Toxic Life Cycle of a Cigarette
This item is included in the following series/curriculum: Substance Abuse Prevention Curriculum Tobacco Issues Tool Kit: E-Cigarettes, Vaping, and Hookahs
Running Time: 17 Minutes
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Most people know that smoking is bad for your health, but what about the lesser known effects cigarette manufacturing, consumption and disposal? In this program students hear from teenage farm workers who describe being exposed to harmful pesticides and nicotine poisoning. It details how around 600 chemical additives are added to tobacco and that the purpose of many of these chemicals is to make the experience of smoking more addictive. A leading scientist describes the hazards of secondhand smoke to nonsmokers and how they, too, are put at risk for cancer and heart disease. Students also learn how cigarette smoke can leave a toxic residue called thirdhand smoke that coats furniture, carpets, drapery and clothing and poses a lingering health risk long after smoking has stopped. Finally they see how cigarette butts make up a large part of the world’s litter and that the poisonous chemicals remaining in this litter threaten wildlife and our own health.
© Human Relations Media
video, plus teacher’s resource book, student handouts and pre/post tests in digital format
Silver CINDY Award
2016 Notable Children's Video American Library Association
Many forms of media aimed at teens, are designed to stop them from smoking, concentrating on the health effects. This film examines the environmental factors affecting health that are consequences of the life cycle of the whole cigarette, not just the smoking of it.
It all starts with the farming of tobacco, its impact on the workers, especially the young ones, is explained and then made personal with interviews with these teen workers. The manufacturing of cigarettes becomes more sinister with the fact that 600 chemical additives are part of the process. And then the consumption of the cigarette reveals the production of even more chemicals. The effects of secondhand smoke and third-hand smoke are also covered. Clear and colorful visuals, whether in the fields or the factories, accompany all of these facts. Young viewers, who may be expecting the usual smokers’ lung x-rays and photos of patients on oxygen, will instead see the toxic waste of cigarette butts, hear the stories of workers who are sickened by chemicals in the field, and find out more than they probably wanted to know about the hundreds of chemicals involved in smoking a cigarette.
The interviewees and the two hosts of the film, a young man and young woman, provide diversity. Authority is established through the expert who appears throughout, a doctor of public health. Production values are high quality.
The purpose of the DVD is to stop adolescents from starting to smoke or continuing the habit. The film will give junior high and high school students more facts and different visuals as they learn about the dangers of tobacco and smoking. This film would be best used in health or science classes at this level. Public libraries will also want to consider for purchase, as adults may also be interested in the topic.
The disk includes a Teacher’s Resource Book, which presents learning objectives, a program summary, National Health Educational Standards for grades 6-8 and 9-12, pre/post-tests, discussion questions, student activities and worksheets, fact sheets, a resources list, and glossary.
—Reviewed by Mary Northrup, Metropolitan Community College-Maple Woods, Kansas City, Missouri
Educational Medi Reviews Online (EMRO)