The proposed health campaign is aimed at reducing tobacco smoking among youths aged between 18 and 29 years. Young adults aged 18 to 29 smoke tobacco in various forms. One of these forms is cigarettes. Other ways include electronic cigarette smoking and hookah. It is essential to start a campaign target reduction in tobacco smoking among the youth because the prevalence is gradually increasing in this age group. For instance, between 2011 and 2016, electronic cigarette smoking among middle school learners rose from 0.6 percent in 2011 to 4.3 per cent in 2016. This represents a seven-fold increase in smoking. Similarly, there was a 700 percent rise, from 1.5 per cent in 2011 to 11.3 percent in 2016, in electronic cigarette among high school students (CDC, n.d.).
The proposed campaign will be supported by the Health Belief Model. According to HBM, an individual's engagement in health-promoting behaviour or failure to engage in it is linked to his or her perceived susceptibility (belief that he or she might contract a specific disease) perceived threat (feelings related to the severity of contracting an illness), perceived benefits of adopting healthy behaviours, and triggers to action (Carpenter, 2010; Green & Murphy, 2014). The HBM is the most appropriate because by explaining to the target audience the health benefits of adopting quitting tobacco smoking, they will be persuaded to stop smoking. According to Jones et al. (2015), the HBM hypothesizes that messages will lead to behavioral changes if they target perceived benefits, threat, efficacy, and barriers.
The initial methods that will be used to create the public health campaign are social media. Facebook and Twitter are the most useful social media platforms because they are used by the majority of the young people. Because these media platforms are popular with the target audience, the youth, passing public health message via these media will help easily reach the target population. Twitter and Facebook also enable the audience to participate in discussions (Gough et al., 2017). Moreover, using Facebook and Twitter increases accessibility of health messages (Schnitzler, Davies, Ross, and Harris (2016). The goals of the proposed campaign are to reduce the prevalence of tobacco smoking among youths aged 18 to 29 years. This will be achieved through increased awareness of the health risks of tobacco smoking as well as the health benefits of quitting it.
Description and Justification of Communication and Social Media Tools
The proposed public health campaign will employ mass media communication tools (televisions and radios) as well as social media platforms (Twitter and Facebook). These platforms are the most appropriate for the target audience because of their popularity with the target audience. Because these media platforms are popular with the target audience, the youth, passing public health message via these media will help easily reach the target population.
Appropriateness of the Chosen Communication Tools
Social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, is appropriate for the target audience because of the benefits they have over conventional forms of media. First, social media platforms are useful because they enable the audience to engage in discussions (Gough et al., 2017). Compared to written words, Facebook and Twitter are fourteen-fold more effective for discussing health issues. Secondly, sharing public information via social media platforms have been reported to result in higher knowledge scores than sharing the same information via pamphlets (Kofinas, Varrey, Sapra, Kanj, Chervenak, and Asfaw (2014). Moreover, Schnitzler, Davies, Ross, and Harris (2016) noted that using Facebook and Twitter make health messages more accessible. Furthermore, television and radios are suitable for the proposed campaign because they can reach the majority of the audience (Kokemuller, 2018; WHO, 2017).
Adjusting the Public Health Message Based on the form of Social Media
It is necessary to adjust public health message depending on the form of social media users. For instance, when passing the information via Facebook blogs, then it will be useful to pass the information in text forms accompanied by video forms. The benefit of text formats is that it enhances reading while the video forms of the message will help in capturing the attention of the target audience. Another advantage of incorporating video blogs is that it promotes viewership by making the message entertaining and educational. To further make the Facebook and Twitter videos attractive, high-quality videos will be used.
Reasons Why Messages Should Be Adjusted Based On Age, Community, and Literacy Levels
First, adjusting the message based on different age groups is essential because some of the age groups may not have the same interest in the topic (Newman & Ober, 2015). Because of the difference in age of the audience, it is vital to use age-customized health messages. Also, because the audience of different age groups may prefer different approaches to reducing smoking, messages should be tailor-made to fit different age groups. Secondly, adjusting the messages to fit the community is necessary because it enables the target community to understand the reasons for the campaign as well as its benefits. This enhances the community's support for the campaign. Thirdly, messages should be adjusted to fit different levels of literacy to make the messages to be readily understood by the audience.
Planning and Marketing of the Campaign
Planning and marketing of the campaign will be achieved via adverts and promotions. These promotions and adverts will be conducted through social media platforms (Facebook and Twitter). Facebook and Twitter advertisements are appropriate marketing tools because of their ability to reach the majority of the target audience. Another way of marketing the campaign is through mass media platforms (such as radio and television) because of their ability to reach a large audience. Lastly, flyers will be erected in the community to inform the audience about the existence of the campaign.
Engage Target Audience/Communities
Description of the Target Audience
The target audience in the proposed anti-smoking health campaign comprises of youths aged between 18 and 29 years who are currently smoking tobacco in various forms. One of the ways of tobacco smoking is cigarettes. According to CDC (n.d.), the prevalence of cigarette smoking among American middle school learners was approximately 2.2% in 2016 while among high school learners the prevalence was higher; about 8.0%. It is important to note that cigarette smoking dropped from 4.3% in 2011 to 2.2% in 2016 among middle school students and also reduced from 15.8% to 4.35 among high school students (CDC, n.d.). However, other forms of tobacco smoking showed a substantial rise over the same period. For instance, between 2011 and 2016, electronic cigarette smoking among middle school learners increased from 0.6 percent in 2011 to 4.3 per cent in 2016. This represents a seven-fold increase in smoking. Similarly, there was a 700 percent rise, from 1.5 per cent in 2011 to 11.3 percent in 2016, in electronic cigarette among high school students.
Other forms of cigarette smoking showed a significant rise too, e.g. hookah smoking increased two-fold among middle school students from 2011 to 2016. Generally, there is an increasing rate of cigarette smoking among the youth. If cigarette smoking continues to rise, CDC (n.d.) estimates that 5.6 million of the current youths in the U.S.A will continue to die prematurely. Consequently, it is vital to come up with a health campaign with the aim of reducing the prevalence of tobacco consumption among youth aged 18 to 29 years.
Involving the Youth in Public Health Campaign
The involvement of the youth in the anti-tobacco smoking campaign is aimed at making them own the campaign. One of the ways in which the youth may be involved in this campaign is through the recruitment of current tobacco smokers, who are willing to be the change agents, into the campaign. The volunteer youths will be expected to be at the forefront in spreading behavioral change health messages. It is crucial to recruit current smokers into the campaign because personal stories about tobacco smoking or negative visceral messages are effective in discouraging smoking (The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2018). These volunteer youths will give their accounts of the adverse health impacts of tobacco smoking.
Strategies for Promotion of Public Relations
The creation of a successful public relations strategy is needed to ensure that a particular health campaign is successful. This is because public relation tools are useful in attracting potential clients (Business Queensland (2011). One of the most crucial public relation tools in the proposed campaign is social media, especially Facebook and Twitter. The importance of these platforms is that they allow for direct engagement or conversation between the campaigners and the participants or the target audience. Because of this, the proposed campaign will utilize both Facebook and Twitter to spread the negative persuasive messages regarding tobacco smoking. Additionally, key messages will be used to promote public relations. Key messages are messages the campaigners want the target audience to hear (Pollard (2017).
Behavior Change that will be Achieved and its Benefits
The proposed campaign aims to reduce the prevalence of tobacco smoking among the youth aged 18 to 29 years. It is expected that decreased tobacco use will result in many health benefits on the target audience. For instance, by reducing tobacco smoking, the target audience will reduce the risk of getting cardiovascular diseases. This is because when a person stops smoking, the blood pressure is reduced. Also, the risk of contracting heart diseases is decreased via the thinning of the blood. When an individual stops smoking, the blood thin and thus does not easily clot. Additionally, the risk of cardiovascular diseases is reduced due to the decrease in cholesterol levels following quitting of tobacco smoking. This is achieved through a decreased rate of fat accumulation in the arteries thus reducing the levels of fats and cholesterol (Smokefree.gov, n.d.).
It is also hoped that by quitting smoking, the target audience will have the risk of developing emphysema reduced (Schulman, 2006; Komaroff & School, 2005). This is because when a person stops smoking at a young age before the air sacs are damaged, emphysema is less likely to develop in later years. Moreover, decreased smoking will help in reducing respiratory infections. This is because by quitting tobacco smoking, there is regrowth of cilia (MD, 2013). Furthermore, tobacco smoking will lead to a decreased risk of developing cancer in later years (Dennis, 2009). This is because by quitting smoking, there is less likelihood of the DNA being damaged. Additionally, reduced tobacco smoking helps to repair damaged DNA.
The anti-smoking campaign will incorporate the following stakeholders to ensure that the objectives and goals are achieved: church leaders, teachers, and parents. It is essential to include the leaders of churches because of the respect and trust people have in them in the society. I hope that the religious leaders will help in making the campaign a success by being at the forefront in trying to convince the youths of the health benefits that will be achieved by quitting tobacco smoking. The church leaders will do this by guiding and counselling the youths. Secondly, because teachers are in close contact with the target group and are also respected and trusted, they will also hel...
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