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The relationships between the government, medical field, and society are extremely interrelated in regards to the creation of health policies. As a result of these relationships, problems in the United States are addressed very slowly - address in regards

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Introduction

The relationships between the government, medical field, and society are extremely interrelated in regards to the creation of health policies. As a result of these relationships, problems in the United States are addressed very slowly, even if sufficient information is available to suggest immediate attention. This paper addresses some of the factors contributing to this effect with cigarette smoking as an example. The United States government, with full knowledge that cigarette smoking is now the "single most preventable cause of premature death in the United States,"1 has been hesitant to impose regulations on smoking because such involvement could be construed as revoking the rights of citizens. If a government mandates certain behaviors, or a lack of certain behaviors, citizens, especially those who engage in the activity, may feel deprived of their rights as an individual. Conversely, if citizens who do not engage in the activity are negatively affected by others' behavior, they may also feel deprived of their rights as an individual. If the said activity is cigarette smoking, smokers choose to smoke of their own accord, whereas non-smokers may be, and often are, affected by this behavior, even though they have chosen to forego cigarette smoking. ...read more.

Middle

This goal is indicative of the government's attempt to assist citizens in the battle against smoking, but an additional, and possibly more relevant concern, is putting in place the incentive for physicians to perform an initial smoking cessation evaluation and consultation. There are not currently any reimbursement policies for smoking cessation consultations. This lack of reimbursement is providing a vicious circle between physicians, patients, and health policies. Health policies do not currently reimburse physicians for time spent counseling patients on smoking cessation. As a result, physicians do not regularly provide such information or advice to patients because other reimbursable issues are more frequently and consistently addressed first in the short time frame allocated to each patient visit. Patients often feel that physicians are the most highly knowledgeable individuals to prescribe treatment or intervention options to increase their health. If physicians seem relatively unconcerned with a patient's smoking habits, it is reasonable that the patient then assumes the problem must not have the exigency for correction or cessation, resulting in a disregard of any consultation or intervention assistance. Following this logic, patients then do not advocate to the insurance companies the need to compensate for such services provided by the physician. ...read more.

Conclusion

This WHO project is such that it "has provisions that set international standards on tobacco price and tax increases, tobacco advertising and sponsorship, labeling, illicit trade and second-hand smoke."4 These types of interest groups represent portions of the population by lobbying to the government about changes in current regulations, or the enactment of regulations that are nonexistent. These interest groups are the initial forerunners to have placed an importance public health, and in this example, on the health of nonsmokers. The number of anti-smoking interest groups has grown dramatically in recent years, with many of them focusing on a smoke-free America. The campaigns that are run by these groups aim to educate the public regarding the adverse effects of smoking and to decrease the number of people who begin smoking in their teens. The efforts of these groups have been successful in attracting the attention of the general public and the government. An example would be the proliferation of businesses and restaurants that no longer allow smoking on the premises. There are many other significant factors that interact with the government, health service delivery, and interest groups, but the ones mentioned above have had the most significant impacts on the current viewpoints of smoking and where these will lead in the future. ...read more.

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