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Research

Giving a global voice to minority smoking inequities

A UNC-Chapel Hill student-led public health team placed third among 3,500 participants in Oxford University’s global systems mapping competition, exploring racial and ethnic disparities in tobacco control.

A lit cigarette.

Since 1965, smoking in the United States has declined by 50%. But a team of student and faculty researchers from the Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC-Chapel Hill has uncovered factors that show why this progress isn’t evenly distributed and how racial and ethnic minorities and low socioeconomic groups still suffer health disparities in tobacco control.

The team’s findings earned it a spot in the final round of the global Map the System competition hosted by Oxford University, where the Carolina students and faculty placed third in the world among 3,500 teams from other top academic institutions.

With such a prominent platform in the competition, the student-led team was able to give voice on a global stage to a public health problem that still disproportionally plagues minorities, largely due to complex structural and systemic factors.

“我们研究了吸烟不公平,同时考虑底层结构和思维模式,”佩奇洛根,最近的公共健康研究生谁担任健康权益和烟草控制团队的一员,并担任比赛的最后一轮中铅主持人说。 “我们确定的资源和权力的不平衡,以及歧视和边缘化,导致这些差距。”

在过去的一周中,火箭队 - 他们的表现被称为“用系统科学控烟提前卫生公平” - 通过将高的地图系统竞争,企业主机的其中牛津大学表示,校园决赛封顶成功运行以此来激励学生使用 systems thinking to understand complex social or environmental challenges.

Although Oxford University has held the competition for five years, this is the first year UNC-Chapel Hill was involved. At Carolina, 40 teams registered to participate, and the top five teams on campus competed in April to represent the University at the global finals. The public health team won the top spot at UNC-Chapel Hill and then moved on to compete against 31 teams in a global semi-final. The team then placed in the top six and moved to the final round, ultimately securing its third-place finish and winning £2,000, which converts to roughly $2,500 in U.S. currency.

“我们非常自豪于我们的映射的学生和教师的系统团队谁不仅是从一个非常强大的一套在北卡罗来纳大学教堂的竞争者的出现山代表在国际舞台上的大学,但更重要的是,带来了参与光的因素有关于少数民族不成比例的影响的一个重要问题,说:”梅丽莎载体,主任 Innovate Carolina’s 社会创新,谁的工作带来的竞争到了大学首次的办公室。 “本次比赛是想约紧迫的社会问题,发现新的,往往令人惊讶的洞察力学生和教师使用问题的映射和系统的一个很好的方式。通过这样做,我们可以寻找机会,思考和行动不同,以使我们如何对待公众健康,环境,社会正义和全球关注的其他领域的重大变化“。

bt365app的地图系统校园竞争是社会创新和北卡罗来纳州荣誉的UNC-Chapel Hill的办公支持。它是开放给所有火箭学生和要求参与者创建有关他们有一个解决问题的热情地图系统。今年的冠军球队的成员包括来自全球公共卫生的吉林斯学校以下的学生和教师:

  • Paige Logan, a recently graduated public health master’s student
  • Meghan O’Leary, a public health doctoral student
  • Shelley Golden, assistant professor of health behavior
  • Kristen Hassmiller Lich,  associate professor of health policy and management
  • Sarah Mills, assistant professor of health behavior

“One example we considered is smoke-free public housing,” said O’Leary, citing a 2018 policy change issued by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that required all U.S. public housing units to go smoke-free.

奥利里指出,虽然政策取得了一些成功的居民自报更高的戒烟率,一半的居民违反了政策,这又产生增加了对他们的住房状况的压力和不确定性。 “住房不稳定与谁违反这一政策的居民增加,这增加了资金紧张的压力,并减少控制的感情,”奥利里说。 “所以,这个政策有增加吸烟和住房不稳定的风险进一步离开低收入居民的意想不到的后果。”

团队的工作涉及到创建一个新的系统映射,吸烟或差距因素的识别根源,解释洛根。 “这个新的地图可以证明,例如,低工资的工作是如何与保险覆盖面,这之前获得戒烟服务,”她说。 “我们确定的其他因素包括排斥,歧视和社会资本,这可能不是使用传统的方法加以考虑。”

O’Leary noted that, through the process, the team learned that it is important to use an iterative process for refining systems maps that identify new relationships between variables as well as new stakeholders.

“通过应用系统科学的方法和健康公平镜头,我们的问题,我们发现,在各类重点人群是不相称的高吸烟率是传统的吸烟危险因素,以及不平等的权力和资源的产品,”她说。 “我们最新的概念性模型显示旨在促进烟草控制股权可以产生意想不到的后果,即使政策。需要一个更广泛的利益相关者的角度,以确保公平的结果“。

O’Leary also sees the competition as an avenue that students can use to extend insights they learn in the classroom and enhance their research.

“个人而言,我特别喜欢我的课程有关,而在吉林斯思维系统,我打算使用映射在我的论文的方法体系。我最初有意参加映射系统获得动手使用思维工具,我在课堂学到的系统的经验,说:”奥利里。 “通过我的经验,竞争,与法官和其他团队的互动,我拿走了更多 - 比如如何在视觉上传达有关这些类型的复杂问题,以不同受众的信息 - 当我开始我的论文,这将是难以置信的帮助。”

而进入决赛的团队通常前往牛津大学一个面对面的最后一轮比赛中,covid-19大流行改变了格式。幸运的是,奥利里和团队发现,今年的网络结构仍然是允许的学生,研究人员和其他领导人召集各地的重要议题,并证明他们都准备合作开发在全球范围内解决问题。

“今年的比赛是虚拟在一片covid-19大流行,当时真是令人鼓舞的公共卫生仍然发现聚集到一起,分享想法和批判思考的系统问题的有效途径内的学生和领导者,”她说。 “这些类型在全球层面对话和集体行动的现在尤为重要,将需要解决的大流行。”