The true cost of smoking

This session focuses on the cost of smoking, not just financially to the individual, but to health, economy and communities. It draws on previous learning from lessons on smoking in the developing world and environment. Pupils are required to consider the financial implications to families, but also how the cost of treating smoking related illness impacts the economy. Illegal tobacco is also addressed and pupils learn about how illegal tobacco in their community can fund organised crime. To consolidate learning pupils have freedom to produce their own ‘realistic’ advertising campaign for illegal tobacco which spells out the costs to the community.

Purpose of session

To help young people understand the true cost of smoking personally, to their family and to their community.

Key learning outcomes

  1. Explain the true cost of smoking to personal and family finance.
  2. Identify the true cost of smoking to communities, the environment and economies.
  3. Describe the dangers of illegal tobacco and how it affects communities.
Stage 1 - Demonstrating knowledge

The financial cost of smoking

Resources needed:

PowerPoint projector and slides. Calculators.

Key learning outcome

Explain the true cost of smoking to personal and family finance.
  • Present Slide 2 and ask them to work out the cost of each cigarette based on the current price of a packet.
  • Present Slide 3 and ask pupils to work out the cost of smoking to the family in the scenario. Allow time at the end for pupils to search for examples of what else the family could have spent the money on and share.
  • Split into pairs and ask them to think about and write down what other costs there are to smoking. Encourage them to think about previous lessons they’ve had on tobacco. Feedback.

Stage 2 - Presenting new information

Resources needed:

PowerPoint projector and slides.

Key learning outcome

Identify the true cost of smoking to communities, the environment and economies.
  • Summarise that smoking has a financial impact for the individual and an average smoker can spend nearly £4000 a year. What do they think are the other costs of smoking?
  • Present Slides 4-8 and discuss the impact with the class. Which is the most worrying impact for them?

Stage 3 - Applying and reflecting

Resources needed:

PowerPoint projector with sound and slides. Internet access.

Key learning outcome

Describe the dangers of illegal tobacco and how it affects communities
  • Present Slides 9–11 on Illegal tobacco and show embedded film.
  • Pupils to present a campaign to raise awareness of Illegal tobacco using facts they have learned from all previous lessons and through undertaking their own research. Allow students freedom to choose their own media, this could include, poster, roleplay, film. The campaign should be suitable for young people and inform them about the cost and risks of illegal tobacco in a humorous way.
  • Present campaign to team and feedback.
  • Reflect on learning outcomes.

Further support

This lesson is best carried out after or alongside lessons on Tobacco and the Environment and Smoking and the Developing World. A short reflection on previous learning on smoking would make a good introduction. 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 NHS Stop Smoking Service, Quit4Life or The Filter for information about smoking for young people.