Joe Chemo

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Help Your Students Break with the Pack

Camels are pack animals, so when Joe Chemo went to school he never learned to think for himself. If you're a teacher, help your students do better. Challenge them to test their Tobacco IQ and get their personalized Smoke-o-Scope. Then ask them to complete one of the activities below:

  • Write a paper or discuss in small groups:

    • whether tobacco advertisements are effective
    • whether smokers are rebelling or conforming
    • whether smoking makes people attractive
    • why people over 21 rarely start smoking
    • whether tobacco companies have fooled smokers

  • Find a tobacco ad and explain how it tries to influence viewers:

    • by the gender, age, and race of models
    • by the setting or activity shown
    • by what is said or implied
    • by its colors, angles, and other visual elements

  • Create an original "subvertisement" campaign to counter cigarette ads by:

    • choosing a targeted audience
    • deciding how to reach your audience
    • crafting the most effective message possible
    • producing copies of the subvertisement
    • displaying the final product in public locations

You might also hold a class discussion after showing one of the following videotapes:

For background reading, please see:

  • Smokescreen: The Truth Behind the Tobacco Industry Cover-up (1996, by Philip J. Hilts; Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley)

  • Ashes to Ashes: America's Hundred-Year Cigarette War; the Public Health, and the Unabashed Triumph of Philip Morris (1996, by Richard Kluger; New York: Alfred Knopf)

  • Growing Up Tobacco Free: Preventing Nicotine Addiction in Children and Youth (1994, by B.S. Lynch and R.J. Bonnie, Editors; Washington, DC: Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences)

  • Wise Up to Teens: Insights into Marketing and Advertising to Teens (1995, by Peter Zollo; New York: Strategist Publications)

By teaching students to think for themselves, you can help them resist becoming "pack animals" who hand over their money and health to the tobacco industry.


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