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Wednesday November 17, 2004
Pre-Intermediate +

THE ARTICLE

The British government will soon ban smoking in most public places in an effort to protect public health and cut the number of illness and premature deaths caused by secondhand smoke. It is not a total ban, like that in Ireland, but will see a smoke-free environment in 90% of restaurants and bars that served food. Any bar that has only potoato chips, nuts and sandwiches not made onsite will beat the ban. Plans may also be in the making to make it illegal to light up in offices and factories.

Anti-smoking groups say the ban does not go far enough. Deborah Arnott, Director of  ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) regarded it as a positive move as “it will save thousands of lives every year, as people are no longer exposed to dangerous secondhand smoke. More needs to be done as smoking (and passive smoking) is the single largest cause of preventable death in Britain, and as many as 34,000 pubs and clubs in Britain could escape the ban.

The smoking ban is part of the government’s upcoming "Public Health White Paper for England", which covers a wide range of health issues in response to a health crisis in Britain. The British are the second-fattest in the world (after the United States) and obesity kills many. The government will ban junk food advertisements on TV before 9.00 pm to protect children’s health, and introduce a red, yellow, green traffic light-style system on food labels to show how often they can be eaten.


 
 

POSSIBLE WARM UPS / COOL DOWNS

1. CHAT:  Talk in pairs or groups about smoking, bans, over-eating, obesity, smoker’s rights….

2. 2-MINUTE DEBATES: Students face each other in pairs and engage in the following (for-fun) 2-minute debates. Students A are assigned the first argument, students B the second. Rotate pairs to ensure a lively pace and noise level is kept: Smoking should not be banned in public places vs. Oh yes it should; Smokers have rights vs. Oh no they don’t; Passive smoking doesn’t kill people vs. Oh yes it does; Smoking doesn’t kill you; vs. Oh yes it does; You can’t ban smoking in pubs and bars vs. Oh yes you can …

3. 'FILTHY' HABIT: Write these other ‘filthy’ / bad / unsociable / unhealthy habits on the board and have students compare them with smoking: drinking (alcohol), spitting in the street, grafitti, eating junk food, peeing (urinating) in the street, littering, using a loud Walkman on the train, wearing strong perfume in a crowded area, chewing gum …

4. SMOKERS I KNOW: Students write down the names of three smokers they know. Tell each other about these smokers.

PRE-READING IDEAS

1. COLLOCATION SEARCH: Check in a dictionary or on the Web for collocations of the words ‘smoke’, ‘smoking’, and ‘smoker’:

2. TRUE/FALSE: Students predict whether they believe the following statements are true or false:
The British government wants a 100% ban on smoking. T / F
It will be OK to smoke in pubs/bar that sell no prepared food. T / F
Smoking will be banned in offices and factories. T / F
A few hundred lives will be saved each year. T / F
Smoking is the biggest cause of preventable death in the UK. T / F
34,000 pubs/bars/clubs could escape the ban. T / F
British people are very slim. T / F
Junk food will also be banned. T / F

3. WORD MATCH: Students match the following words taken from the text:

 

public

smoke

 

premature

up

 

passive

death

 

light

health

 

secondhand

light

 

food

smoking

 

smoke-free

labels

 

traffic

environment

4. MINI-DISCUSSION: Students talk about the following article-based issues in pairs / groups:
a. A smoking ban in public places is good.
b. People don’t need to smoke in pubs/bars/clubs.
c. Passive smoke is too dangerous for non-smokers.
d. Non-smokers complain too much.
e. People shouldn’t smoke because smoking-related illnesses use hospital resources.
f. Junk food should also be banned.
g. Cigarette  and junk food advertising should be banned..


 
 

WHILE READING ACTIVITIES

1. GAP-FILL:  Put the missing words under each paragraph into the gaps.

UK Smoking Ban

The British government will soon ________ smoking in most public places in an effort to protect public health and cut the number of illness and  ________ deaths caused by secondhand smoke. It is not a total ban, like that in Ireland, but will see a smoke-free environment in 90% of restaurants and bars that  ________ food. Any bar that has only potoato chips, nuts and sandwiches not made onsite will beat the ban. Plans may also be in the making to make it  ________ to light up in offices and factories.
 

 

served
illegal
ban
premature

Anti-smoking groups say the ban does not go  ________ enough. Deborah Arnott, Director of ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) regarded it as a positive  ________ as “it will  ________ thousands of lives every year, as people are no longer exposed to dangerous secondhand smoke.” More needs to be done as smoking (and passive smoking) is the single largest cause of preventable death in Britain, and as many as 34,000 pubs and clubs in Britain could  ________ the ban.
 

 

move
far
escape
save

The smoking ban is part of the government’s upcoming "Public Health White Paper for England", which covers a wide range of health  ________ in response to a health  ________ in Britain. The British are the second-fattest in the world (after the United States) and  ________ kills many. The government will ban junk food advertisements on TV before 9.00 pm to  ________ children’s health, and introduce a red, yellow, green traffic light-style system on food labels to show how often they can be eaten.

 

protect
issues
crisis
obesity

 

2. TRUE/FALSE:  Students check their answers to the T/F exercise.

3. WORD MATCH: Students check their answers to the word match exercise.

4. FANTASTIC IDEA / TERRIBLE IDEA: Students circle anything in the text they view as a fantastic idea, and underline anything they view as a terrible idea.

5. QUESTIONS: Students make notes for questions they would like to ask the class about the article.

6. VOCABULARY:  Students circle any words they do not understand. In groups pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find the meanings.

POST READING IDEAS

1. GAP-FILL: Check the answers to the gap-fill exercise.

2. QUESTIONS:  Students ask the questions they thought of above to their partner / group / class.

3. VOCABULARY: As a class, go over the vocabulary students circled above.

4. FANTASTIC IDEA / TERRIBLE IDEA:  Students tell and ask each other about the things they circled and/or underlined.

5. STUDENT-GENERATED SURVEY: Pairs/Groups write down 3 questions based on the article. Conduct their surveys alone. Report back to partners to compare answers. Report to other groups / the whole class.
6. WHY SMOKE?: Students talk in pairs/groups about the following quotes relating smoking:

Knowledge and education:
"The less educated you are, the more likely you are to smoke"
Professor Richard Peto, researcher for the Imperial Cancer Research Fund

Advertising and the media?
The tobacco industry has been accused of targetting groups like young people, women, and ethnic minorities:
"We don't smoke that shit.  We just sell it.  We just reserve the right to smoke for the young, the poor, the black and the stupid."
Tobacco company executive in 1990, quoted in a BBCdocumentary
"We try to tap the emerging independence and self-fulfilment of women, to make smoking a badge to express that.
"Advertiser working for a 'feminine' cigarette brand in the 1980s

Stress and lifestyle?

"Lung cancer rates are 5 times higher among the unemployed than professionals. It's not b ecause stress causes lung cancer, it's because stress causes smoking"
Professor Richard Peto, researcher for the Imperial Cancer Research Fund

Other

Role models and peer group?  Money?  Self-confidence? Family attitudes to smoking?

7. FLYER: Design and make a handout for parents to read on smoking trends.  Here you can mix words, pictures and graphic information.

8. SMOKE OPERA: Improvise a scene from a soap opera. First decide on a cast of characters, including a variety of people (age, sex, work, personality, religion etc) as you would get in a soap opera.  Use the smokeopera character sheet below to help you prepare what they are like. (Explain what a soap opera is). Then act out a scene from an episode where the owner of the local meeting place (eg a café) decides on a smoking ban.  Roleplay the arguments which develop between your characters
 
SMOKEOPERA CHARACTER FILE
Name:
Age:
Job, or school/college details:
Personality type:
Any scandal or gossip on my character:
Likes and dislikes:
Hobbies and interests:
Who I get on with/argue with in the soap:
Love life:
Who I live with:
Health profile:
Non-smoker?:
-Never or ex-smoker?
-Attitudes to smoking?
Smoking :
-How many ?
-Why and when started?
-Attitude to cigarettes?
-Quit attempts?

9. SMOKER’S VIEW: What do you think of the pro-smoking arguments?:
FOREST (a smokers' rights group funded by the tobacco industry) says employers shouldn't ban smoking at work because:
* it gives the company a bad image if employees smoke outside the door
* workers won't be able to be contacted if they are outside smoking
* fire risks are more likely from sneaky smoking (eg in the toilet)
* employees who smoke will feel tense and angry
* it might divide the workforce
An American survey looked at 18,000 employees following smoking bans at work - and found that the number of smokers went down by 5%, and that smokers smoked 10% fewer cigarettes as a result.
A smoker who takes a 10 minute cigarette break, 9 times a day, loses a whole working day per week.
FOREST argues that people like restaurant managers should decide on smoking policies - "according to the needs of their business".

10. SMOKING LAWS ON TRIAL: Role play characters in the following court cases. After the role plays, come out of your roles and discuss the arguments presented.
The Cases:
Case 1 -
Lung cancer - who's responsible?
A 60-a-day smoker wants to sue the tobacco company which makes the cigarettes she has been smoking since she was 15 years old. Now she's 52, and has a year to live because she's got lung cancer.
Would you give the smoker compensation?
Would you make the tobacco company pay a punishment fine?
Case 2 -
A smoke-free night out - your right?
An asthma sufferer goes to a rock concert. She becomes ill due to people smoking, and  is forced to leave.
Who, if anyone, is to blame?
Should the asthma sufferer get compensation?
Case 3 -
Cigarette sales to children - who's responsible?
A shop keeper is caught selling cigarettes to an under-16 year old. The child has been  sent under-cover to the shop by the local council.
Should the shop keeper be fined?
What should happen to a child under-16 caught buying cigarettes?

HOMEWORK

1. VOCAB EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or the Google search field to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find more information on the effects on health of smoking. Share your findings with your class next lesson.

3. LETTER: Write a letter to a tobacco company executive explaining your views on cigarettes.

4. PUBLIC POLICY: You are the leader of your country. Create a list of rules about whem and where smokers can smoke, complete with penalties for not following these rules.

ANSWERS

TRUE/FALSE:

The British government wants a 100% ban on smoking. F
It will be OK to smoke in pubs/bar that sell no prepared food. T
Smoking will be banned in offices and factories. F (not yet)
A few hundred lives will be saved each year. F (thousands)
Smoking is the biggest cause of preventable death in the UK. T
34,000 pubs/bars/clubs could escape the ban. T
British people are very slim. F
Junk food will also be banned. F

WORD MATCH: Students match the following words taken from the text:

 

public

health

 

premature

death

 

passive

smoking

 

light

up

 

secondhand

smoke

 

food

labels

 

smoke-free

environment

 

traffic

light

 

GAP FILL:

UK Smoking Ban

The British government will soon ban smoking in most public places in an effort to protect public health and cut the number of illness and premature deaths caused by secondhand smoke. It is not a total ban, like that in Ireland, but will see a smoke-free environment in 90% of restaurants and bars that served food. Any bar that has only potoato chips, nuts and sandwiches not made onsite will beat the ban. Plans may also be in the making to make it illegal to light up in offices and factories.

Anti-smoking groups say the ban does not go far enough. Deborah Arnott, Director of ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) regarded it as a positive move as “it will save thousands of lives every year, as people are no longer exposed to dangerous secondhand smoke.” More needs to be done as smoking (and passive smoking) is the single largest cause of preventable death in Britain, and as many as 34,000 pubs and clubs in Britain could escape the ban.

The smoking ban is part of the government’s upcoming "Public Health White Paper for England", which covers a wide range of health issues in response to a health crisis in Britain. The British are the second-fattest in the world (after the United States) and obesity kills many. The government will ban junk food advertisements on TV before 9.00 pm to protect children’s health, and introduce a red, yellow, green traffic light-style system on food labels to show how often they can be eaten.

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