No Tobacco! Use these materials to design and develop your programmes to reach children and young adolescents. If you need help to adapt it let us know. This is what we do!
To teach children this lesson, use our Rainbow Flower Tool!
Cancer occurs when body cells grow out of control and form a lump called a tumour. A cancer is serious because it prevents that part of the body from working properly. It can spread to other parts of the body and cause death. It is expensive to cure and often cannot be cured. (We cannot catch cancer from other people.)
Smoking makes the heart work harder. It increases the heart rate because there is less oxygen in the blood when people smoke. Children who play sport cannot play as well if they smoke. When they get older they are more likely to suffer from heart disease.
Tobacco contains tar, which stops the lungs from cleaning themselves properly. Smoking injures people’s lungs so that they:
If a mother smokes, or breathes in another’s smoke, the chemicals in the cigarette can harm her unborn baby. Babies can be born smaller and weaker, or even die if their mother smokes. Babies and young children can get chest problems – coughs and wheezes – if their parents smoke.
Smoke causes eye and throat irritation, coughing and even cancer. Non-smokers still breathe in the smoke of those near them. Some people may be so affected by tobacco smoke, especially those with chest trouble, that they find it difficult to breathe.
Cigarettes and matches cause fires when they are thrown away carelessly. At home people’s lives may be in danger. Burning cigarettes and matches also cause fires in fields and forests, markets, petrol stations, football stadiums, cinemas, and even in vehicles.
Cigarettes contain many harmful chemicals:
In some countries, many people are deciding not to smoke. This means less money for the cigarette companies, so they want to encourage people in other countries to smoke more. They use advertising to get new customers. Don’t let the cigarette companies tell you what to do! Make up your own mind! Think for yourself! We have a lesson from the LifeSkills Handbook to help with this.
Here are some types of activities that teachers or youth workers can do with children and young adolescents. They are set out in no particular order. Part of our work with partners is to select, adapt and create content that ‘fits’ with the context in which it is being used. In the case of children and young adolescents it will be important to get a clear understanding of their home and community life, expectations, educational levels.
Find out about smoking in your community:
Find out how many children in the group have parents, guardians, brothers or sisters who smoke. Talk about how smoking affects the whole family.
Make a bar chart to show the number of children in the class with parents or guardians who smoke. If in a youth group – also show the number of children in the class who smoke at least one cigarette a week.
Joseph, aged 12, lived with his family in a village. One day, on the way from school, he met a group of boys from his class. They were smoking. They offered Joseph a cigarette. Joseph puffed away. At first, he felt sick, but he did not want these boys to think that he was a child. He finished his first cigarette. Soon he was smoking one cigarette a day…then two, then five and then ten a day. He became addicted to cigarettes. Now he felt sick if he did not have one. Joseph began to have a bad cough. It did not get better, so he went to the health clinic.
The health worker told him that smoking caused his cough. She knew he smoked because his breath smelled and his teeth were stained yellow. ‘Girls don’t like boys to smell, you know,’ she said to Joseph. She also told him that smoking could cause cancer of the lungs and throat. Many people die from this. Joseph thought to himself, ‘I must try to give up smoking.’
Joseph had always been a keen footballer, but after a few months of smoking he noticed that he could not run about the pitch as quickly as he used to without getting out of breath. He was upset when he was not chosen to play for his team in a big match.
Joseph went to meet his friends outside the bicycle shop where they smoked and chatted. On the shop wall were cigarette advertisements showing famous sports people smoking. They looked fit and healthy. There was no one there to tell the boys that advertisements are not always honest. For a few months, Joseph was happy. But he missed the football team and began to visit the sports ground where the team was practising. He longed to play again, but he knew that he must give up smoking and start training again if he wanted his body to be fit enough. He talked to several of his friends outside the shop, and three of them agreed to try to give up smoking. It was not easy. At first Joseph felt sick and his body longed for a cigarette. Twice he started smoking again, but Joseph tried again. In the end, Joseph and one of his friends succeeded. Joseph began training again and after a while was fit enough to re-join the team.
Find out the costs of smoking
Understand about the poisonous substances in cigarettes
The Smoking Bottle Experiment
Make a model of a smoker using a plastic bottle with a hole made in it. Squeeze and release the bottle to make the model smoke. Observe the effect of smoke on the model (the look and the smell).
Make up slogans that can be used on posters
Here are some examples:
Prepare a role-play
Monitoring and evaluation
(Children for Health has several M&E tools to use with children and young adolescents.)
Types of things worth finding out might include: