Smoking is a major cause of the health gap

On May 31, World No Tobacco Day, ask Pharos The GGD GHOR Netherlands pays extra attention to the consequences of smoking on people’s health. Smoking causes a large part of the burden of disease in the Netherlands. Low-income people in poor neighborhoods are nearly twice as likely to smoke as their high-income compatriots in wealthier neighborhoods. Therefore, the negative consequences of smoking mainly affect people who are in a weak social and economic situation. In order to reduce health disparities, it is important to address one of the main causes of this health gap: smoking.

May 31 marks World No Tobacco Day, an initiative launched by the World Health Organization to draw attention to the negative effects of smoking on health. Because every year people die all over the world More than 8 million people to the consequences of smoking. In the Netherlands, smoking causes approximately 10% of Burden of disease In the Netherlands. This is more than being overweight (3.7%), not getting enough exercise (2.3%), and alcohol consumption (1.5%) combined. Smokers in general Poor health than non-smokers Smoking is a major risk factor for all types of cancer.

Health gap due to smoking

Low-income people in slums Smoking almost twice as often Like their higher-income compatriots in wealthier neighborhoods. From recently published research by Integrated Cancer Center Netherlands (IKNL) It therefore appears that many of the forms of cancer that smoking can cause are found more often among low-income people. Lung cancer is one of them. Smoking is therefore an important cause of the current health gap. In practice, it also appears that smoking cessation care does not reach groups of lower socioeconomic status.

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Successful integrated neighborhood approach

In a project carried out by Pharos and GGD GHOR Nederland, GGDs are successfully working in 38 neighborhoods on the multi-disciplinary neighborhood approach “Smoke-free life for all”, where attention is paid to the personal living situation of residents. It is important to involve people who smoke themselves, to discuss smoking, wellbeing and health with them, and then (co-create) an approach to smoking cessation. This collaboration with the people involved and a broad view of health are important success factors for reducing health disparities. GGD GHOR calls on the Netherlands and Pharos to adopt this approach more widely, both in more places in the country and in lifestyle topics.

Megan Vasquez

"Creator. Coffee buff. Internet lover. Organizer. Pop culture geek. Tv fan. Proud foodaholic."

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