Smoking cessation is among the best life choice any person within any age group or gender can make (West, 2010). The health benefits for such a choice are almost immediate. All over the United States today, smoking remains to be the single leading cause of death that is preventable. According to Stanczyk et al (2014), the US alone has more than 43 million people using tobacco. This is a significant portion compared to the global 1.2 billion smokers (Stanczyk et al, 2014). As a result, smoking alone accounts for more than 0.4 million deaths in the US every single year and contributes greatly to the four major causes of death: cancer, heart disease, obstructive pulmonary disease and stroke (Sarna et al, 2014). Every generation and gender continues to struggle with smoking. Therefore, there is a need to discuss this issue as a major public health concern. From the statistics presented, there is an issue that needs to be addressed. So many complications may arise from continued smoking. In order to sensitize the public on such, this paper presents that the recent deaths and the associated complications from smoking are justification enough for a smoking cessation campaign. Furthermore, the benefits of smoking cessation by far outweigh the health complications involved.
Statistics from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2015) indicate that adults aged between 18 and 24 years make up 18.7% of smokers. Likewise, those aged between 25 and 44 years make up 20.1% while those aged between 45 and 64 years contribute 19.9%. 65 years and above smokers amount to 8.8% (CDC, 2015). From these findings, the best target audience for the smoking cessation campaign is the age group between 18 and 24 years. This campaign will target this age group of young adults to reduce the number of smokers when the group hits the upper age limit of 25 to 44 years (Ming Wei et al, 2014). This age group is the most vulnerable due to various social and economic factors (CDC, 2015). Peer pressure is high at this age and the behavior to start smoking appears to be the in thing. However, these young people are highly industrious and therefore they may not experience any health hazards (Ming Wei et al, 2014). With age, the health complications begin to kick in. In order to avoid chronic illnesses and complications like cancer, heart disease, obstructive pulmonary disease and stroke, it is beneficial to sensitize the chosen age group regarding the above mentioned (HHS, 2004).
Initially, the method this campaign plans to use to create public health campaign on smoking cessation is the use of mass media. Since the 70s, mass media has effectively been used to advertise products relating to smoking (Glanz and Bishop, 2010). These campaigns have had so much success over the years to a point where smoking has increased over the decades. Currently, mass media includes the social media giant. In this generation almost every person is connected to one or more social media sites including facebook, twitter, WhatsApp, LinkedIn and so on. This campaign will target young adults between 18 and 24 years to reduce the number of smokers when the group hits the upper age limit of 25 to 44 years. Befittingly, this age group is the most active in the social media environment. Therefore, the target audience and the method chosen to create the awareness required are suited for each other (Hall and Fong, 2007).
The goals for implementing this smoking cessation public health campaign include creating social change, changing behavior, increasing awareness, and reducing the chances of opportunistic diseases like cancer, heart disease, obstructive pulmonary disease and stroke (Marley et al, 2014). With more than 17% global smokers, there is a need to reduce this amount (Stanczyk et al, 2014). Smoking alone accounts for more than 0.4 million deaths in the US every single year (Sarna et al, 2014). This tragedy can be avoided. Additionally, smoking contributes greatly to other diseases mentioned above. With a smoking cessation public health campaign, it is expected that there will be changes in the behavior of the target audience, an increase in awareness of the smoking lifestyle and general social change regarding healthy living.
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