7056SOH Critical Policy Analysis Assignment Sample
CRITICAL POLICY ANALYSIS OF REDUCING TOBACCO USE IN THE UNITED KINGDOM AND JAPAN
The issue of tobacco is a major problem of the whole world and the major economy of the world comes from the business of tobacco which affects many people all over the world. Moreover, in order to eradicate the problem of tobacco, various policies have been implemented by the various countries in order to keep a check on the problem of tobacco. In this report, the policy implementation of Japan and the UK has been taken and the way both the countries implement the policies and the way the policies have helped both the countries in controlling tobacco.
Smoking has been a highly prevalent kind of habit which most people have through ages and even when people are highly aware about the harmful effects of it yet people may not have been able to leave it. Moreover, even when most people are aware about the fact that different kinds of diseases are extremely prevalent which is harmful for the health and sometimes people may even die from it, still, people are consuming everyday over the years. However, in the case of the UK smoking may be prevalent as the other countries although the magnitude of using differs with the age groups (Refer to appendix 1). Furthermore, it has been noted that 14.1% of the people within the age groups of 18 years and above smoke cigarettes, whereas 13.9% of the adults’ smoke while compared to 12.5% of the women, 15.9% of men smoke more (Ons.gov.uk. 2021).
Therefore, it may be stated that adolescents are more prone to smoking than the older population which might be a risk in case of health for the people. Moreover, smoking sometimes occurs depending on which kind of profession a person might belong to, which helps in understanding the cause for the propensity of smoking. However, it may be seen that people engaged in the professions under the category of routine and manual are more and more prone towards smoking than the other two which helps in understanding that such professionals are more prone to smoking related diseases than others.
Figure 1: Smoking habits through profession in the UK
(Source: Ons.gov.uk. 2021)
Smoking in some cases presently has become more of a casual parlance rather than a bigger habit for the people and with the introduction of e-cigarettes, smoking has become more and more prevalent among the younger generation. Moreover, the effects of e-cigarettes and combustible cigarettes are quite the same in accordance to the health risks caused by the both and also with the increase in the use of e-cigarettes consumption are increasing among the young generation more (Siddiqui et al., 2019). Furthermore, the prevalence of smoking in the young generation is due to the fact that the youth are always on a verge to try something new for sake of attention, motivation or rather simply trying to fit in. Additionally, the cause of smoking may not always be that, sometimes the youth may try it for self-control, increase performance in the academics and to make oneself more focussed.
Therefore, the behaviour of the youth changes accordingly and it also creates a huge problem sometimes due to the overuse of smoking and even the physical stature changes. Although various policies and major restrictions have been made by the UK in regard to stopping major use of smoking by adolescents, the outcomes may not be bright as expected. Thus, the incidence and prevalence of smoking may be for different reasons yet the rate of smoking among the youth of the UK is rather more than the other age groups.
The prevalence of smoking in Japan is there and the most affected people in case of smoking is the youth in Japan and the eradication is not easy as it had been thought earlier. Moreover, even after knowing that smoking is highly injurious to health and it may cause major diseases, the use of smoking has not stopped in Japan after much awareness. However, the habit of smoking is quite prevalent in the case of adults these days and the effect is quite large although there has been a slight decrease making the average smoking population to 17.7% (Statista. 2021). Furthermore, the consumption of tobacco has highly affected the socio-economic imbalances of the country making such huge inequalities which means that the health inequalities have increased because of the imbalances.
However, the levels of smoking habits in Japan have led the people to be prone towards diseases such as respiratory, heart diseases and even lung cancer. Therefore, these kinds of problems may be there and to eradicate such problems the schools play a good role although Japan even tried to eradicate the smoking habits from the youth by making sure that the school gives good exposure to the students about the harmful effects of the smoke yet in vain. Moreover, the smoking habits among the adults are quite good there although the prevention is not much possible, therefore, various offices have made smoking rooms and other spaces so as to manage smoking.
Figure 2: Smoking rates according to the population in Japan
(Source: Statista. 2021)
The smoking prevalence may be quite large yet with the years the smoking has declined with major effects and stringent laws taken up by the government. Moreover, the rate of smoking among the population differs such as the women smokers are quite lower than the male smokers and even among the women after a certain age woman do not smoke or start smoking (Refer to appendix 2). However, the smoking habits among the population have had a major impact on the psychological as well as physiological problems and if the smoking habits start from a young age then the effect becomes quite prevalent with age. Additionally, it is believed that the high levels of smoking at an young age in case of women may affect the women during pregnancy and may cause various complications in case of women and the child during and after the birth (Ooka et al., 2020).
However, Japan too believes that the health professionals too have some responsibilities in case of awareness about the tobacco consumption among the population although the smoking epidemic in Japan has too touched the health professionals for which it has become quite hard as to who might motivate people to stop smoking. Therefore, the government is trying to incorporate healthy lifestyles among the people in order to eradicate such major issues. Therefore, the use of smoking among the Japanese at large was quite an epidemic according to WHO global tobacco report 2015 for which a major number of people were getting affected and their lives were falling at a risk (jto.org. 2021).
The tobacco consumption all over the world has been extremely high with the increase in the number of market liberalisation all around the world for the buying and the selling of the tobacco. Moreover, the use or the consumption of tobacco is not banned although it may be restricted in the public places by the government of various countries. However, the consumption of tobacco in the countries of the UK and Japan has diverted and the policies made by the countries have a major effect on the diversion with the UK implementing the tobacco policies at large where Japan a little lags behind. Furthermore, the policy makers of the UK were much aware and concerned about the public health of the country which might cause an epidemic among the population whereas in the case of Japan, the policy makers were not much concerned about the public health rather on the profit of the country (Eprints.lib.hokudai.ac.jp. 2021).
Additionally, it may be stated that the UK was more concerned about the health of the population and Japan was more inclined towards income driven business of the country and did not pay much concern about the public health. Therefore, it may be stated that the policy innovation in the UK was occurring with the years whereas in case of Japan, the country was not much concerned about the innovation of the tobacco regulation policy. Thus, the policy is equally given to the population of the UK while the policy framework of Japan differs among regions.
The tobacco control policy as taken up by Japan and the UK may differ majorly as the difference in the opinion in case of the policy makers of both the countries and the outlook among the policy makers have been different. Moreover, the policies as taken up by the UK such as Smoke free generation: tobacco control plan for England (2020), Tobacco control plan: delivery plan 2017 to 2022 (2018), Health Act (2002), Tobacco advertising and promotion Act (2002) (GOV.UK. 2021). Moreover, the policies put forward by Japan such as Prohibition of smoking by minors (1900), Tobacco Business Act (1984) and Industrial Health and Safety Act (2014) (Core.ac.uk. 2021). It may be stated that the policies of the UK have evolved with the year whereas the policies of Japan have stayed stagnant and not much change has occurred. Therefore, the policy makers of Japan are lagging way behind than the UK and the control of tobacco is not much seen in regard to public health rather in regard to economic growth.
Thus, the UK is trying to eradicate the use of tobacco whereas Japan is not much concerned about the use of tobacco by the public which is making the country dig deeper into the epidemic of the tobacco consumption. Moreover, the government of the UK moves in accordance with the framework given by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2005 and therefore to reduce the use of tobacco consumption in the case of youth is much needed which is not followed by Japan although Japan became a part of it (Tobaccocontrollaws.org. 2021).
The national government interests of both the countries are not quite the same as the policy and framework for tobacco in Japan and the UK is way too different. Moreover, the UK is much more concerned about the policies regarding tobacco consumption among the population of the country whereas in the case of Japan, the concern for the tobacco consumption is not much of a concern to the government. Furthermore, the policies of Japan are age old and the policies have not evolved or changed through times and are still followed by the government. On the contrary, in the case of the UK the policy of tobacco eradication has evolved and many more policies have been included so that it helps to eradicate the problem. Furthermore, in the case of the UK, the government is not only concerned about public health although it is concerned about the environmental problems caused by the making of the tobacco and also health hazards to the people working there. However, in 2001 the Japanese government had massive reorganisation with all national government policies and with that the 11th World Conference on Tobacco or Health, 2000 was carried out in regard to tobacco control policy (Blog.hawaii.edu. 2021). Moreover, the government of Japan is quite interested in growing the economy rather than thinking about the public benefits and working on it accordingly. Therefore, it may be stated that the government of the UK is much more concerned than the government of Japan about the public health benefits of the country.
Tobacco consumption and production have been made illegal in many countries even after that tobacco use in various products has been prevalent. Moreover, the WHO has made certain regulations for the major countries for the production of the tobacco as the smoking restrictions have to be made in order to protect the non-smokers from getting affected by it (Who.int. 2021). Furthermore, it became more beneficial for the UK as it was implementing the laws and various policies regarding tobacco restrictions and helped in maintaining it within the country. On the other hand, Japan too implemented the laws yet it marred some restrictions from the policies for which people were open in using although not in the public places yet in the areas where smoking was allowed. However, the government of Japan is more interested in the way the benefits of the economy of the country might be looked after for which the government put not much restrictions on the advertisement and promotion of tobacco unlike the government of the UK. On the contrary, the interests of the UK have always been the well-being of the public which has helped the government in making certain restrictions on the needs of the people especially in the case of tobacco. Thus, although both the UK and Japan did have contributed in making certain restrictions for the countries, the UK was much more advanced in the case of implementing the restrictions on the use and consumption of tobacco.
The implementation of the policies regarding tobacco has a huge impact in the case of the UK because it has been able to reduce the amount of consumption of tobacco by the public, especially the youth. Moreover, the public health model as taken by the European Union has helped in creating major awareness among the public with the use of advertisements, increased cigarette tax, health warnings and media campaigns (Levy et al., 2013). Additionally, this became a big help to the people in gaining knowledge about the effects of tobacco consumption on health and also it too helped in reducing environmental problems due to huge smoke during the making of tobacco. However, the restrictions caused the decrease in the consumption of tobacco use by the youth which has helped in the decrease in the use of young adults widely. However, the rate of smoking is higher in case of unemployed individuals rather than employed or economically inactive individuals although non-smoker too are higher (Refer to appendix 3). Therefore, it may be stated that the consumption of tobacco grows because of stress and anxiety in the individuals and so, tobacco consumption is only a way out of that stress.
The consumption of tobacco is considered to be a health hazard for women as it makes women a little vulnerable in case of the consumption of tobacco by affecting the women during the pregnancies. Therefore, with the initiative of WHO, the UK took measures as to the way in which tobacco may be reduced in case of women so that complications during childbirth may be controlled. Moreover, the government makes sure health warnings are provided in the tobacco packaging and also on the plain packaging of the tobacco products so that the implemented policies are reached to the people while consumption (Drovandi et al., 2019). The government of the UK even after the implementation of the tobacco policies is trying its best to eradicate the consumption from the public. Although the use of tobacco has been reduced after such measures, the numbers are still high in accordance with the population of the country, especially among adults. Therefore, to deliver the messages regarding the effects of tobacco the government has made sure that the government may be able to advertise about the problems through various media so that it reaches people well.
The policy implementation for the control of tobacco in Japan has been quite tough as the country is much more interested in the economic growth of the country with the help of tobacco rather than being concerned about public health. Moreover, even though Japan has been able to ban tobacco consumption in the public places yet the implementation policy continues to lag as the country is yet to restrict the use of tobacco from the public places (Tsugawa et al., 2017). Although the implementation of the policy to ban smoking from public places is still pending, the lawmakers of Japan urged to make it partial so that people may be comfortable to smoke in the indoor public places. However, this might put a massive impact on the children and non smoking people as these people might get affected by the spoke even though these people do not even consume tobacco. Moreover, the policy in case of a ban on the use of smoke in the public places is yet to come and some people still are majorly facing problems in this kind of unrestrictive policies. Therefore, even when many of the policies are there yet no such implementation may be seen in case of the country in a stringent manner.
Japan too follows a smoking inequality in case of men and women and for this particular reason the socioeconomic inequalities may have been prevalent in the country. Moreover, the smoking inequalities not only happens in terms of gender although it occurs in case of higher and lower classes too in which the higher or the more profit making people of the society may have the first hand access of the tobacco while the non-profit making people may have to go through a lot in order to get access to it. However, in order to gain access to health benefits of the country, the deprived people get access to health later than the affluent ones which too in case of a major turnover in the case of tobacco consumption put the person’s health at a high risk (Tabuchi et al., 2017). Therefore, the people of the country may get much affected due to consumption of the tobacco at a larger level and inaccessibility of the health benefits. Thus, for Japan, the country highly needs to implement the policies of tobacco as directed by WHO and also even improve the earlier policies for the benefit of the people.
It may be concluded that the policy implemented by the UK and Japan in order to stop the eradication of tobacco is quite good for the case of the UK. Although, the policies of Japan are there yet not much has been done in order to make benefits for the country.
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