Identify three issues impacting the health of your community (ex: diabetes, depression, teen pregnancy).
Vaping, overdose, and heart disease.
For each issue, briefly summarize the level of government involvement.
Vaping has become an increasing problem in our area. In 2023, the FDA performed its annual national youth tobacco survey. Among the youth, 7.7% of students used some form of e-cigarette (Products, 2023). One out of four students said they use it every day. The Federal government in 2019 passed a law for the sale of tobacco can be purchased at the minimum age of twenty-one (American Lung Association, n.d.). In 2023, the Louisiana government created stricter laws for the sale of alternative nicotine products. Those who sale these products must get approval first and a list of approved products can be found online with a current update each month (Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control, 2022). The local government enforces these laws through the local police and sheriff departments.
Drug overdose is a problem here in our area due to the conveniency of I-10 interstate where drugs are smuggled through our city every day. According to the latest data from the CDC, Louisiana ranks third in the nation on drug overdoses (Drug Overdose Mortality by State, n.d.). The local government plans on addressing this issue to legislature at the next session for stricter local distributing laws (Jefferson, 2024). This will hopefully grab the attention of our state and federal government to review currently laws on the state and national level and make sure they are up to date with the current issues.
Obesity is an upward trend for not only our area, but to the state. The Louisiana cuisine and culture are contributing factors. The Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education regulates the diet provided to all Louisiana schools and the local school board is responsible for making sure quality and health food is served in the local schools. The United States Department of Agriculture provides nutritional programs for children. The federal government contributes by increasing obesity awareness and education, zoning for food access, and promoting nutritional labeling (Kahan & Zvenyach, 2016).
Could these issues be improved with more, or less, government involvement?
All of these issues can be improved with more government involvement. Passing laws and enforcing regulations If our produce and products had stricter regulations such as to cut our red dye 40, it would promote healthier eating habits among Americans. Government involvement on stricter regulations of medications of certain classes would help reduce the risk of overdose. Currently, the state of Louisiana has passed strict laws on the use of e cigarettes, but there is always improvement to be made.
Propose solutions to address the three issues.
A solution to address all three of these issues is to stay informed on what is going on within our local, state, and federal government. Calling or writing to your government officials regarding your concerns is a step towards change by having them acknowledge the issues. Keeping up with laws such as the current new vaping law and providing education to young adolescents can contribute to the decrease of vaping. Attending local council and school board meetings to express concerns and bring issues to light is another way we as citizens can promote change.