Skip to main content

TRUTH About Tobacco

The TRUTH About Tobacco program was originally developed in Dover.

It is a 2-lesson program with taught by DARE Officers and Youth to Youth students although this is not a DARE-based curriculum.

Based on research out of Florida, we developed this program with a strong message that attacks the tobacco industry for deceptive advertising and marketing practices that are attractive to kids.

Lesson #1 describes what tobacco is, what nicotine is, what addiction is and covers both long range and short term consequences of using it. There is heavy emphasis on the immediate impact smoking has on sports performance, and we stress the cost in dollars of being a regular smoker – two areas a 10 year old can identify with.

Students fill in the blanks on notes in a TRUTH Workbook as they follow the instructor’s presentation. At the conclusion of the lesson, students are given a homework assignment of interviewing a smoker and answering 4 questions (such as: Do you wish you never started smoking?)

Lesson #2 starts with a review of the interviews with smokers. The students compare answers about smoker attitudes about, for example, how hard it is to quit. Patterns are identified. For example, typically, 18 or 19 out of 20 interviewed smokers tell the students that they wish they never started. In the end, each class has conducted a mini real world research project.

This lesson continues with a discussion of why people start smoking and the role that media can play in attracting youth long enough to get hooked on the nicotine. Samples of advertising from the 1940s through the present are brought into the room (e.g. Marlboro backpacks, Camel gym bag, and Cool penguin mascot, and Winston ad with football players). Students are challenged to contrast advertising that features young, healthy people; sports scenes; and cartoon characters with a product that makes you sick, less able to play sports and is illegal for kids. The students are allowed to come to their own conclusions about the motives of the tobacco industry.

site by