Another Reason Why Smoking is Harmful
There may be a new reason why smoking is harmful for your health — it may hinder your ability to receive an education.
A recent study conducted by three universities — University of Colorado, New York University, and University of North Carolina — estimates that “approximately 145,000 deaths” could be avoided each year with higher retention rates for high school students, and better push for these same students to earn an advanced degree after high school.
This number is suggested to be the same amount that suffers from smoking-related illnesses each year, inspiring the possibility of the link between education and smoking to be hypothesized.
What Were the Study’s Findings?
The study also suggests that those who acquire a higher degree have a higher likelihood of earning more comfortable incomes and are numerically less likely to become smokers; they also tend to have access to better health care, including jobs with health insurance. This result suggests a reactionary effect: those with better educations have a higher social status, which allows for access to better healthcare and income. Interestingly enough, the study doesn’t actually find direct correlations between smoking and education in its findings, though there is plenty of information to support this hypothesis.
So why focus on education in this kind of study? Co-author and associate professor of public health Vanessa Chang says, “In public health policy, we often focus on changing health behaviors such as diet, smoking and drinking. Education —which is a more fundamental, upstream driver of health behaviors and disparities — should also be a key element of U.S. health policy”. Indeed, many may question how education directly impacts health care problems, though it is clear that it plays an important role in the impact of the importance placed on these health care factors. Apparently, smoking is harmful in multi-faceted ways other than physical health.
How Can This Help?
By using education as the bridge between the influences of poor decision-making when it comes to other health care choices — like smoking, diet, and exercise — we can allow for a better analysis of how to combat these issues and work towards making it easier for adolescents and young adults to steer clear of these influences.