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Tobacco use and addiction

Discuss about the Tobacco Health, Social Issues and Health Promotion Strategies.

Tobacco is one of the most widely abused drugs in the world. People who smoke tobacco mostly start while still teenagers due to copying their parents or influence on the social media. Countries in Eastern Europe such as Andorra dominate in the use of tobacco all over the world. This drug has numerous users as it is cheap, affordable and considered to augment "pleasure." However, this drug is dangerous in that it contains a substance known as nicotine, which brings about addiction (“World Health Organization”, 2008, p.10). Eventually, most of its users find it difficult to quit once they start to use. Mostly, Tobacco is used through chewing, smoking, or sniffing. According to research done by World health organization, smoking has been rated to be the most common way of tobacco usage (“World Health Organization”, 2008, p.10). However, the use of tobacco is associated with more risks than the pleasure its users seek. Instead, the smoking of tobacco contains more health and Social issues. This document will offer an insight into the health and social issues as well as the health promotion strategies. 

The use of Tobacco is attributed to be a significant hazard to the health of an individual. According to the scientist, no single product is linked to being safe. Most of them lead to different complication in an individual body. Moreover, long-term side effects are likely to couple these complications. Surprisingly, this may happen to people who have never smoked via second-hand smoke (passive smoking). Some of the adverse effects include impairing the cognitive functioning; damaging the respiratory system, damage of the cardiovascular system, interfering with the structure of the skin, destruction of reproduction and sexual organs and risk of developing Throat, Esophagus & Mouth Cancer (“US Department of Health and Human Services”, 2010, p.2).

A research was done to indicate that tobacco interferes with the Central nervous system of the human body. It identified that the use of tobacco tends to alter the moods of individuals from time to time. Also, scientist pointed out that nicotine one of the ingredient in tobacco cause the brain to feel energized for sometimes (Asaria et al., 2007, p.2044). Unfortunately, the feeling tends not to last long and as it wears off an individual is likely to feel fatigue and craving for more. Moreover, tobacco has been cited to cause physical withdrawal among many users. Consecutively, this tends to interfere with an individual ability to think. An individual tends to experience a feeling of depression, great anger, and anxiety. Also, withdrawal is linked to causing sleep problems and headaches among tobacco users.

Health issues caused by tobacco use

The use of tobacco cause damage to the respiratory system especially through smoking. Mostly, the destruction tends to take place gradually over time. This damage has been linked up with various problems. Majority of these problems tends to be chronic and non-reversible for example those that afflicts the lungs. These problems can be:

Emphysema: which is damage caused to the air sacs in the lungs?

Chronic bronchitis is inflammation that affects the lining of the breathing tube of a person’s lungs.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Lung Cancer (Asaria et al., 2007, p.2044). 

Moreover, Research indicates that children whose parent are tobacco smokers tend to be at high risk of wheezing, coughing and developing asthma attacks when compared to those whose parent don’t smoke(Hofhuis, De Jongste, and Merkus,  2003,p.1086). Also, these children tend to raise statistics of those affected by pneumonia and bronchitis.

Inhaling of tobacco smoke is attributed to causing problems related to the cardiovascular system (Hawkins, Catalano, and Miller, 2013, p. 64.). Research indicates that nicotine causes an individual blood vessel to become tight. Eventually, this cause damage to blood vessels, which leads to peripheral artery disease. Furthermore, smoking tobacco causes the blood pressure of an individual to increase Hofhuis, De Jongste, and Markus, 2003, p.1086). Ultimately, can be fatal because an increase in blood pressure causes the walls of the blood vessels to weaken and the blood to clot. The combination of these two risks can make one prone to a stroke. Also, cardiovascular problems may extend to non-smokers due to exposure to secondhand smoke (Hofhuis, De Jongste, and Merkus, 2003, p.1086).

Individual normal skin is likely to be affected due to tobacco use. It is a fact that components of the tobacco tend to alter the structure of the skin surface. Moreover, tobacco users are at high risk of developing skin cancer (squamous cell carcinoma) due to a suppressed immune system. Furthermore, usage of tobacco has been linked to result in balding, hair loss and graying due to nicotine. At some extent, smoking tobacco may affect the toenails and fingernails of an individual (“US Department of Health and Human Services,” 2010, p.2).

The digestive system is vital for every human being. However, smoking makes one prone to throat, esophagus and mouth cancer. Eventually, this may lead to complication in that an Individual may find it difficult to chew and swallow food. Additionally, tobacco smoke may affect insulin in the human body. A condition is known as insulin resistance. This condition may put the health of an individual at a higher risk of developing diabetes in comparison to those who do not smoke (Warnakulasuriya, 2009, p.471).

Social issues related to tobacco use

According to World Health Organization, use of tobacco has been associated with sexual issues. Among them is sexual dissatisfaction in Women (Pang and Leventhal, 2013, p.269). Research indicates that tobacco use decreases the lubrication and ability to have an orgasm. In another instance, the analysis suggests in men tobacco use result to decrease in sexual performance. Moreover, it tends to reduce the level of sex hormone all this which culminate to decrease in sexual desire (Pang and Leventhal, 2013, p.269). 

Smoking Tobacco has been widely discouraged across the world. Mainly, it is because not only does it encompass many health issues but also numerous social related problems.

Among the social issue is its target. Minors have been rated to be the most vulnerable to the use of tobacco (Powell, Tauras, and Ross, 2010, p.950). Social media, in particular, has contributed large percentage in influencing tobacco use. Sometimes celebrity who are key role models may take photos and self-smoking. As a result, it may create an image in the mind of the minor in believing that smoking is okay. Mostly minors tend to copy almost everything the media feed them (`Kickbusch, 2010, p.385)

Additionally, Smokers who go out with friends and they have set a given activity or period, which they smoke, may experience many difficulties (Powell.Tauris, and Ross, 2010, p. 950). For example, individual smokers may find it difficult to break the habits because the action acts as unconditioned stimuli that prompt one to smoke.

Identification of health promotion strategy depends on a variety of factors namely: the problem being addressed (in this case tobacco usage), the population and the context where it will be applied. Promotion of health has been linked up with various model that is vital for human health. They include the health belief model, Ecological; Tran’s speculative, planned behavior as well as social cognitive model (Kickbusch, 2010, p.383).

In as much as Tobacco, use continues to be a health risk. There is a need for health practitioners and the contemporary society to initiate strategies to promote good health and combat the prevalent use of tobacco. Ottawa charter offers a good insight into the policy applicable to developing good health among individuals (Jackson et al., 2006, p.75). Ottawa charter recognizes the prerequisite of peace to shelter, education, economic system, equity and social justice, food, Concord as well as housing. Furthermore, it identifies three main strategies needed to maintain good health (Potvin, and Jones. 2011, p. 244). To address the issue of tobacco smoking, creating a supportive environment is the best strategy to use.

Health promotion strategies

Creation of supportive environments involves the generation of healthy choices without just focusing on individual discipline. Some communities make healthy decisions, which help in the prevention of drug abuse, but others do not have good selections. Golechha (2016, p.7) indicates that supportive environments are the best when it comes to the making of equable and healthy choices. Creating a supportive surrounding is among the five strategies for promoting a healthy lifestyle as stated by Ottawa charter. Favorable surroundings is an essential strategy because it protects people from the usage of drugs such as tobacco, which can threaten their good health. Additionally, these environments ensure that every person participates in health promotion and allows individuals to expand their self-reliance and capabilities.

The approach is fundamental especially for every person involved because it fosters on health development. These environments focus on where individuals live including workplaces, school, cities and learning institutions. Most of our communities are interrelated and very complicated. Nevertheless, health is a significant factor, which cannot be separated from the community’s objectives. It is the goal of every nation, community or religion to encourage mutual maintenance, which involves taking care of one another, our physical environment and our societies. Anon (1987, p.138) states that promoting a healthy community is the responsibility of every person who lives in the organization. Anon (1987, p.138) further stresses that the nation is changing regarding working, leisure and life patterns which have different impacts on individual’s health.

The organization of work in every society should enhance the promotion of a healthy lifestyle, which is essential for every person. Health promotion is necessary because it helps in generation of working and living conditions, which are satisfying, enjoyable and stimulating. It is essential to make a systematic valuation of how tobacco affects our health in the changing environment especially in the fields of energy production, society, urbanization, and technology. It is crucial for every person to follow a healthy lifestyle so that the overall public can have healthy lives. According to Anon (1987, p.138), it is vital to build and protect the physical environment because it plays a significant role in the promotion of health.

The creation of a supportive environment is an essential step towards reducing the use of tobacco because it does not only focus on individual discipline. `Kickbusch (2010, 385) explains that the use of this strategy can help to reduce the number of tobacco users in the most affected nations. The promotional plan is also essential because it helps in reducing the number of youths who start smoking at an early age due to influence or taking after their parents. The strategy is important because it encourages people to live a healthy lifestyle and this is a crucial step in managing tobacco usage.

Supportive environments

Moreover, the strategies can help to reorient health services. It is important to note that to promote health a lot of attention needs to be focused on the health sector. Furthermore, strategies in the Ottawa charter helps to recognize health as a significant issue that needs to be invested in as well as the need to address ecological problems related to an individual mode of living (Potvinand Jones, 2011, p. 244).

Ottawa charter helps to create a supportive environment (Anon, 1987, p.138). It is of great significance in that government can be able to make informed decision especially when imposing legislation. For instance, the government should reduce access tobacco, advert concerning smoking as well as promoting free tobacco environment (Potvin, and Jones, 2011, p 244). Governments should ensure rights of non-smokers are upheld. Which can be via regulating smoking in public places, as a result, this is likely to reduce the risk associated with passive smoking. 

Health promotion is not without numerous challenges. Mostly there may lack precise communication channel to communicate with the target group in the community. Evaluating how group dynamics receive information may pose a challenge. Moreover, it is difficult to keep the community motivated. In addition, lack of resource may constrain health promotion hence prove ineffective. Furthermore, the geography of a place may pose a challenge in the promotion of health operation together with its implementation (Hawkins, Catalano, and Miller, 2013, p.64) 


The Health of every human is critical and should not be ignored. Therefore, it is essential for individuals, community, nation and the rest of the world to incorporate it as a responsibility. In conclusion, it is evident that the backbone of prosperity in any country its health among citizens. Hence, it is crucial for a country to adopt health promotion strategies, as this will enable a state to achieve its goals, for example, economic and social stability. 


World Health Organization and Research for International Tobacco Control, 2008. WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic, 2008: the MPOWER package. World Health Organization.

US Department of Health and Human Services, 2010. The health consequences of smoking: a report of the Surgeon General, pg2-5.

Asaria, P., Chisholm, D., Mathers, C., Ezzati, M. and Beaglehole, R., 2007. Chronic disease prevention: health effects and financial costs of strategies to reduce salt intake and control tobacco use. The Lancet, 370(9604), pp.2044-2053

.Jackson, S.F., Perkins, F., Khandor, E., Cordwell, L., Hamann, S. and Buasai, S., 2006. Integrated health promotion strategies: a contribution to tackling current and future health challenges. Health Promotion International, 21(suppl_1), pp.75-83.

Powell, L.M.,Tauras, J.A. and Ross, H., 2010. The importance of peer effects, cigarette prices and tobacco control policies for youth smoking behavior. Journal of health Economics, 24(5), pp.950-968.

Hofhuis, W., De Jongste, J.C. and Merkus, P.J.F.M., 2003. Adverse health effects of prenatal and postnatal tobacco smoke exposure on children. Archives of disease in childhood, 88(12), pp.1086-1090.

The, W., 2012. Curbing the epidemic: governments and the economics of tobacco control. Tobacco Control, 8(2), p.196.

 Hawkins, J.D., Catalano, R.F. and Miller, J.Y., 2013. Risk and protective factors for alcohol and other drug problems in adolescence and early adulthood: implications for substance abuse prevention. Psychological bulletin, 112(1), p.64.

Potvin, L. and Jones, C.M., 2011. Twenty-five years after the Ottawa Charter: the critical role of health promotion for public health. Canadian Journal of Public Health/Revue Canadienne de Sante'ePublique, pp.244-248.

`Kickbusch, I., 2010. The contribution of the World Health Organization to a new public health and health promotion. American journal of public health, 93(3), pp.383-388.

Anon, 1987. Ottawa Health Promotion Charter Revisited. Health Policy, 8(1), p.138.

Golechha, M., 2016. Health promotion methods for smoking prevention and cessation: A comprehensive review of effectiveness and the way forward. International journal of preventive medicine, 7.

Warnakulasuriya, S., 2009. Causes of oral cancer–an appraisal of controversies. British dental journal, 207(10), p.471.

Pang, R.D. and Leventhal, A.M., 2013. Sex differences in negative affect and lapse behavior during acute tobacco abstinence: A laboratory study. Experimental and clinical psychopharmacology, 21(4), p.269. 

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