Tobacco smoking

One in every 8 deaths or about 7. 6 million or 13% of deaths worldwide in 2008 is accounted to the occurrence and spread of cancer. (World Health Organization, n. d. ). Cancer is a group of disease marked by the rapid and unusual growth of cells that may affect any part of a person’s body. Its development may be attributed to one single cell that might have been changed from a normal cell to a tumor or cancer cell. Its development often requires years and several steps before presenting itself as a disease.

Cancer may affect and spread to any part of the body, but cancer affecting the lung, liver, colon, breast and stomach are the most common cause of deaths to these patients. Lung cancer is a condition characterized by an abnormal growth of cancer cells in the lungs. It is considered to be the deadliest type of cancer in both men and women. Patient with this condition may present any of the following symptoms: persistent cough, presence of blood in their sputum, hoarseness or change in their voice, chest pain or recurring pneumonia or bronchitis, that prompts them to seek medical attention.

Although lung cancer is one of the most easily preventable among all types of cancer, the WHO cancer data as of the year 2008 shows that lung cancer is believed to be responsible for around 1. 37 million out of 13 million cancer deaths making it rank first among cause of death in cancer patients. (World Health Organization, n. d. ). It is also known to be the most commonly diagnosed as well as the lead type of cancer in the United States including the state of Florida.

The state of Florida the burden of the disease has been estimated to reach to 226, 210 new cases of lung cancer or about 14% of all cancer cases and about 160, 340 deaths or 28% of all cancer deaths for the year 2012 alone. 17, 860 new cases of lung cancer and 12, 200 deaths had already been accounted for as of the latest statistics of American Cancer Society (American Cancer Society, n. d. ). A total of $19. 6 billion in healthcare costs and lost productivity is also annually spent by the state because of lung cancer (Fact Sheets, n. d. ).

These statistics may still show a big number of cases but current analysis shows that incident and death rates had already been decreasing significantly. Risk Factors The development of lung cancer is considered to be multi-factorial and may be brought about by a number of possible factors such as genetic susceptibility, race, age, sex, exposure to gases or chemicals such as radon; which are being released in soils and building materials and asbestos, occupation, smoking cigarette or tobacco or exposure to second hand smoke, past medical conditions, diet and lifestyle.

Among all these factors, lung cancer in Florida is mainly attributed to cigarette or tobacco smoking and second hand smoke, which can bring about serious and sometimes even life-threatening conditions to others such as asthma and respiratory tract problems, making these two the most important factor to leading to its development. (1) Inhalation of radon, a naturally occurring gas that is emitted from rock and dirt and may be trapped and remain in houses and buildings, is the second ranked cause of the development of lung cancer in both patients who are smokers and those who are considered to be non-smokers (American Cancer Society, n.

d. ). Radon is a substance that can neither be seen, smelled or tasted but is shown to be present in at least one in every 15 houses in the United States (US Environmental Protection Agency, n. d. ). Family history of on the other hand is considered to be the 3rd most important factor in the development of lung cancer in an individual. An increased risk of acquiring the disease is seen for patients who have parents, siblings or children with lung cancer.

It may not directly be pointed to genetic traits but rather more on the behavioral factor that comes with living with these family members such as being around them when they smoke or living under the same house which may have chemicals or gases that can lead to lung cancer. Cigarette or tobacco smoking as well as exposure to second hand smoke, as stated earlier is seen as the leading factor that increases the risk of a person in developing lung cancer. In the United States alone, including the state of Florida, 90% of lung cancer is attributed with these risks.

Unknown to many people, a single stick of cigarette contains about 7,000 different chemicals with at least 70 of which are known to be poisonous as well as cancerous to both human beings and animals. An increase of about 15 to 30 folds in the relative risk to developing lung cancer, or dying because of it, is seen in individuals who smoke (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, n. d. ). Second hand smoke is just as dangerous even to people who have never smoked in their entire life. Breathing in second hand smoke is seen to be as good as smoking a cigarette yourself.

CDC statistics showed that around 2 out of 5 adult and about half of the population of the children in the United States are being exposed to second hand smoke (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) With these glaring facts, the state of Florida for the past years had worked hard to create significant change in the occurrence of lung cancer. In the CDC report of 2011, the state of Florida is among of the 6 states across America who showed a significant decline in the cases of lung cancer in both men and women (Fact Sheets, n. d. ).

They also show a lower rate of adult smokers in 2010 with a percentage of 17. 1 compared to the national average and a decrease from the previous average of 21. 7 percent last 2005 (Fact Sheets). These changes are brought about by the efforts of various government institutions, organizations, as well as the population of Florida. One of the most noticeable and commendable efforts is the implementation of the Tobacco Free Florida Campaign which aims to reduce tobacco use in the state as well as to create awareness among the people living in this state.

This campaign was made possible by a change in the state constitution, approved by the people, to bring back efforts to spread tobacco education as well as to implement various preventive programs. It is spearheaded by the state’s Florida Department of Health’s Bureau of Tobacco Prevention Program. Its two most basic goals are to reduce the number of cigarette smokers as well as prevent non-users from starting the use of tobacco. Even with the steps that the state of Florida is taking up against the prevalence of lung cancer, a few more strategies may be looked up on in order to give an even more aggressive approach to solve this problem.

One strategy may is to encourage an even more aggressive change in the policies implemented by the state government regarding the use of tobacco. An increase in the excise tax for cigarettes may be one option that we have. Increasing the tax we place in each pack of cigarette that is being purchased is a good way to discourage its use as proven in the significant decrease of cigarette purchase in the state of Minnesota when the state approved a $0.

75 increase/pack of cigarette purchased. Placing a greater tax does not only discourage the use of cigarette but the extra funds collected from the increase might also be a good source of finances to support other efforts made to implement the Tobacco Free Florida Campaign. Another strategy is the implementation of even more intensive social media campaign against the use of tobacco as well as an even deeper awareness of the possible problems in health that may arise with its use.

Since the majority of the smoking population are teenagers, the effective use of social media; a popular mean of interaction as well as information dissemination for their age, can be an effective way of building and creating awareness. A study showed that the use of social media is deemed to be more effective if it is being implemented in conjunction with other programs with the same goal, if the negative effect of a certain action is being highlighted especially possible loss or health impact that it may bring, as well emotion-engaging but not necessarily demanding testimonies of other individuals.

These strategies are deemed to create not only temporary solution to the problem of smoking and lung cancer, but is hoped to bring about a change in behavior and attitude of both smokers and non-smokers alike.

Reference American Cancer Society. (n. d. ). Information and Resources for Cancer: Breast, Colon, Lung, Prostate, Skin. Retrieved from American Cancer Society: http://www. cancer. org/Research/CancerFactsFigures/GlobalCancerFactsFigures/global-facts-figures-2nd-ed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n. d. ).

State-Specific Trends in Lung Cancer Incidence and Smoking. Retrieved from CDC: http://www. cdc. gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6036a3. htm Fact Sheets. (n. d. ). Retrieved from Tobacco Free Florida: http://tobaccofreeflorida. com/Contents-9/Fact-Sheets/ US Environmental Protection Agency. (n. d. ). Health Risks. Retrieved from Radon US Environmental Protection Agency: http://www. epa. gov/radon/healthrisks. html World Health Organization. (n. d. ). Cancer Fact Sheet. Retrieved from WHO: www. who. int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs297/en/.

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