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Analysis of Specific Health Needs of Merseyside Introduction Merseyside, a metropolitan county, is located in the North West England. The population of the county is 1,365,900 as of 2009 statistics (Worldfacts.org). It comprises of 5 metropolitan boroughs, city of Liverpool, St…
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Download file to see previous pages Of concern specially is smoking among adolescents which can contribute to several health problems and birth defects in babies born to pregnant women who smoke. Thus, the community selected for critical analysis of health needs in this essay is adolescent smokers. The extent of problem and the impact and effectiveness of public health in the primary care setting with reference to this community will be discussed through review of suitable literature. The Community According to the 2009 statistics, 29 percent of pupils have tried smoking atleast once and the prevalence of smoking in young people was 6 percent. Though this proportion is the lowest since the time the survey began in 1982, it continues to be a significant problem for both health authorities and public. The prevalence of smoking between 11-15 years old has been estimated to be 6 percent. The prevalence is more among girls (7 percent) when compared to boys (5 percent). Another important finding of the survey is that the prevalence of smoking increases with age. At 11 years of age, the prevalence is 0.5 percent and at 15 years of age it is 15 percent. Ethnicity has an influence on the prevalence. It is more common in White pupils when compared to Black of Mixed ethnicity pupils. It is also more prevalent in pupils coming from lower socioeconomic strata (Smith et al, 2009). According to the Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use survey of 2006 (NHS, 2007), nine percent of pupils in England are regular smokers and a further 5 percent are occasional smokers. The survey defined regular smokers as those smoking atleast one cigarette per week and occasional smokers as those smoking less than one cigarette a week. Pupils who smoked regularly smoked an average of 6 cigarettes a day, approximately 43.5 cigarettes a week. 74 percent of the regular smokers smoked cigarettes from a packet and 6 percent smoked from rolled tobaccos. Girls were more likely to smoke from a packet (NHS, 2007). Regular smoking in this age group has been associated with drug abuse, alcohol intake and truancy and school exclusion. The dependence of smoking by children is mainly related to the time they spend as regular smoker. Those who have smoked for more than a year as regular smokers have reported that they find it difficult to not smoke each day. However, more than 50 percent opined that they knew the ill effects of smoking and thus would like to give up. Most pupils knew that smoking caused lung cancer. But two-thirds of them reported that they felt relaxed because of smoking. Thus, the immediate benefits of smoking outweighed the future potential hazards of smoking. According to the survey, majority of pupils were aware of the fact that their families had negative attitude towards smoking. One third of the pupils who smoked did so secretly and occasional smokers were more likely to be secret smokers. Also, households of pupils who smoked were more lenient that those who did not smoke (NHS, 2007). Since most adult smokers begin smoking at young age, it is every important to ascertain and understand the causes of smoking in young children so that predictors of smoking can be evaluated and targeted for prevention. Several risk factors have been studied in this regard. According to the Liverpool Longitudinal Smoking Study (Smith et al, 2009), deprivation at both school and home was strongly associated with smoking among adolescents. The trial of smoking is influenced by several school-related environmental factors ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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