Each day approximately 6,000 young people try a cigarette for the first
time, and 3,000 of them become daily smokers. Despite a decline in teen
smoking after peaking at 25% of 12th graders in 1997, smoking rates among
teens are still alarming. The CDC states the teen smoking rate is currently
at 28.5% for all high school students, down from 36.4% in 1997. In an
attempt to curb teen smoking, New York City recently passed legislation
increasing the tax on cigarettes from $.08 to $1.47 per pack, pushing
the average price of a pack of cigarettes to over $7.00 a pack. The higher
cost may prevent some teens from beginning to smoke, but they still must
understand that tobacco affects not only the smoker, but also anyone in
the smoker's environment. They also need to understand that dangerous
tobacco products include cigars, smokeless/chewing tobacco, and clove
cigarettes as well as low-tar and low-nicotine cigarettes. These all pose
risks that are often associated only with traditional cigarette smoking.
Through the activities presented in this lesson, students will become
familiar with the adverse health affects caused by cigarette smoking,
nicotine addiction, and how when combined they may eventually lead to
other risky behaviors. After examining Web sites and video clips, students
will participate in a hands-on role-playing activity in which they will
have to make some serious choices about tobacco.
Students will be able to:
- Identify key health problems related to smoking
- Differentiate between primary and secondary smoke
- Describe how the tobacco companies are misleading in their advertising.
York State Learning Standards for Health
Students will apply prevention and risk reduction strategies to adolescent
Students will demonstrate the necessary knowledge and skills to promote
healthy adolescent development.
Students will analyze the multiple influences that affect health decisions
New York City Middle School English-Language Arts Standards
Standard E1c: Reading
Read and comprehend informational materials.
Standard E3b: Speaking and Listening
Participate in group meetings.
Drug Abuse and Physiology #3: Tobacco and Smoking
the Children: Children Opposed to Smoking Tobacco
This Web site is an anti-tobacco campaign explaining the health dangers
of smoking and using chewing tobacco. It also demonstrates how tobacco
companies target children. This is an ideal site for middle school students
as there are many related links helpful to their research.
for Tobacco Free Kids
This Web site represents advertisements from around the world produced
by the tobacco industry. There are many ads represented in this site
to assist students in their research for the culminating activity.
This Web site discusses how advertising companies focus on children
for cigarette sales. While this site offers an abundance of information
for learning, it is also quite handy in educating students during the
introductory and learning portions of this lesson.
Per Group of Four:
- Brown bag with a piece of bubble gum
- Colored pencils or markers
- Pencil and paper
- White or colored paper or poster board
- Poster board
- Colored pencils