Health advocacy campaign is designed to help in improvement of the health of the people by creating awareness on the effects of tobacco use. A call for action by the World Health Organization (WHO) requires countries to establish policies and controllable agendas that decrease the damage initiated by the consumption of tobacco products. (Eriksen et al., 2015).
Several laws and regulations are already in place in the United States and Australia. For the objectives of the health advocacy campaign to be met, the existing rules and regulations need to be modified to ensure they are fully implemented (Eriksen et al., 2015). Certain restrictions given by the legislative bodies in the policy implementation need to be withdrawn. The regulatory bodies are then able to adequately enforce the laws and ensure minimization of the tobacco use.
According to WHO, there is a critical communications gap that needs to be addressed. The best practices in tobacco product regulation need to be identified (Eriksen et al., 2015). These practices include the reduction of tobacco advertising at point of sale in Australia and surveillance of the patterns and consequences of tobacco use in the US.
It is not necessary to come up with new legislations on tobacco use to improve the health of people. The already existent laws and regulations need to be modified by identifying the gap in them. The regulations governing the rules need to be reviewed, and additions did where necessary (Shyanika et al., 2015). The enforcement agencies also have to be involved to determine the challenges faced enforcing these laws, what changes need to be done and what help do they require to implement the legislations in place to the best.
Existing laws and regulations regarding tobacco use can positively and negatively affect the advocacy efforts. Utmost tobacco control procedures have considerable public funding in different regions to both smokers and non-smokers (Eriksen et al., 2015). An example is the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 that giving the US Food and Drug Administration complete ability to control the manufacturing, sale of tobacco products and marketing (Shyanika et al., 2015). This law stands for the most comprehensive achievement taken to date to decrease the increase in preventable deaths in the United States.
Studies on public support for this Act showed that the societal norms about marketing tobacco sales and marketing policies have not reformed to the essence they have new areas of tobacco control. For example provision for smoke-free indoor laws has improved as time progess and frequently produces common support for nonsmokers and smokers. (Shyanika et al., 2015). It is evident that there is different general support for the regulations by both the smokers and non-smokers. The attitude of the public towards a particular rule is to be considered in advocating for new policymaking.
The best way to influence legislators or policymakers after speaking it up is lobbying to make it a fully implemented policy. The first step involves dealing with the legislators by creating a good connection to get their support (Shyanika et al., 2015). Applying membership into the associations dealing with tobacco regulations is one crucial step to take, for example, becoming a member of the FDA. This enables for the quick tabling of the policy, and also one acquires quick support as it is from an authoritative body (Rosenberg & Houghton, 2012). The second step which is grassroots lobbying involves bringing people together to the community and asking for their support in putting the policy forward. Engaging also with leaders in the community with knowledge of the impact of tobacco use is essential (Eriksen et al., 2015).. Visiting such persons, holding meetings and writing about the need to promote health within the community helps in winning over their support.
The next step is to expand the word to as many people as possible through the media. This can be done by making notices in newspapers, TV shows, and interviews and in institutions of learning such as colleges (Rosenberg & Houghton, 2012). Forming clubs to help in the advocacy process is also a way to ensure that the message gets to as many people as possible.
Challenges likely to be faced include lack of funds, for example, to advertise and get materials to reach to the people. This can be overcome by joining campaign and fundraising trails for profitable recognition. Another challenge is reaching the right people at grass-root level to support you (Rosenberg & Houghton, 2012). It is one's duty to make it very convincing for the other person to gain his or her full support. Familiarizing yourself with the correct ethics in lobbying will also be useful when becoming a member of the associations related to tobacco control. This gives a better understanding and ensures that the advocacy efforts are successful.
Eriksen, M., Mackay, J., Schluger, N., Gomeshtapeh, F., Drope, J. (2015). The Tobacco Atlas. 5th ed. Atalanta (Ga.): American Cancer Society, p. 72.
Shyanika, R., Sherry, E., Ennett, S., Reyes, H., Scott, J. and Ribisl, K. (2015). Public Support for Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act Point-of-Sale Provisions: Results of a National Study. American Journal of Public Health. 105(10). Pp.e60-e67.
Rosenberg, M. and Houghton, S. (2012). Public support for tobacco control policy extensions in Western Australia: A cross-sectional study.
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