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Using the Policy Cycle approach for creating smoke-free policies in Universities

1. Why is a policy cycle an appropriate tool for developing a new policy?

2. How is a health policy different from a government policy document?

3. How does the “new public health” differ from the old public health approach?

4. What are key sociological issues and how do they determine a person’s state of health?

5. If you were to create a new policy to develop a smoke-free environment for the university what are at least four factors you would include and why?

1. A policy cycle is a tool that is used to assess the process of coming up with a policy. It influences how policy developers view the process of policy development. The policy cycle was created using Harold Lasswell’s theory of policy, and a lot of people use it to make it easier to develop a policy. Using the policy cycle approach gives a simple way in which policy developers can imagine the process of policy development and implementation. A policy cycle is a suitable means to be used while creating a new policy for various reasons (Althaus, Bridgman, & Davis, 2013). Some of these reasons include; first, it makes it easier for policy developers to develop policies. As the steps are spelled out, everyone will know what follows and when they are given different roles, they will know what is expected of them. Also, the policy cycle can be used to create a timeline for policy development. As the policy cycle shows the steps that should be taken, the team can estimate what time each level can take. Thus through this estimation, the team will know when they expect to finish the process and how much time each member has to dedicate to the completion of the process (Young, 2013). With a policy cycle, it will be easier to delineate a policy and evaluate its effectiveness all through its development step by step. Thus by doing this, the team can assess the efficacy of the policy, and if it is not satisfactory, they can correct it. It will be easy to adjust this as the development is divided into steps and the problem can be backtracked, and a solution found faster. Also, each level can be evaluated, and issues related to each level found. Once these are recognized, the team can come up with strategies to tackle these problems in each stage (Norris, 2011).

Factors to consider while creating a new policy for a smoke-free university

2. Health policy is a set of actions, decisions, and plans that are done so that a particular set of health goals in a community are achieved. They can be developed by both governmental and nongovernmental agencies and are designed to promote a specific set of health objectives. A government policy document is a record which gives details of the set of government policies and the policies’ commitments regarding what needs to be done to implement them where necessary. It outlines the step that government officials take so that they can easily apply these government policies (Buse, Mays, & Walt, 2012). These two are different in several ways; first is that a health policy focuses on goals to be achieved regarding the health of a community, it outlines what is expected from different groups regarding health. On the other hand, a government policy document focuses on general policies that affect a country not just on the issue. It covers a wide range of topics that a government needs to set policies on. Next is that health policy is a set of health objectives that need to be achieved on issues that affect health. Therefore, it sets out what policies need to be done so that the health issues can be resolved. However, a government policy document sets out how a set of policies should be implemented. It gives how it should be completed and might provide a timeline for all of this to be done. Another difference is that health policy is set by individuals, physicians, and pharmaceutical organization so that they can solve issues in the health sector while a government policy document is compiled by individuals in the government as a framework to implement different government policies to deal with the various issues in a country (Freeman, & Maybin, 2011).

3. The new public health approach is when there is the implementation of measures that are technological, evidence-based and management systems, with the aim of improving the health of individuals and the population. Its goals are mainly focused on the practical and political use of lessons learned from previous successes and failures in the control of illnesses.  It also uses these lessons to come up with a preventive measure against the current, changing and recurring health risks (Tulchinsky, & Varavikova, 2014). On the other hand, the old health approach is a model which comprehensively addresses both social and health issues. It puts into consideration factors such as humans, the cause of the harm and the environment. It also recognizes the causes of health problems and gives suggestions on how to tackle these issues. These two approaches differ in various ways, first is that the new public health focuses on bettering the health of both the individual in care and also the whole population it also deals with individual diseases as they occur. However, the old public health approach is aimed at giving situations in which everyone in the population can be healthy and does not focus on one individual. It also deals with a collection of diseases at once so that it can ensure the whole system is healthy (Gostin, & Wiley, 2016). Another difference is that the new public health uses lessons from previous success and failures the health sector has a head when dealing with diseases, these are used to come up with preventative measures against them. However, the old public health approach examines factors like the environment and the causative agent when dealing with health issues and disease outbreaks. Finally, the new public health focuses on coming up with intervention against diseases so that it can prevent recurrence or the spread of it while the old public health approach focuses on treating diseases and outbreaks as they occur (Burris, Wagenaar, Swanson, Ibrahim, Wood, & Mello, 2010).

Key sociological issues affecting an individual's state of health

4. A sociological issue is a problem that affects a significant number of people in a community. This issue usually the aftermath of factors that are outside a person’s influence and control. It often causes conflicting views by what is understood as being morally upright by people or the society. Some of the critical sociological issues include; the availability of resources that will enable individuals to meet their daily needs like healthy food, jobs, educational opportunities and also living wages. Another issue is the access to options for transportation, quality schooling, and public safety. Then there is the fact that people are exposed to a social disorder like crime and violence and the presence of trash where they live (World Health Organization, 2010). These issues can be a determinant of the state of an individual’s state of health in the following ways. One if an individual does not have access to resources like job opportunities they cannot afford to access health facilities when they fall sick hence the state of their health will worsen, but if they can access these resources, however, they will be given the best health care they can afford. The next one is that when an individual does not have access to quality education, they will not be knowledgeable of what habits are risky for your health on the other hand if they are educated they will know what habits to avoid so that they can be healthy. Another way is if people are exposed to activities such as crimes and violence and social disorder which increases the risk people being hurt or being exposed to communicable diseases. This will negatively affect the state of health of an individual. Finally, when people do not have access to transportation options, they will not be able to go to hospitals when they are sick to seek help (Cockerham, 2014).

5. When creating a new policy as a way to create a smoke-free environment in the university, I would consider several factors to help me. Some of these factors include; first I would ensure that I have the support of the university management, I would do this by keeping them informed all the way through the formulation of the policy. When the administration is told, they can give the support necessary to ensure that the policy creation and implementation are successful. Next, I would ensure that there is a provision to provide training and education about the policy. By giving this stipulation, I would ensure that everyone at the university is informed about the policy so that they do not go against it or make assumptions about it (Ritchie, Amos, & Martin, 2010). Also, I would ensure to involve individuals at the university in process. When people feel involved they will readily accept new changes hence it will make implementation of the changes easier. The people can also make suggestions to the process so that it can make it better for all parties involved. Next, it should be information on the risks associated with tobacco use. Thus when people are informed about this and the danger of second-hand smoke to others, they will quickly follow the policies set. Another factor is that the policy should provide for resources for those individuals who are considering quitting tobacco use or managing their cravings. Hence, students and staff will have solutions instead of making excuses for why they cannot respect the policies to make the university smoke free (Lee, Goldstein, Kramer, Steiner, Ezzell, & Shah, 2010)

References

Althaus, C., Bridgman, P., & Davis, G. (2013). The Australian policy handbook. Allen & Unwin.

Burris, S., Wagenaar, A. C., Swanson, J., Ibrahim, J. K., Wood, J., & Mello, M. M. (2010). Making the case for laws that improve health: a framework for public health law research. The milbank quarterly, 88(2).

Buse, K., Mays, N., & Walt, G. (2012). Making health policy. McGraw-Hill Education (UK).

Cockerham, W. C. (2014). Medical sociology. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Freeman, R., & Maybin, J. (2011). Documents, practices and policy. Evidence & Policy: A Journal of Research, Debate and Practice, 7(2).

Gostin, L. O., & Wiley, L. F. (2016). Public health law: power, duty, restraint. Univ of California Press.

Lee, J. G., Goldstein, A. O., Kramer, K. D., Steiner, J., Ezzell, M. M., & Shah, V. (2010). Statewide diffusion of 100% tobacco-free college and university policies. Tobacco control, 19(4).

Norris, P. (2011). Cultural explanations of electoral reform: A policy cycle model. West European Politics, 34(3).

Ritchie, D., Amos, A., & Martin, C. (2010). “But it just has that sort of feel about it, a leper”Stigma, smoke-free legislation and public health. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 12(6).

Tulchinsky, T. H., & Varavikova, E. A. (2014). The new public health. Academic Press.

World Health Organization. (2010). A conceptual framework for action on the social determinants of health.

Young, K. (2013). Financial industry groups' adaptation to the post?crisis regulatory environment: Changing approaches to the policy cycle. Regulation & Governance, 7(4).

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