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Sixth Grade – Lesson Six

Tobacco Truths Objectives The student will be able to: • Describe short and long-term effects of smoking cigarettes, cigars or pipes. • Describe short and long-term effects of smokeless tobacco products. • Demonstrate effective peer pressure refusal techniques in situations involving tobacco products.

Activities 1 2 3

Dying to Visit Tobacco World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 min. Tobacco Products and Their Effects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 min. Be Smart—Don’t Start! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 min.

Materials • • •

Workbook page 7 Tobacco product samples Posters, pamphlets and other lesson enhancers (optional)

Rationale Studies show that young people have many misconceptions about tobacco and tobacco use. This lesson is designed to correct those misconceptions.

Before You Start… Posters, pamphlets and other materials about tobacco are available from the American Heart Association, American Lung Association and American Cancer Society. We suggest that you contact these organizations in advance to obtain materials that can be used as visual aids or student handouts to enhance the lesson. Suggested materials include: “The Decision is Yours” brochures, “Don’t Bite Off More Than You Should Chew” brochures.

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Sixth Grade

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Dying to Visit Tobacco World Have you ever seen a tombstone with a poem on it? Here is an example: Here lies the body of Samuel Chase. Done to death by a steep staircase. It wasn’t the fall that laid him low, but hard cellar floor that made him go.” Other tombstones contain short sayings. For example, Mel Blanc, the former voice of cartoon characters like Bugs Bunny and Porky Pig, left instructions for his tombstone to say, “That’s all, folks!” These poems and sayings are called epitaphs. Turn to workbook page 7, and we’ll read a few more epitaphs. Who would like to read the first one? Select student volunteers to read the epitaphs below: Here lies beloved Candice Reed. She choked to death on a pumpkin seed. Henry McArthur, who lived on the hill. Died of shock when he saw his electric bill. Beloved daughter, Cindi Sears, Was done to death by a group of peers. What does that last line mean? Encourage students to respond that Cindi’s friends pressured her into doing something that caused her death. You can’t see the rest of Cindi Sears’ epitaph because it is written on the back of her tombstone, but this is what it says: “They dared her to jump from a very high bluff, And that’s why her short life was not long enough.” Who would like to read the next epitaph? Select student volunteers to read the epitaphs below: Here lies farmer Haseem Phyllo. Took a fall off his silo. Samuel Masters, gone but not forgotten, He ate an egg that was rotten. Many epitaphs tell about what caused the person to die. For example, one tombstone has this saying on it: “I told you I was sick.” What do you think happened to the person buried there? Disease. The cause of death was disease. Now let’s read the next epitaph in your workbook, the first one on the bottom row. Select a student to read the epitaph on the first tombstone on the bottom row:

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Lesson 6

“Here lies Lester Moore. Four slugs from a .44. No Les. No More.” What do you think happened to Lester Moore? He was shot. The cause of his death was homicide, or murder. Write “murder” in the space that says “cause of death” on Lester’s tombstone. In the other space on Lester’s tombstone, write this number: 16,000. Allow time for students to do this. About 16,000 people are murdered in this country every year. U.S. Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2001. Who would like to read the epitaph for Gracie Barr? Select a student to read the epitaph on the last tombstone on the bottom row: “Here lies Gracie Barr. She met her death by a speeding car.” How did Gracie Barr die? She was hit by a car. The cause of her death was a traffic crash. Write “traffic crash” in the space marked “cause of death” on Gracie’s tombstone. In the other blank, write this number: 42,000. Allow time for students to do this. More than 42,000 people in this country die in traffic crashes each year.* * National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1996. Write the number 400,000 in the middle tombstone. That is a very big number. What do you think caused the deaths of 400,000 people? Encourage students to guess what caused so many people to die. Every year, over 400,000 people die of diseases that were caused by using tobacco products. SAMHSA, National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, 2001. Write “tobacco-related diseases” in the blank inside the middle tombstone. Every year, more people die as a result of tobacco use than from all other drugs combined. More people die as a result of tobacco use than from traffic crashes, murder or suicide. Do you read newspaper articles about traffic crashes and murders? Yes, all the time. When smokers die of tobacco-related diseases, do you see headlines about their deaths? No. Why not? Encourage students to guess why they don’t read about deaths due to smoking as often as they read about murders and traffic crashes. One reason may be that newspapers and magazines don’t want to offend the tobacco companies that buy advertising from them.

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Tobacco Products and Their Effects What are the tobacco products that are responsible for killing so many people? Products made from the leaves of the tobacco plant. Cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, dip and snuff. Display a package of cigarettes.

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Cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco products. They contain finely chopped tobacco and also many deadly additives that are not listed on the package. Display a cigar. Cigars are made from whole tobacco leaves. Cigars are stronger than cigarettes. A person who smokes a cigar is smoking the same amount of tobacco that is in an entire pack of cigarettes. Display a package of pipe tobacco. Pipe tobacco is roughly ground and often fruit-flavored. It may smell like apples, cherries or cinnamon, but no matter how sweet it smells it is still tobacco, and all tobacco is dangerous. Display a package of chewing tobacco. Chewing tobacco is usually made from tobacco leaves that have been damaged, by insects, for example. Chewing tobacco also contains molasses syrup to disguise its bitter taste. Display a package of dip. Dip is a fine powder made from ground tobacco leaves and stems. It may be sold loose in a flat, round can or in small pouches. Users place it between the lip and tongue. It has a very strong, bitter taste, so manufacturers often flavor it with menthol or wintergreen. But no matter what its flavor, it is still tobacco, and all tobacco is dangerous. Look at your workbook page again. The names of some tobacco-related diseases are hidden in the names on the five tombstones in the top row. On a scratch piece of paper, write down the underlined letters in the same order in which they appear. Then separate them to reveal the long-term effects of tobacco use. Write your answers in the three blank spaces in your workbook. Allow time for students to discover the names of the following tobacco-related diseases: cancer, heart disease and emphysema. If you wish, display photographs of organs damaged by these diseases. Cancer is irregular, uncontrolled cell growth. Mouth cancer is irregular, uncontrolled cell growth in the mouth. It usually begins with rough white patches, and eventually looks like open sores that won’t heal. Most cases of mouth cancer occur in people who use smokeless or spit tobacco. Lung cancer is irregular, uncontrolled cell growth in the lungs. Signs of lung cancer are coughing and wheezing, shortness of breath and chest pain. Smokers are ten times more likely to have lung cancer than non-smokers. The more a person smokes, the greater the chance of lung cancer.

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Lesson 6

Emphysema is another lung disease. When a person has emphysema, the air sacs in the lungs burst and the capillaries that carry the oxygen from the lungs are destroyed. The lungs can’t take in as much oxygen or expel as much carbon dioxide. People with emphysema are short of breath, and often need an oxygen tank to help them breathe. Heart disease occurs in tobacco users because the nicotine in tobacco products causes the heart to beat faster than normal, and the blood vessels to constrict, or get smaller. The heart has to work much harder to push the blood through the smaller blood vessels. Lung and mouth cancer, heart disease and emphysema are all caused by using tobacco products, but it takes time for the tobacco to kill people. The people under these tombstones didn’t die the first time they smoked or chewed tobacco. But some nasty things did begin to happen soon after they started smoking or chewing. Can you think of any short-term effects of using tobacco products? Brainstorm with your class and list short-term effects of tobacco use, including: • Bad breath • Tooth decay • Gross gums • Shortness of breath • Coughing You may want to display pictures of gum disease. Would you like to kiss someone with stinky breath and gross gums? Kissing a smoker is like licking a dirty ash tray.

No.

These disgusting things start happening shortly after people start to smoke or chew tobacco. Why do you think they keep doing it when they are grossing out the people around them, and when their bodies are sending all these warning signals? They are hooked. The ingredient in tobacco products that causes people to keep using them is called nicotine. Nicotine is a very addictive drug, and it is found in all tobacco products. When people are addicted to nicotine, their brains know that smoking is bad for them, but their bodies feel like they really need it. That’s why people who have been smoking, chewing or dipping for a while find it really hard to stop. Some of you know people who have used tobacco products for a long time. They may have started before they knew how dangerous tobacco is, but you know the dangers. Today, these products have warning labels on them.

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Be Smart—Don’t Start Do you think all your friends will make a decision to be smoke-free? Maybe not. Some of your friends may choose to smoke, and they may want you to smoke with them. You’ll need to use your best peer pressure refusal skills to stay tobacco-free. Pretend that I am a friend of yours who wants to try a cigarette, and I want you to try one, too. I’m going to go around the room trying to convince you. When it is your turn, I want you to give me your response. Before we begin, who would like to give us some tips for handling peer pressure effectively? Encourage students to review tips for handling peer pressure: Stand Tall, Speak Up and Look ‘em in the Eye. Stand tall, speak up, look ‘em in the eye. Remember, be smart! Don’t start! Give each student an opportunity to resist peer pressure to smoke. Praise their efforts and give specific feedback when needed.

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Lesson 6

Looking for More? Supplemental Activities & Resources

Language Arts Extender Have your class write more epitaphs for smokers, mount them on construction paper tombstones and post them on the bulletin board.

Math Extender Invite your students to solve this word problem: Jerry knows that his mom could save lots of money if she stopped smoking. She smokes a pack of cigarettes a day. One pack contains 20 cigarettes and costs $2.40. (a) How much does each cigarette cost? Jerry’s mom likes to play tennis. She would like a new tennis racquet that costs $120. Jerry told her that if she quits smoking, she can buy a tennis racquet with the money she saves. (b) How many cigarettes would Jerry’s mom have to give up to buy a racquet? (c) How many days would she need to be smoke-free? (d) If Jerry’s mom quit smoking altogether, how much money could she save in one year? Answer key: (a) $ .12 (b) 1,000 (c) 50 days (d) $876.00.

Suggested Videos Dangerous Game, a 6 minute video tape explores the link between baseball and spit tobacco and interviews present day ballplayers and veterans. To order, write Oral Health America, 410 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 352, Chicago, IL 60611-4211 or call (312) 836-9900. Bill Tuttle, Glory Days/Gory Days. This 6.5 minute video tells the story of Bill Tuttle’s battle with oral cancer. After chewing for 38 years, he has had five operations to fight mouth cancer. To order, write Oral Health America, 410 N. Michigan Ave, Suite 352, Chicago, IL 60611-4211 or call (312) 836-9900. The Trouble With Tobacco. This 11 minute video for grades 5-8 shows the difference between the fantasy promoted by tobacco companies and the reality of tobacco use. To order, call Health Edco (800) 299-3366, ext. 295.

Recommended Resources This lesson may be enhanced by showing the class Mr. Gross Mouth, a large model of a mouth showing cancer of the gum and tongue. To order, contact Health Edco, a division of WRS Group, Inc. P. O. Box 21207, Waco TX 76702. “What’s Really In Spit Tobacco?” This excellent brochure, shaped like a can of dip, includes color photographs of Hank Aaron, Curt Schilling, Lenny Dystra, and Sean Marsee, as well as photos of gum disease and oral cancer. Other materials available from Oral Health America include “Spit Tobacco…Dangerous and Deadly,” tri-fold brochure; “Here’s a Pitch No One Can Handle,” bi-fold brochure; “Bill Tuttle, Glory Days/ Gory Days” poster and “Michele Smith” poster. To order, write Oral Health America, 410 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 352, Chicago, IL 60611-4211 or call (312) 836-9900.

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“Sean Marsee’s Smokeless Death,” reprint of an October, 1985 Reader’s Digest article, includes photos of Sean Marsee before and after mouth cancer. To order, call (800) 467-6346. “My War With a Smoke-Free Killer,” reprint of an article from the October, 1996 issue of Reader’s Digest, tells the story of Bill Tuttle’s mouth cancer, with before and after photos. To order, call (800) 467-6346.

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Too Good for Drugs Grade 6 Sample Lesson