Toxic Tobacco Truths - A Breath of Fresh Air
For a number of years secondary schools have had their own resource for teaching about the many and varied issues around tobacco use and the tobacco industry. Primary Schools have been asking for their own resource. It is widely acknowledged that although the overall trend in smoking and experimental smoking has been on the decline for many years now, there are still a small proportion of children, some as young as 9 years old who are either experimenting with smoking or ever being offered a cigarette by their parents, grandparents, siblings, or others.
The national target for smoking prevalence at age 15 years is 12% or less by 2015. In 2009 smoking prevalence at age 15 nationally was 15%. In Gloucestershire, work to reduce smoke prevalence, at age 15 years, has started to prove fruitful. In 2012 prevalence in Gloucestershire at 15 years old was 8.9% but from Year 8 (age 13) to year 12 (age 18), on average, 3% of children try smoking year on year. Children whose parents smoke are three times more likely to smoke themselves. In addition, being exposed to second-hand smoke increases the likelihood of childhood asthma, glue ear and other respiratory illnesses.
This resource aims to provide teachers of Years 5 and 6 with ideas for weaving tobacco education through key curriculum areas such as literacy, science and maths. The main approach has been:
- To focus on the normative behaviour for this country which is being smokefree, in so doing, reinforcing this as a social norm for all
- To identify positive messages about being smokefree
- To discuss the negative effects of smoking in terms of physical appearance in addition to health effects.
These activities are suggestions for you to adapt to suit the needs of your class. Timings are omitted so teachers can be flexible in terms of delivery. Some activities may be best explored over a series of lessons to ensure a sound grasp of the concepts.
This resource includes material to copy and share in classes plus a DVD containing all lesson plans and resources.