Category Archives: Tobacco control
Kelly Buettner-Schmidt, MS, BSN, is executive director of Healthy Communities International at Minot State University, and a doctoral fellow with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Nursing and Health Policy Collaborative at the University of New Mexico. She has been awarded numerous grants for her work on tobacco control policy. This post is part of the "Health Care in 2013" series.
This is an exciting time for the U.S. health care system or, as I prefer to call it, the U.S. health system (because health “care” system limits what one includes as part of the “system”). As a public health professional for nearly 30 years—about 20 years as a frontline public health nurse, and now 10 years in academia—I have discovered the need to educate people on all that the state and federal public health systems do to improve the health of not only individuals and families but also communities.[i] [ii]
More than half of my professional career, both as a practitioner and academic, has focused on tobacco prevention and control policies.[iii] Professional and nursing colleagues, acquaintances, friends, and family often think of my work in tobacco control policy as separate from my public health nursing career. The reasons for this, I believe, are at least two-fold. First, nursing is often equated with direct client care; second, the tobacco industry effectively confuses many into believing the science of tobacco control is controversial and thus spending public health and tax dollars on tobacco control seems wasteful to the public. (As an aside, many nurses are involved in tobacco control. Please join us!)[iv],[v],[vi]