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Toxic Tobacco Truths

Toxic Tobacco Truths


Toxic Tobacco Truths is a unit of six lessons focusing on the wider issues surrounding tobacco. Research around young people and smoking shows that successful educational programmes must address all three influences on smoking uptake: the individual, the personal environment, and the social and cultural environment. This pack seeks to address all three areas. This unit embeds Key Concepts and Processes from the PSHE education programme of study. This updated edition also takes a social norms approach to emphasis that the majority of young people in the UK are non smokers.


The Unit is divided into the following six lessons:

1) To Smoke or not to smoke: What are the influences?

Helping students to recognise that we all hold fixed views and opinions about smoking, and that these are influences by a range of factors throughout our lives. By understanding how we develop these opinions and points of view, students become aware that smoking is a choice, it is normal to be a non smoker and how they are better equipped to make an informed choice.


2) Toxic Tobacco Industry

Helping students to become aware of the industry behind the cigarette. This lesson introduces students to the tobacco plant itself, and the farming and manufacturing process. Students start to explore the reality of the industry by examining the range of ingredients which go into a cigarette, then by exploring the wider health, social and environmental impact on a global scale. 


3) Illicit Tobacco: Hidden China

Counterfeit and contraband tobacco is a dangerous industry which many young people are not aware of. This lesson develops students' knowledge of the illegal tobacco industry and helps build awareness around the legal and illegal selling of cigarettes.


4) The Cost of Smoking

Helping students consider both the financial and social cost of smoking. Students start the lesson by working out how much can be saved by non smokers, then examine the wider impact of smoking eg. litter, less productivity in work, less pollution. Students reflect on the overall cost to society of cigarettes.


5) Advertising and Media

Helping students appreciate the impact that advertising and the media have on smoking uptake in young people. This lesson raises students' awareness of the subtle techniques used by the tobacco industry to recruit smokers, as well as enabling students to think about how they can use the same methods to reinforce the normality of non-smoking amongst their peers.


6) Body Image: Smoking Beauty

Helping students to dispel the myths surrounding tobacco use. Drawing back on lesson 1, students become more aware of the truths relating to cigarette usage, particularly in relation to beauty.

To log in and download the GHLL Toxic Tobacco Truths (for secondary schools), click here.


Tagged under: addiction, cancer, smoking, healthy lifestyles

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