Lecture+8+Public+Health++Current+Issues+Tobacco+and+Nutrition

Lecture+8+Public+Health++Current+Issues+Tobacco+and+Nutrition

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Lecture 8: Current Public Health Concerns Individual Responsibility and Nutrition, Obesity and Tobacco
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Overview Leading Actual Causes of Dealth Tobacco Diet Obesity Exercise
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Leading Actual Causes of Death Tobacco Poor diet and physical inactivity Alcohol consumption – Nearly half of deaths from these three; and Motor vehicles Firearms Illicit drug use
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What Is the “Actual” Cause of Death “Actual” causes of death = the UNDERLYING cause of death from a leading disease. Ex. Heart disease may be the cause of death but tobacco and physical inactivity/diet may be the actual cause.
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“Actual” Causes of Death Account for almost half of all deaths Most are preventable, often premature Most are caused by individual behavior Targets for public health intervention
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Public Health Interventions Education Regulation Prohibition?
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Education/Communicating Information Provide information about healthy and unhealthy behaviors Smoking is bad Recommended dietary patterns like eating less fat, more fruits and vegetables Health education in schools Sex education is controversial
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Education, cont. Use of advertising * “Just say no” drug campaign * Harvard school of Public Health – sitcom scripts to include “designated drivers” as alternative to drinking and driving
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Regulation Laws against murder and assault Traffic regulations Restrictions on alcohol, drugs, and tobacco Age restrictions on many behaviors Sexual behavior is hard to regulate
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Prohibition Prohibition against drugs such as heroin, marijuana, and cocaine is generally accepted Anti smoking laws exemplify conflict between individual rights and group/community health
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Tobacco Political and economic forces opposed strong government measures to regulate cigarettes The costs are high, both public and private, to treat tobacco-caused disease
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Deaths Caused by Smoking Cardiovascular disease – like stroke and heart attack Lung cancer Respiratory disease – pneumonia, influenza, bronchitis, emphysema, chronic airway obstruction Other cancers – laryngeal, oral, esophageal, pancreatic, urinary Diseases among infants Burns
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Biomedical Basis of Smoking’s Harmful Effects Nicotine is an addictive drug Raises blood pressure and heart rate May cause spasms in blood vessels of heart Tars – provide flavor Damage cilia and irritate respiratory tract
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Lecture+8+Public+Health++Current+Issues+Tobacco+and+Nutrition

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