Activity Idea Place- preschool lesson plans


By Vanessa Rasmussen, © 2004, All rights reserved.

Nicotine is one of the most heavily used addictive drugs in the United States. Cigarette smoking has been the most popular method of taking nicotine since the beginning of the 20th century. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, smoking is the chief cause of preventable deaths in the United States. Nicotine is absorbed readily from tobacco smoke in the lungs, and it does not matter whether the tobacco smoke is from cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. Nicotine also is absorbed readily when tobacco is chewed. Smokeless tobacco (chewing or spit tobacco) can also lead to nicotine addiction, oral cancer, gum disease, and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks.

Secondhand smoke which is a combination of the smoke from a burning cigarette and the smoke exhaled by the smoker is dangerous to everyone especially fetuses, infants and children. This is because it can damage developing organs, such as the lungs and brain.

About 90% of today's adult smokers started as children. If you can keep them from using tobacco when they are adolescents, most people will never start using tobacco. Adolescent tobacco users are more likely to use alcohol and illegal drugs than are nonusers. Cigarette smokers are also more likely to get into fights, carry weapons, attempt suicide, and engage in high-risk sexual behaviors. Preventing youth from starting to smoke is easier than getting them to quit smoking. Even though children are exposed to powerful media messages (TV, movies and music) parents, caregivers, coaches and other adults can still have great influence.

Here are some tips for concerned parents:

Copyright 2001, 2004. All rights reserved. Any reproduction of this article in whole or in part without written or verbal permission is strictly prohibited. For information about reprinting this article, contact the copyright owner: Vanessa Rasmussen, Ph.D, Starting a Day Care Center,