Almost all people try smoking at least once. Some never again, others will continue for only a short time. However, many poeple continue to smoke and become seriously addicted to the active drug in tobacco . . . nicotine.
The effects of smoking on an individual and can be devastating. Tobacco contains carcinogenic and toxic substances which cause heart disease, emphysema and several types of cancer. These illnesses lead to the deaths of 300 thousand Americans each year, approximately the same number died in four years of World War Two.
Public health economists estimate the costs of smoking on society to be at least 65 billion dollars each year in lost productivity and health care expenditures. This would mean that every pack of cigarettes sold in the United States costs the economy $2.17.
Yet the tobacco growers and cigarette manufacturers are making billions of dollars each year selling this deadly and addictive drug. They epitemize the statement: “Business is war,” and they are fighting this war collectively through the Tobacco Institute, a powerful tobacco lobbying organization. In this war, the tobacco companies are fighting on every front. In congress and courtrooms they are battling product-liability suits, warning labels, no-smoking laws, excise taxes, and health studies which continue to prove that smoking causes addiction and death.
Tobacco is a unique industry, for they are selling death. Cigarettes are the most deadly product on the market. Like weapons, if used as they are intended to be used, will cause injury and death. Yet smoking tobacco is an intrinsic part of American culture and history. It is the hope of many that all people will choose not to smoke, and yet smoking is as American as apple pie. The first people to use tobacco were Native Americans, who made it an important aspect of their culture also.
The tragedy is that all the suffering and loss caused by smoking is preventable. If people did not smoke, they would live longer and healthier lives. They would not be addicted to this harmful drug, which poisons the body and ruins lives. This unit will concentrate on tobacco, and the hazards of smoking. The purpose for writing this unit is to raise the level of awareness about the tobacco industry and the dangers of smoking.
The unit will address the history of tobacco, the tobacco industry, smoking risks and related illnesses, and tobacco use in modern American society.
The unit will be written to address the needs of children in grades four through six (4-6). The unit will include pre and post tests, vocabulary, guest speakers, a smoking survey, lesson plans, teacher and student resouces and a bibliography.
The goal of this unit is to empower children with knowledge about tobacco and smoking related illnesses. I want to help them make the right choice . . . choosing never to become “a smoker.”