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UK Smoking Cessation - Essay Example

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Tobacco use is the main cause of preventable and premature deaths on human history. The widespread consumption of tobacco cuts across national boundaries, cultures, societies, and socio economic strata. …
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UK Smoking Cessation
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SMOKING CESSATION Tobacco use is the main cause of preventable and premature deaths on human history. The widespread consumption of tobacco cuts across national boundaries, cultures, societies, and socio economic strata. It is found that ingredients in cigarettes affect every thing from internal functioning of organs to the efficiency of the body’s immune system. Tobacco contains over 4000 chemicals, of which over 60 are known carcinogenic substances. (Martin, Terry. 2006). International Organizations and Government bodies are now geared up to fight this human habit oriented health menace that is capable of gnawing at every organ of the body. In U.K a new tobacco policy, announced in December 1998 in a White Paper titled ‘Smoking Kills’, emphasises the need for sustained health promotion strategies to reduce smoking prevalence. Recognising the negative impact it can cause on human life, smoking cessation activities have gained momentum and there is significant progress in harnessing the phenomena.
Cigarette smoking forms a part of social custom in many societies, thus the challenge posed by tobacco is different from all other health threats because of its roots into our culture. Young and old, even pregnant women, are habitually addicted to tobacco to a proportion that sucks them into the vortex of death. Surveys reveal that hundreds of thousands around the world die from diseases caused by smoking. Tobacco contains tar, carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, free radicals, and metals, radioactive compounds etc, which affect the entire body. The habit of smoking acts as a catalyst in causing emphysema, arteriosclerosis, and macular degeneration. It can also weaken the immune system. Women who smoke regularly run the risk of premature wrinkling of skin, gum diseases, reduced fertility, irregular menstrual cycle, risk of cancer, heart attack, etc. Unborn babies of smoking women face several risks like stillbirth, premature birth, low birth weight, and at increased risk for heart disease, blood pressure, diabetes, etc.
As the situation is taking a perilous turn, the National Health authority in UK is all set to tackle it. As early as in 1998 a white paper was tabled, which places smoking-related deaths to 120,000. (Raw, McNeill, and West. 1998). As part of its attempt to evolve an effective tackling, the policy approach included a blanket ban on all tobacco advertising, steep increase of tax for tobacco products, organizing of anti-smoking campaign through mass media, statutory warning on cigarette packs, specialist smoking cessation services, provision of smoking cessation pharmaceuticals through National Health Services, and new workplace smoking legislation. The government also has earmarked liberal funds to provide cessation services for reaching out to willing smokers who want to quit the habit. It is estimated that the new population strategies would reduce smoking prevalence by 1 per cent point per year. (
There are currently about 6.62 million smokers aged between 35 and 74 in U.K. (Tobacco Control. 2005). Educating the smoking public how to quit the habit, is achieved through active involvement of health professionals who have training, experience, commitment, and access to smokers, rather than professional discipline. Primary care team, comprising General Practitioners, Pharmacists, Dentists, and Public Health Nurses, plays a dominant role in helping smokers, who have withdrawal symptoms, to cope with it. Treatment should be inclusive of motivation to stop, techniques for coping with the urges to smoke, relapse prevention, social support, and offer follow-up.
The measures taken are solid as well as futuristic, if implemented in the true spirit of the movement. The health policy makers and society as a whole must evolve appropriate strategies to rehabilitate those who are sagged by the habit.
Tobacco Control. (2005). Public Halth Measures to Reduce Smoking Prevalence in the UK :
How many lives could be saved. Research Paper by S. Lewis, D Arnot, C. Godfrey and J. Britton. TC Online accessed on 11 November 2006.
Raw, Martin, McNeill, Ann; and West, Robert. (1998). Smoking Cessation Guidelines for
Health Professionals: A guide to effective smoking cessation intervention for the health care system. Thorax Online 53. on 11-11-06
Martin, Terry. (2006). The effect of smoking cigarette from head to toe: About smoking
Cessation. New York Times.
White Paper Choosing Health: Action on Smoking and Health Update: October 2006 Accessed on 11/11/06 Read More
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