Community Health Assessment Example Paper

Community Health Assessment Example Paper

Community Health Assessment Example Paper

In 1988, the Institute of Medicine published a report: The Future of Medicine, highlighting the need for a systematic and regular approach to understanding comprehensive health of the community through collection, assembly, and subsequent analysis of data to establish trends and statistics on the health position of the society. This health position includes the needs, epidemiologic trends including disease prevalence and incidence, as well as both present and emerging community health concerns (Rabarison, Timsina, & Mays, 2015). The significance of community health assessment is underlined in the World Health Organization’s 1984 revised definition of health as a state of physical, mental, social, intellectual, and spiritual well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. As such, understanding of wellness goes beyond the scope of healthcare institutions, to the community levels. Public health experts recognize the relevance of community health in influencing individual healthcare outcomes, as well as the need to engage in various societal civic and social duties (Rabarison, Timsina, & Mays, 2015).

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) through its National Center for Injury Prevention and Control continually publishes reports on critical community health issues across the world (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020). By recognizing that community health problems can impact both individual and community aspects of equality, income levels, and the general social position, the CDC further highlights that a lack of focus on range of community health concerns would bring down the life expectancy, and decisively affect the community’s economic position (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020). In this paper, therefore, a discussion is made on a selected situation in the community that should be changed. A policy recommendation is developed and justified using evidence drawn from different community/regional approaches to healthcare.


Review of situation- Tobacco use among young people

Tobacco use among teenagers is an extensively prevalent burden in my local community. The essence of this situation is primarily founded on the extensive prevalence and incidence of tobacco use in, as well as the scientifically proven deleterious effects of the drug. Yet the problem of tobacco use is not an exclusive issue to my community. In the United States, over 25% of high school students and another approximately 7% of those in middle schools used various forms of tobacco (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020). Electronic cigarettes comprise the most commonly used forms of the drug. The use of tobacco related products among teenagers has continually been on the rise. The CDC highlights that if the current trends of use continue, the number of Americans dying from tobacco related complications will likely go up. At present, the CDC reports that about 5.6 million young Americans (at least 1 in 13) will probably die from tobacco-related illnesses (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020).

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Considering the factors that are associated with tobacco use, the CDC explains that social and physical environments play a critical role. Tobacco use has been normalized in the mass media, hence inciting curiosity among young people (National Academies Press, 2015). At the same, the prevalent use of tobacco products among the youth today makes others in the same age group want to try it. Also, that tobacco use is influenced by the community socio-economic status is undeniable. Societies of low-socioeconomic status report higher rates of use (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020). Even further, mental health issues including feelings of low self-esteem, and a lack of guidance from parents could plunge teenagers into use. Regarding tobacco use, and being that majority of the influencing factors, other than the biological and genetic factors, can be impacted at both the national and local government levels, it is vital that policy recommendations are put in place, and subsequently implemented to curtail the surging extents of preference among young people.

Policy development

The need for a policy to tackle the problem of tobacco use among young people is a matter of necessity considering the surging number of users, coupled with the extents of health consequences that range from subtle respiratory illnesses to the potential of malignant transformations. According to the National Academies Press (2015), being that the health consequences of tobacco use depend on the dose ingested, policies to reduce exposure would appropriately serve to reduce prevalence. A policy to reduce prevalence will subsequently bring down the community burden of deleterious health consequences of use. Also, with tobacco use, an effective policy targeting the incidence and prevalence of use will have positive downstream effects as it would not only reduce the influence that smokers have on other, but also the serve to positively affect the socio-economic status of families and the community at large (National Academies Press, 2015).

Therefore, to reduce use, an important policy recommendation would be the need to up-scale and increase the price of acquiring tobacco products. This can be achieved by imposing extensively higher taxation on the production and sale of tobacco products. Increasing the pricing of tobacco products would make acquisition of such products strenuous, and thus discourage use, especially among communities of low socio-economic status (Marynak et al., 2016). Since the media and emerging teenage behavior have both succeeded in normalizing tobacco use, the CDC explains that both local and national governments can cooperate to impose heavy taxation on the use tobacco products, a move whose consequences will be a subsequent increase in the local pricing of tobacco products. That this would improve the overall of the community is undeniable. Being that the immediate, intermediate, as well as long term consequences of tobacco use begin with the ability to access the product, a policy to curtail community ability to afford these products would have effects on other downstream components (National Academies Press, 2015).

Justification of policy recommendation

According to Marynak et al. (2016), the pricing of tobacco products has been demonstrated as an effective way to reduce incidence and prevalence of use among teenagers. At the stage in which young people transition from dependence on their friends and peers for cigarette products, to independence and personal initiative, Marynak et al. (2016) explain that they are most sensitive to pricing. In a 2014 report by general surgeons on effective ways of bringing down the percentage of youthful smokers, the need to increase the price of the products came out as an important recommendation. Presently, the average price of a pack of cigarette in most regions in the United States is below six dollars. In a study conducted by Marynak et al. (2016), evaluating the effects of different price scenarios on the number of smokers, it was found that price interventions at each level of product manufacture and marketing would result in greater reduction in the number of young adults who use tobacco.

An increase in the price of a pack of tobacco from six dollars to ten dollars, Marynak et al. (2016) report that approximately one and half a million American youths and young adults would not die from tobacco related consequences. In fact, as low as a 0.9 dollar increase in the pricing of cigarette packs, at least three hundred thousand premature deaths of teenagers and young adults would be averted. While imposition of such higher prices is not easily achievable at single levels of governance, Marynak et al. (2016) explain that a combination of legislations at the local, state, and federal levels can successfully merge to realize the desired targets. Even further, considering the pivotal role of the media and other promotional services, taxation on advertising of cigarette products should be increased to ensure that these products receive minimal media coverage. The pricing recommendations should similarly focus on doing away with discounting approaches to marketing of cigarette products as this usually tends to promote the transition from trial to definite use among teenagers (Marynak et al., 2016). The community health impacts of cumulative approaches to deter use through higher prices would serve to not only discourage use, but also bring down the number of established users.


From the foregoing discussion, it is clear that tobacco use not only among teenagers, but across all age levels, has significant far reaching consequences both on individual and community health. The prevalent, and continually rising, extents of tobacco use demands the development of comprehensive policies to the deleterious health consequences: higher risk of morbidity and mortality. An increase in the pricing of tobacco products has been shown as an effective and efficient way of bringing down the number of users. As low as a 0.9 dollar increase in pricing would avert at least 300, 000 deaths. Still, other complementary policies are needed to comprehensively tackle the issue of tobacco use among teenagers and young adults.

Community Health Assessment Example Paper References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). Smoking and Tobacco Use. Retrieved on 22 Aug. 20 from

Marynak, K., Xu, X., Wang, X., Holmes, C., Tynan, M., & Pechacek, T. (2016). Estimating the Impact of Raising Prices and Eliminating Discounts on Cigarette Smoking Prevalence in the United States. Public Health Reports131(4), 536-543. Doi: 10.1177/0033354916662211

National Academies Press. (2015). Public Health Implications of Raising the Minimum Age of Legal Access to Tobacco Products. Committee on the Public Health Implications of Raising the Minimum Age for Purchasing Tobacco Products; Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice; Institute of Medicine; Retrieved on 22 Aug. 20 from

Rabarison, K., Timsina, L., And Mays, G. (2015). Community Health Assessment and Improved Public Health Decision-Making: A Propensity Score Matching Approach. American Journal of Public Health, 105(12), 2526-2533. Doi: 

Community Health Assessment Example Paper

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