All in one smoking session

This session can be used as a standalone session on tobacco if lesson time is too limited to carry out individual sessions on tobacco.

Purpose of session

To give young people a broad overview of some of the dangers and ethical issues related to smoking.

Key learning outcomes

  1. To describe the chemicals in a cigarette and understand some of the reasons for them being added.
  2. To list some of the risks to health from smoking
  3. To understand how the UK Government has worked to reduce smoking
Stage 1 - Contents of cigarettes

What is in a cigarette?

Resources needed:

Post-it notes. Online access to ‘Chemical Soup’ video.

Key learning outcome

To describe the chemicals in a cigarette and understand some of the reasons for them being added.
  • Using post-it notes, ask pupils to write down one chemical that they know is in a cigarette. Collect up answers and share as a group. Answers are most likely to include nicotine and tar.
  • Show pupils the ‘Chemical Soup’ video.
  • Take feedback from the group on the video. Are they surprised by the number of chemicals added to cigarettes? How do they feel about the reasons that tobacco companies use certain chemicals? Do they think smokers know about the different chemicals in cigarettes?

Stage 2 - Health risks

Health risks of smoking

Resources needed:

Post-it notes. A3 paper. Smoking and Health slides.

Key learning outcome

To list some of the risks to health from smoking.
  • Using post-it notes, ask pupils to write down one way that they know smoking can affect health.
  • Read through the notes. Discuss which are the most common answers. (They are most likely to focus on lung cancer).
  • Put pupils in groups. On sugar paper, draw and label the body of a smoker from head to toe to show how smoking affects health.
  • Take feedback from each group. Use the knowledge pupils share to summarise that smoking affects the entire body and not just the lungs.
  • Present Slide 4 ‘A Smoker’s Body’ to summarise.

Information to support teachers

Stage 3 - Government policy to reduce smoking

UK Government v Tobacco Companies

Resources needed:

Online access to Youtube. Worksheet ‘Tobacco Companies v UK Government’.

Key learning outcome

To understand how the UK Government has worked to reduce smoking.
  • Present with short video showing life in tobacco fields for young people.
  • Present pupils with the worksheet ‘Tobacco Companies v UK Government’. Ask them to try and complete in pairs.
  • Take feedback from the group and present with answers. Ask group what else they think the UK Government could do to reduce smoking in the UK?

Information for teachers

Further support

This lesson can be carried out in addition to any of the other sessions within the SmokefreeMe resource. A short reflection on previous learning on smoking would make a good introduction. As a sensitive subject, remind pupils that they can speak to a teacher after class if anything upsets them. Be aware that you may need to allocate time at the end of the session for any concerned pupils who have family members who smoke.

Further information

If pupils need further information about smoking in general you can direct them to the Hampshire Stop Smoking Service, Smokefree Hampshire.