What happened to change the culture of smoking in Poland?

This week, we will examine a case study about smokers in Poland. As noted in Levine (2007), prior to 1989, Poland had the highest rate of smoking in the world, with three-fourths of all men aged 20–60 smoking every day at a rate of 3,500 cigarettes per person per year. It should be noted that 30% of all women smoked every day, as well. This behavior resulted in a life expectancy of about 60 years due to the highest rates of lung cancer in the world and all-time high levels of smoking-related cancers and cardiovascular and respiratory disease.

To prepare for this Discussion, you will be required to read Case 14 in Levine and complete readings in Stanhope and Lancaster, then respond to the following questions:

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  • What happened to change the culture of smoking in Poland?
  • Understanding that we all have bias when discussing health issues and precipitating factors, what social and political factors allowed cigarette smoking to become a part of the Polish culture?
  • Reflecting on your own practice, how do you overcome cultural bias? Do you find it more difficult to deal with some groups than others? How do people use the cultural information that they learn about others? Do you think this leads to stereotyping? Does cultural knowledge influence or change your practice and interaction with others?

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