Dangers of Tobacco
FACTS ON CIGARETTE SMOKING
- Cigarette SMOKING IS ADDICTIVE. It fulfills
these three criteria:
- Smokers develop a tolerance to nicotine (they need to smoke more and
more for an effect.
- Smokers become dependent on it (they need it to feel comfortable.
- Smokers suffer withdrawal symptoms (physical and psychological
discomfort) when they try to stop smoking.
- There are hundreds of chemicals in cigarette smoke. Three of the
most damaging ones are:
- Tars - damage delicate lung tissue and are considered the main
cancer causing agent in cigarette smoke.
- Nicotine - a poison found only in tobacco leaves. One drop of
pure nicotine can be fatal to humans. It is a powerful stimulant to the
brain and central nervous system that hits the brain within four seconds.
But then it has a depressant effect on the cardiovascular system. It narrows
the blood vessels cutting down the flow of blood and oxygen throughout
your body. The heart has to pump harder, thus increasing the chance of
heart disease. It raises the blood pressure and narrows air passages in
the lungs, depriving the body of some oxygen.
- Carbon Monoxide - replaces needed oxygen in your red blood cells.
Even after one stops smoking, carbon monoxide stays in the bloodstream
for days depriving the bodv of oxygen until the oxygen level in the blood
returns to normal. Carbon monoxide is a product of cigarette smoking and
also of gasoline engines.
- Some of the diseases caused by cigarette smoking are:
- Chronic Bronchitis - an inflammation of the bronchi which are
the breathing tubes in the lungs.
- Laryngitis - an inflammation of the throat.
- Emphysema - a degenerative lung disease that destroys breathing
- It is a contributing factor in cancer of the lungs, mouth and esophagus.
ACTITIES THAT WILL HELP THE BOYS UNDERSTAND
THE HARMFUL EFFECTS OF CIGARETTE SMOKING
- Define 'pollution." ("pol-lu-tion: to make unclean, impure, or corrupt; desecrate;
defile; contaminate; dirty. (Webster's New World Dictionary of the American.
- Discuss pollutants in the air in the outside environment. Use pictures from
magazines or newspapers. include: factory smoke, car ehhausts, rocket launches,
smoke from someone else's burning cigarette and so on.
- Explain how all living things need air to breath.
- Put a plant under an airtight container. What begins to happen?
- Put ants or other insects in an airtight jar. Give them everything else
the need to survive. What happens? Why? (When the ants' activity begins
to decrease, open the jar and set them free.)
- Talk about the fact that smoking cigarettes is harmful to our health and how
it pollutes the internal environment of our body (the lungs).
- Blow smoke from a cigarette through a tissue. What did you observe? Wouldn't
that also make your lungs "dirty?"
- Hold your breath and have someone check the time. Did you have to breathe
very soon after you stared holding your breath?
- Demonstrate the effects of sick or injured pamphlets that you receive. If
you smoke, don't do so around the boys. We know it is often difficult to practice
what you preach. Rememmber BSA policy about smoking around the boys or any
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