low birth weight, reduced fertility in women, etc.
· Other harmful effects like age-related macular degeneration, impaired immune function, type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.
From all this, it should be pretty clear that this drug is extremely harmful and fatal for the human body and can result in some severe diseases in the long and short run.
Incidence and Prevalence Rates of the Health Risks
It is no secret that a lot of people all around the globe use tobacco in one way or another. Some use it in the cigarettes that are available almost everywhere at a too cheap rate, while others consume it in cigars, which are much expensive and out of the majority’s reach. But whatever the case may be, almost every single person on this planet has seen tobacco use and smelled this drug, directly or indirectly, at least once in his or her lifetime. And the eye-opening fact is that almost everyone also knows how deadly this drug can be to the human body.
According to a survey, the largest cause of death, preventable within the United States of America, is Tobacco use. 480,000 American lives are lost yearly because of issues related to the use of tobacco. On top of that, an eye-opening 16 million people within the US’s borders alone suffer from at least one disease caused by smoking alone. It costs Americans a whopping 300 billion dollars annually for the treatment of smoking-related illnesses alone. These numbers are the direct proof of how this poisonous substance is hollowing American lives from inside.
What is even more astonishing is that these are stats of the so-called reported cases directly related to tobacco use. Millions of cases, mostly those of homeless people, are never written and are never treated. These staggering stats will rise even more if such cases are a lot taken into account.
Minimizing the risk
There are a lot of things that can be done to minimize the risk. The first thing that can be done, in fact, is crucial, is the recognition that this drug is no less harmful than other drugs like cocaine. There are a lot of people all around the globe who know this fact but still turn a blind eye to it, mainly because of the reason that smoking does not have any immediate harmful effects on the human body. Only when this particular fact is recognized can there be efforts to reduce its consumption.
One of the main things that can be done to stop the rapid increase of tobacco use is to limit its supply and implement huge taxes on the respective industries. The main reason why there is so much use of this particular drug is that it is readily available and cheap. Just a few cents can let anyone have a cigarette, and before he or she knows it, the respective person will fall victim to the addiction. Reducing the supply and increasing the prices will prevent a significant chunk of the population from getting their hands on this poison.
Another thing that can be done is introducing new substitutes of the cigarettes to a non-harmful medication in the public so that the current users can switch to it and eventually be able to get free from this addiction (CSIMPP, July 20, 2016). There are items like these available in the market, but they are either so expensive that it is out of the reach of a poor person or not well advertised. The government should play its role in ensuring that such items should reach the masses at a price that can easily be afforded by anyone who wishes to buy it.
Finally, it is also imperative that the notable personalities in a given country come forward and raise their voices to stop the usage of this drug. Nowadays, there is more advertisement for having a cigarette than commercials or banners criticizing the use of this lethal drug. If that is turned upside down and the use of this drug is attacked, this problem can be dealt with in a relatively easier manner than what it seems like at first glance.
Evidence-Based- Literature Review
According to the center for disease control and prevention, for every person who has died as a cause of smoking, an additional thirty people are forced to live with illnesses directly related to smoking (Centre of disease control and prevention, 2020). If things go on like this, by 2030, almost eight million people will die from smoking every year. That is more than the drug trafficking and murder related deaths combined. Apart from that, those who are passive smokers are also affected by this poison. Approximately 41,000 people die due to passive smoking yearly as well.
Other shocking facts include that those who smoke have a life span of 10 years less than those who do not smoke tobacco. If everything goes as it is going now, then it is estimated that 5.6 million teens today will die of smoking-related diseases somewhere down the road. This represents one in every 13 teens that are alive today. Shockingly some of these teens have already started to smoke this lethal drug even before they have turned 18.
From the facts and figures mentioned above, it is clear that this drug is destroying every age group of this country, and it is happening at a fast pace. The diseases related to smoking are hazardous and fatal, and the patients do not die a peaceful death.
From all this, it should be clear that now is the time to take some serious steps to prevent the further spreading of the use of this drug. There will be disastrous effects if things get out of hand. It is the responsibility of every person to stay away from this poison and try to save the lives of those who are being rotten alive from inside because of this drug’s use.
References Antigona C. Trofor. (2018). Knowledge of the health risks of smoking and impact of cigarette warning labels among tobacco users in six European countries: Findings from the EUREST-PLUS ITC Europe Surveys. Retrieved from http://www.tobaccoinduceddiseases.org/Knowledge-of-the-health-risks-of-smoking-and-impact-of-ncigarette-warning-labels,99542,0,2.html Centre of disease control and prevention. (2020). Smoking leads to disease and disability and harms nearly every organ of the body. Retrieved from cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fast_facts/index.htm#:~:text=Cigarette%20smoking%20is%20responsible%20for,or%201%2C300%20deaths%20every%20day.&text=On%20average%2C%20smokers%20die%2010%20years%20earlier%20than%20nonsmokers. CSIMPP. (July 20, 2016). Health Effects of Tobacco Secondhand Smoke: focus on Children Health A Review of the Evidence and Self-Assessment. Retrieved from https://www.wma.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/SHS-WMA-rev2.pdf ODPHP. (2020). Tobacco Use. Retrieved from https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/tobacco-use
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