The issue of big tobacco and its impact on public health is indeed a significant concern. The consumption of tobacco products has been linked to a range of deadly diseases, including lung cancer, which results in millions of deaths worldwide (Laverack, 2013). The devastating consequences of these diseases not only affect individuals but also have a profound impact on communities.
One of the ways in which big tobacco affects communities is through the health and economic burden it places on them. When community members fall ill due to tobacco-related diseases, they are often unable to work or participate in community activities. Consequently, the community suffers from lower productivity levels and increased poverty. Additionally, the resources that could have been used for community development are diverted to taking care of the sick and supporting the orphans left behind. This further exacerbates the poverty and hampers the growth and progress of the community.
Given the significant growth of tobacco companies and their aggressive marketing strategies, it becomes crucial for advanced practice nurses to engage in activism and seek effective solutions to counter the influence of big tobacco. One of the key roles nurses can play is in assisting victims of tobacco addiction to quit smoking. By providing guidance, counseling, and necessary resources, nurses can help individuals understand the dangers associated with smoking and support them in their efforts to quit (Panda et al, 2013). Additionally, nurses can conduct follow-up programs to ensure patients receive ongoing support and counseling.
Another important action that nurses can take is to gain a comprehensive understanding of the strategies employed by tobacco companies to increase sales and counter public health policies. This knowledge will empower nurses to educate the public through media campaigns, individual counseling sessions, and community-level interventions. By enhancing their advocacy skills, nurses can effectively communicate the risks associated with tobacco use and promote policies that discourage its consumption (Panda et al, 2013).
To effectively combat the influence of big tobacco, nurses must also collaborate with other healthcare professionals, policymakers, and public health organizations. By working together, they can develop comprehensive and multifaceted approaches that address the various aspects of tobacco consumption, ranging from prevention and education to treatment and policy initiatives. This collaborative effort can strengthen the impact of their actions and increase their effectiveness in combating big tobacco.
In conclusion, big tobacco poses significant health and economic risks to communities worldwide. The consumption of tobacco products leads to deadly diseases, which not only result in individual suffering but also have far-reaching consequences for communities. Advanced practice nurses have a crucial role to play in addressing this issue. By assisting individuals in quitting smoking and raising awareness about the strategies employed by tobacco companies, nurses can contribute to reducing the impact of big tobacco on communities. Collaborative efforts with other stakeholders are also essential to develop comprehensive solutions that address the various aspects of tobacco consumption. Through their activism and advocacy, nurses can make a significant impact in protecting public health and promoting community well-being.