Defining Public Health

Public health refers to the stability of the health of the general population in the whole world. Public health agencies take the actions to promote a healthy lifestyle in a population, to prevent diseases and outbreaks, and to ensure that everyone lives in the safest environment they can. Public health works to lessen the severity of or eradicate such diseases as HIV/AIDS, malaria, Zika and outbreaks such as smallpox or the plague by conducting research in scientific labs and advocating prevention methods. Many public health goals are also Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations.

Previously, I’ve participated in research pertaining to the field of public health. The question we were testing was how accessible e-liquids and e-cigarettes are to minors, since those substances are becoming more popular in that age group. As a minor, I purchased the e-liquids from over 100 different websites and recorded if I was able to, any warnings the purchase was preceded with, any warnings on the physical bottle, and if there were any age checks at time of purchase or at delivery. As a lab group, we concluded that there are virtually no security guidelines to the purchasing of these substances at any age and that stronger reinforcements must be taken to protect the safety of the youth. Public health initiatives against nicotine products ensure that people are aware of the consequences of their actions, and encourage people to make smart decisions concerning their body.

The importance of public health is profound—it is one of the most vital industries keeping the human race alive. Without public health, the world would lack such basic necessities such as potable water, clean air, and safe living conditions—many of which we take for granted in developed countries. Public health is needed to establish these conditions in developing countries and to maintain them in all areas throughout future generations. Aside from safe living environments, public health is also extremely important during disaster outbreaks in controlling the epidemic, treating the affected, and educating the public about the next steps to follow.


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