Campaigning for change

By | News & Politics
A poster from Public Health England's tobacco-free campaign. Credit @PHE via twitter.

Recently, Public Health England announced the commencement of their campaign to reduce the amount of smokers in Britain. Their ideologies surround aspects including economic factors, life-span improvement and the impact on hospitals, seemingly underpinned by the broader aim of creating a healthier society. This campaign seems to have occurred most notably due to the extended pressure on the NHS; if successful in achieving their goals, Public Health England may be able to relieve these challenging circumstances on hospitals, as the reduction of patients admitted due to smoking may result in further beneficial outcomes. Ultimately, the first steps to implement this campaign seem to have already taken place, with key information accessible to the public and, if the movement accomplishes their targets, Britain may have a revitalised NHS service with a higher standard of consistent care.

The campaign seems to be aiming to predominantly impact smoking in and around hospitals, perhaps in part due to the recent overview from the British Thoracic Society. PHE seem to be drawing upon these statistics, highlighting the 475,000 hospital admissions in England for tobacco related matters in order to achieve progression. The utilisation of these statistics may be key in accomplishing reform, as with the study accessible online, the general public may peruse, and ultimately educate themselves, around the impacts of cigarettes. In addition, it may suggest Public Health England is seeking to attain support via showcasing their reasoning for the campaign.

Duncan Selbie, leader of PHE, seems to be vehemently vocalising his support for the initiative, focussing his attention on his desire to assist patients in any attempts to rehabilitate; he previously emphasised the importance of changing addictive behaviour, intending to address the levels of assistance offered in hospitals. The statistics seem to support his ideology, as the campaign seeks to ask all patients whether they wished to achieve smoking cessation, an expansion on the current 25% asked, and also aims to refer a superior amount of people to a cessation service, an increase on the existing quantity of one in thirteen. His support may be vital, as having previously been referred to as the 33rd most powerful member within the NHS, he may be able to utilise his presence and gravitas within the health services to enforce his desire for change, and elevate the extent of institutions which completely enforce tobacco-free grounds.

Leader of the PHE, Duncan Selbie (centre) with other health leaders discussing the campaign. Credit @flickr.com.

Leader of the PHE Duncan Selbie (centre) with other health leaders discussing the campaign. Credit @flickr.com.

The general consensus of the campaign aims to enhance the service of the NHS, and in order to achieve this goal they seem to be targeting an area which, if improved upon, may act as the catalyst in reforming other areas of society. In order to accomplish this feat, PHE seem to be targeting a reduction in the amount of patients admitted to hospital who smoke from over one million; this may result in extended amounts of free time for healthcare staff to deal with more pressing matters. In turn, this may lead to the improvement of the NHS in comparison to other European countries, reemphasising their rating as the pinnacle European system in terms of efficiency and safe care. As such, it seems the campaign may most notably impact the NHS, resulting in the population benefiting from a refined service.

In essence, the campaign may provide dividends for Britain as, whilst the NHS may produce a more effective service due to an influx of patients becoming smoke-free, it seems the population might be superiorly impacted. With an expected increased life-span, economic values, and backing for the NHS, which many strongly campaigned for in previous weeks, vast degrees of support for the movement may occur. Ultimately, this campaign may act as the first step in revitalising the NHS, and Britain in general, becoming the incentive in improving other aspects of society, as further movements may seek to replicate the successes of the tobacco-free campaign. Coupling this with the knowledge other European countries, including Finland, are also attempting to implement a tobacco-free society, the globe may become united under the common goal of renovating health care systems regarding smoking.

How may this campaign act as the catalyst in implementing further modification for society?

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