Smoking: fashion craze, habit, disease?
Level – intermediate
listening in order to respond with opinions;
to develop listening and speaking skills;
to make pupils understand the importance of a healthy way of life
to develop skills of the work with additional literature;
to form creative attitude to executed work;
to develop skills of the public appearances
Materials: anti-smoking posters, Microsoft Encarta 2006, Oxford Exam Excellence CD, newspapers.
Possible epigraphs: «Poison, which does not act immediately, does not become more dangerous» (G.E. Lessing); «Smokers, male and female, inject and excuse idleness in their lives every time they light a cigarette» (Сolette, French novelist); «People smoke not because they want to smoke, but because they can not cease smoking».
Preparation to the talk show: pupils are divided into groups according to their own interests: historians, sociologists, physicians, botanist and medics. Each group gets its own task.
Presenter 1. Good afternoon, dear guests! We are glad to see you in our program. Today the specialists in history, biology, medicine will take part in it. Try to be active and our talk show will be interesting, problematic and seizing. First of all let’s listen to the dialogue and you will understand the theme of our talk show.
Good afternoon, listeners. Today in our program «People Around Us» Helen Crow is talking to Mr. Alistair Sinclair, a farmer from Carston who’s one hundred years old.
Helen Crow Mr. Sinclair, You are in perfect shape and what do you do to keep fit?
Nowadays, people seem crazy about having a healthy lifestyle. When I was young, nobody thought about such things. I don’t think you can do anything to guarantee a long life, it just happens to you. You can’t avoid hardship, even tragedies, because that’s what life is like. What you can do is be as active as possible and have a positive attitude
Have you ever smoked?
Well, I haven’t tried cigarettes, no. But once I thought I’d look interesting with a pipe, so I tried that. But after a week or so my wife couldn’t stand it, so I threw the pipe away. Actually, she left me a few months later, but I didn’t start smoking again.
Thank you, Mr. Sinclair, on behalf of our listeners I wish you all the best and a very happy birthday.
Presenter 2. We shall speak today just about this social phenomenon. Smoking firmly entered not only in our mode of life but also culture. Where did this pernicious habit come to us from? Let the historians tell us about it.
Historian. European explorers who arrived in the Western Hemisphere in the 1500s observed Native Americans smoking tobacco plant leaves in pipes. The colonists who followed them grew tobacco plants as a cash crop for export, and smoking became part of European culture by the 1600s. Most tobacco was consumed in pipes and cigars or as snuff (finely pulverized tobacco inhaled into the nostrils). This pattern changed by the early 20th century, by which time smokers consumed more than 1,000 cigarettes per capita each year in the United States and some European countries. The general attitude of society was that smoking relieved tension and produced no ill effects. During World War II (1939-1945) American physicians endorsed sending soldiers tobacco, and cigarettes were included in the field ration kits of U.S. armed forces personnel until 1975.
Presenter1. Thank you. Pipes, cigars, cigarettes…. All of us saw these subjects. Let’s ask our botanist to tell us about them.
Botanist. Tobacco is a member of the nightshade family. There are more than 70 species of tobacco, of which 45 are native to the Americas. The two cultivated species, common tobacco and wild tobacco, are annuals—they live only one growing season. Common tobacco is 1 to 3 m (3 to 10 ft) tall and has a thick, woody stem with few side branches. One plant typically produces 10 to 20 broad leaves that branch alternately from the central stalk. The leaf size depends on the strain. The narrow, trumpet-shaped flowers are dark pink to almost white. Wild tobacco is about 0.6 m (2 ft) tall and has a stem that is more slender and less woody than common tobacco. The leaves have a short stalk that attaches to the stem. The flowers are pale yellow with five separate lobes.
Presenter 2. We all know about the danger of smoking. There is no doubt that many young people become nicotine addicts. But why is it so? Our medics will try to answer this question.
Medic 1. Nicotine, an oily liquid substance found in tobacco leaves that acts as a stimulant and also contributes to smoking addiction. When extracted from the leaves, nicotine is colorless, but quickly turns brown when exposed to air. It has an acrid, burning taste. Nicotine is a very powerful poison, and it forms the base of many insecticides. Cigarette tobacco contains only a small amount of nicotine and most of this nicotine is destroyed by the heat of burning so that the actual concentration of nicotine in smoke is low. However, even a small amount of nicotine is sufficient to be addictive. The amount of nicotine absorbed by the body from inhaling smoke depends on many factors including the type of tobacco, whether the smoke is inhaled, and whether a filter is used.
Presenter 2. I’d like to listen to the opinion of the auditorium: why do people begin to smoke? Is it so difficult to quit smoking? What will the sociologists tell us concerning this question?
Sociologist. Many people start smoking because they want to copy their parents, brothers, sisters and friends. They think it makes them grown up. Studies of former smokers show that their risk of dying from smoking-related disease decreases with each year of abstinence. According to the World Health Organization, smokers who quit smoking before the age of 50 reduce their risk of life-threatening disease by half after just one year, compared with those who continue smoking. Other benefits of quitting smoking include more disposable income, admission to social activities and institutions that ban smoking, and often, lower health insurance premiums. Nonetheless, to quit smoking is difficult, most likely because smokers crave the effect of the nicotine in the smoke.
Presenter 1. Let’s give the floor to our doctors. We’d like to listen to the information about health effects of smoking.
Medic 1. One-third of smoking-related deaths are caused by coronary heart disease or chronic airway obstruction. Smoking also increases the risk of stroke by 50 percent—40 percent among men and 60 percent among women. Other research has shown that mothers who smoke give birth more frequently to premature or underweight babies, probably because of a decrease in blood flow to the placenta. Babies born to mothers who smoke during pregnancy are also at increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome. Cigar and pipe smoke contains the same toxic and carcinogenic compounds found in cigarettes smoke. A report by the National Cancer Institute concluded that the mortality rates from cancer of the mouth, throat, larynx, pharynx, and esophagus are approximately equal in users of cigarettes, cigars, and pipes. Rates of coronary heart disease, lung cancer, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis are elevated for cigar and pipe smokers and are correlated to the amount of smoking and the degree of inhalation.
Medic 2. Studies have found that cigarettes are addictive because an unknown component of tobacco smoke appears to destroy an important brain enzyme known as monoamine oxidize B (MAO B). The enzyme is vital for breaking down excess amounts of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that triggers pleasure-seeking behavior. Smokers have decreased levels of MAO B and abnormally high levels of dopamine, which may encourage the smoker to seek the pleasure of more tobacco smoke. Even nonsmokers are at risk from smoking. Recent research has focused on the effects of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS)—that is, the effect of tobacco smoke on nonsmokers who must share the same environment with a smoker. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that exposure to ETS, which contains all the toxic agents inhaled by a smoker, causes 3,000 lung cancer deaths and an estimated 35,000 deaths from heart disease per year among nonsmokers. Secondhand smoke can aggravate asthma, pneumonia, and bronchitis, and impair blood circulation.
Presenter 2. What’s your attitude to the girl who smokes? Let’s speak about smoking among women.
Medic 3. Have you head about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome? There is a higher incidence of SIDS among infants whose mothers smoked during pregnancy or after birth. Risk also increases in households where the father or another family member smoked—research indicates that infants exposed to cigarette smoke only after birth are twice as likely to die of SIDS. Use of illegal drugs during pregnancy is another major risk factor.
Presenter 1. 80% of people who want to quit smoking can not do it. We shall ask our specialists to tell us how to do it.
Medic 4. A number of nicotine replacement products are available to help a person quit smoking. Nicotine patches are small, nicotine-containing adhesive disks that must be applied to the skin. The nicotine is slowly absorbed through the skin and enters the bloodstream. Over time, a smoker uses nicotine patches containing smaller and smaller doses of nicotine until eventually the craving for nicotine ends. Nicotine gum works in a similar manner, providing small doses of nicotine when chewed. A nicotine nasal spray is a physician-prescribed spray that relieves cravings for a cigarette by delivering nicotine to the nasal membranes. Also available by prescription, the nicotine inhaler looks like a cigarette; when puffed, the inhaler releases nicotine into the mouth. An approach combining three different smoking cessation therapies has found remarkable success. This approach combines an antidepressant drug called bupropin, marketed under the brand name Zyban, with a nicotine replacement product and counseling. While less than 25 percent of smokers who use nicotine replacement products alone remain smoke-free for more than a year, 40 to 60 percent of smokers using this combination approach achieved this milestone.
Presenter 1. Dear members of our talk show! I’d like to ask you the last question. What would you like to wish for smokers?
Thank you for your participation in our program. I wish you all the best. Good buy.
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