Heart Disease and Stroke: Most Preventable Causes of Death in America

Subject: Health Care
Type: Analytical Essay
Pages: 6
Word count: 1578
Topics: Smoking, Disease, Health, Public Health, Universal Healthcare

Heart disease and stroke are among the primary sources of death in America today. Heart-related diseases are ranked the first cause of death while stroke takes up the fifth disease-causing massive deaths in the country. The nation spends billions following these two related conditions due to their extensive capability and the high treatment cost they entail. Despite their high risks and dangers, they are also among the most preventable diseases that exist in the world today. Around 47% of adults in America have at least one among the three main risk factors that result in cardiovascular disease (CVD), that includes heart disease, stroke and other significant related conditions like; high cholesterol, uncontrolled high blood pressure or cigarette smoking. Center for Disease Control (CDC) suggest that controlling such factors, have the ability to reduce the risk of the related diseases by 80% (Fallin et al., 2014). This paper uses a logic model to illustrate how Kentucky State, department of health is addressing the issue of tobacco smoking, an area of Healthy People 2020 which is a lead factor in causing strokes and heart attacks in the community. 

If you ask anybody that smokes or have ever smoked for a period in their lives, why they engaged in smoking, you will receive different responses on the question. Every of those individuals has their reasons as to why they started smoking in the first place and also the reason why they quit or have not. Smoking is harmful to a person’s health, but none of the victims are ignorant of this danger in their lives. In fact, it is a significant problem not only in the United States but also everywhere in the world. In 2015 alone, Kehler (2016) indicates that more than 40 million adults in the U.S engaged in smoking, while the Kentucky is among the highest states in the country with chain smokers in both genders. With such ranking, this State also experiences the highest number of deaths related to diseases that result from smoking. They involve lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke, reproductive effects as well other disability problems like blindness, cataracts, impaired immune function among others. 

Although the CDC claims that the prevalence of smoking in America is slightly decreasing with time, Kentucky remains among the highest regions in the country with the heavy chain smokers. Moreover, research indicates that with the growing population, the number of smokers is on the increase rather than dropping (Fallin et al., 2014). The primary cause of the problem in Kentucky starts at the teenage age for most of the victims. Reports show that the percentage of high school students that engage in smoking remains top in the country and as a result, leads to the increased rate of smoking in the region (Kehler, 2016). Most of the smokers get introduced to the activity while in school and with the highest characteristic of nicotine addiction, it becomes tough for them to quit in the future.  

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As an area of focus of the Healthy People 2020, smoking is a critical issue which requires the best attention from every State’s health department, specifically in Kentucky County, where the number of heavy smokers arises from the youth.  Teenagers are the very people that the world requires for its development and future leaders. With such cases, however, not only will Kentucky experience a rough next generation due to lack of stable people, but the rest of the world as well. Moreover, the state’s economy will continuously remain unstable given that a lot of resources will end up in treating of the smoking-related diseases (Kehler, 2016). Teenage smoking has significant symptoms that are easy to identify, unlike with old people who are vulnerable to many other diseases. Many youths will experience coughing, and phlegm production decreased physical fitness and potential slowing rate of growth among many others (Healthy People 2020, 2016). The Kentucky State health department, therefore, uses the following logic model in their program to address the issue of smoking in the region and act towards eliminating the problem for the community.  

Kentucky State HDSP Logic Model

Guidance-Provide direction and awareness to the youth  regarding smoking elimination-Guidance towards actions created-Increase in community’s knowledge on smoking -The community implements guidelines providedFull awareness of smoking effects and dangers-Decrease in the level of ignorance among the community
Funding from the government-Establish centers for guidance and education

-Reach out to youths in different institutions

-Smoking victims reached out

-Definite number of victims determined 

-Increase in the ability of the health practitioners

– Increase in facilities to handle the situation in the State

-Increase in the budget for dealing with smoking related cases in the State

-Health systems are able to implement the strategies put in place

-Increase in the number of people reached out -Elimination of costs incurred in tobacco smoking related diseases

-Economic development 

Education on the youth -Counsel the youth on the harmful effects

-Meeting the youth that are already smoking and provide strategies to help them quit

Victims get to know quitting strategies

-Victims get to understand symptoms on various diseases

-Increase physical knowledge on the effects of smoking activities-Smokers implement the strategies taught to them

-Decrease in spending on cigarettes 

-Improved health conditions 

-Reduced urge of smoking 

-Decrease in the number of deaths in the state

-Improvement of the state’s health condition

-Improved economy in general

With the increased number of chain smokers and the resultant deaths from smoking-related diseases, the Kentucky State health adopted a program to work on reducing the number of people join the group of smokers. The strategy entails funding the department; create awareness and further educating the community about the dangers of smoking to their health, as well as the second and third parties. This logic model shows the relationship between inputs, activities, outputs and the outcomes towards reducing the risk of diseases related to smoking in America and therefore achieve the positive impacts to the community. The inputs include the significant factors that when put into consideration, will play a prominent role in making a better Kentucky, reducing its rank in the most smoking states in America. 

Considering that most chain cigarette smokers in Kentucky originate from schools and youth institutions, the state’s health department has put much of its focus on the youth and school going teenagers. The department, therefore, plans to invest heavily in educating and creating awareness to the youth, both the ones that are already smoking and the ones that have never participated in smoking, their entire lives. The model further links the primary outcomes and expectations related to the reduction of smoking in the state. As such, the risk of contracting cigarette smoking diseases as well other effects are expected to reduce with time and result to a better community in future. 


The results and success of the programs depend heavily on the assumptions made to anticipate every situation that may arise and as such act upon them accordingly. Most of these assumptions reflect on the past practices and plan related to the program at hand. Kentucky State’s health department logic frame for reducing the cigarette smoking in the state involve specific assumptions that link to other departments in the country. There is an assumption that the funding from the government will be constant from the beginning to the end of the project and there will be no misfortunes in the handling and the distribution of the funds to the project. The program assumes that the education and creation of awareness to the victims will be practical and that every subject in the program will follow the instructions and information provided towards the elimination of smoking in the state. Further, the logic assumes that the staff recruited to conduct the program will perform to their level best, according to their profession to achieve the expectation the program. 

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Contextual Factors

These are the external factors that the program has no control over and may influence the process, participation, and realization of the outcomes. Among the significant factors that affect Kentucky State’s logic model includes the behavioral aspects of the target population, in this context being the youth. Due to their motivations and attributes, teenagers remain to be the most difficult population to deal with and as such, may affect the implementation of the program towards achieving the desired goals. Being in a democratic nation, there are also possibilities of hindrances from the political arena, where politics may influence the process and the implementation of the program in the country (Fallin et al., 2014). The funding process for example may experience hardships, making it impossible to access the desired amount enough to drive the project all through. Moreover, social norms and situations among the targeted population in the state is also a risk factor that may corrupt the achievement of the outcomes. They include backgrounds and personal experiences of the key players in the target population, which many of them may defect from following the strategies provided in the program, leading to a constant number of smoke-related risks in the state.  

Did you like this sample?
  1. Kehler, S., & Hahn, E. J. (2016). A Policy Analysis of Smoke-Free Legislation in Kentucky. Policy, Politics, & Nursing Practice17(2), 66-75. 
  2. Fallin, A., Goodin, A., Rayens, M. K., Morris, S., & Hahn, E. J. (2014). Smoke-free policy implementation: Theoretical and practical considerations. Policy, Politics, & Nursing Practice15(3-4), 81-92. 
  3. Healthy People 2020. (2016). Tobacco Use.
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