Students in Pat Deese’s Health Science I class at Princeton High School celebrated Kick Butts Day, a national day of activism that encourages young people to speak out about the dangers of smoking.
More than 1,000 events were held in schools and communities across the United States and around the world. As a tie-in to the event, Deese used a lesson on respiratory disorders, showing her 26 students the effects smoking has on the human body.
“We are learning about the respiratory system, and it (Kick Butts Day) was the perfect opportunity to learn about the harm using tobacco products can cause to the human body, especially the lungs,” Deese said.
During the lesson, the class looked at the ingredients of a cigarette and discovered, to the surprise of most, how many of the ingredients are known carcinogens. They also looked at some of the effects of smoking, including cancer and breathing disorders.
One of the more visually compelling elements was the “Smokey Susan Smokes for Two” model, which showed how smoking while pregnant can seriously harm an unborn child.
Deese said seeing both the mother and baby taking in the smoke during the simulation was something her students will never forget.
Students also had the opportunity to create their own set of lungs from plastic bottles, balloons and straws. They also looked at computer images of the aging effect smoking has on skin.
Another eye opener for the students was a study on the addictiveness of cigarettes. Deese said her class was astonished to hear that it typically takes just three cigarettes to get hooked.