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Is a Tough Smoking Law Coming to Your State?


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News Content

Will other states follow the lead set by a tough new anti-smoking law in Hawaii?

Anticipation Guide

Before reading, ask students to agree or disagree with each of the statements below. You might provide time for a few students to share comments they have in response to each of the statements.

  • Smoking can be harmful to the health of smokers -- and non-smokers too.
  • Many cities and some states have passed laws that prevent people from smoking in restaurants and other public places.
  • People should be forced to pay a fine if they are caught smoking in a place where smoking is banned.
  • Anti-smoking laws are a good thing.

    News Words

    Next, introduce these words that appear in the News Word Box on the students printable page: anti-smoking, tough, business, limit, stadium, illegal, and enclosed. Discuss the meanings of any of those words that might be unfamiliar. Then ask students to use one of those words to complete each of these sentences:

  • The small bridge over Oak Street has a weight _____ of 2 tons. (limit)
  • A new _____ law prevents people from lighting up cigarettes in schools and other public buildings. (anti-smoking; some students might suggest that tough fits in this sentence)
  • Our new house has a porch that is _____ with screened windows. (enclosed)
  • Are you going to the football playoff game at the _____ on Saturday night? (stadium)
  • Next month, a new _____ will open in the old hardware store. (business)
  • It is _____ to drive faster than 45 miles per hour on Elm Street. (illegal)
  • Our police chief announced plans to get _____ on crime. (tough)

    Read the News

    You might use a variety of approaches to reading the news:

  • Read aloud the news story to students as they follow along.

  • Students might first read the news story to themselves; then you might call on individual students to read sections of the news aloud for the class.

  • Photocopy the news story onto a transparency and project it onto a screen. (Or use your classroom computer's projector to project the story.) Read the story aloud as a class, or ask students to take turns reading it.

  • Arrange students into small groups. Each student in the group will read a paragraph of the story. As that student reads, others might underline important information or write notes in the margin of the story. After each student finishes reading, others in the group might say something -- a comment, a question, a clarification -- about the text.
  • Click for a printable version of this weeks news story, Is a Tough Smoking Law Coming to Your State?

    More Facts to Share

    You might share these additional facts with students after they have read this weeks news story.

  • "Smoking Prohibited" signs are everywhere in Hawaii since a tough new smoking law went into effect on November 16, 2006. That date coincided with the annual Great American Smokeout.
  • According to some reports, Hawaii is the 14th state to implement statewide no-smoking laws. The Hawaii law is tougher than many others. The law makes it illegal to light up in public areas that are partially enclosed and within 20 feet of doorways and windows. The purpose of the law, state officials say, is to protect employees from breathing in secondhand smoke in the workplace. In the case of this law, "workplaces" include offices, bars, stores, daycare centers, and even lifeguard stands.
  • The new law passed through Hawaiis House and Senate with just 6 (out of 76) opposing votes.
  • At a press conference on November 16, Hawaiis governor, Linda Lingle, said she was taking flak from smokers who say the government is infringing on their rights. "We need to send a clear message that this is not about them, it's about those around them that don't smoke and the impact on them by secondhand smoke," Lingle said, adding, "Hopefully, it's about them in a sense that the fewer places they're able to smoke, the more incentive they have to stop smoking." Lingle is a former smoker.
  • HawaiiReporter.com reports that Lingle made this comment at the press conference: "It was not long ago when we believed that non-smoking sections in restaurants or on airplanes were sufficient to keep second-hand smoke away from nonsmokers. We now have concrete research about the serious dangers of secondhand smoke."
  • Hawaiis lieutenant governor, James R. "Duke" Aiona Jr., is a former smoker too. He quit smoking after his father and grandfather died from lung cancer: "It took shocking events in my life to understand the dangers of smoking and second-hand smoke and what tobacco use was doing to my health as well as the people around me," he told the Hawaii Reporter.
  • Businesses in Hawaii that do not comply with the law face fines up to $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second offense, and up to $500 for each additional violation. Individual people who violate the law will have to pay a $50 fine plus court costs.

    Comprehension Check

    Revisit the Anticipation Guide at the top of this lesson; ask students to respond again to the statements in it. Have their responses changed at all?

  • Smoking can be harmful to the health of smokers -- and non-smokers too.
  • Many cities and some states have passed laws that prevent people from smoking in restaurants and other public places.
  • People should be forced to pay a fine if they are caught smoking in a place where smoking is banned.
  • Anti-smoking laws are a good thing.

    You might follow-up that activity by asking some of these questions:

    Recalling Detail

  • When did Hawaiis anti-smoking law go into effect? (in November [2006])
  • In what places is smoking banned? (places such as restaurants, businesses, bowling alleys, malls, airports, outdoor stadiums and theaters, and within 20 feet of doors and windows)
  • Does the new law allow hotels to set aside rooms for nonsmokers? (yes, a hotel can set aside up to 20 percent of its rooms for smokers)
  • What kinds of fines does the new law impose? ($50 fines for individual people and $100 fines for businesses)
  • How many U.S. states have statewide anti-smoking laws? (14 states)
  • What percent of Hawaiis population smokes? (17 percent)

    Think About the News
    Discuss the "Think About the News" question that appears on the students news page. You might use the think-pair-share strategy with students to discuss this question. If you use this strategy

  • First, arrange students into pairs to discuss and list comments that might be made by people on both sides of this debate.
  • Then merge two pairs of students together to create groups of four students. Have them discuss and add to the ideas on both sides to the debate.
  • Next, merge two groups of four students to form groups of eight students. Have students create a new combined list of ideas.
  • Finally, bring all students together for a class discussion about laws that ban smoking.

    More critical thinking. In another recent news story about smoking, the New York Times reported that the city of Bangor, Maine, has banned smoking in cars if children under the age of 18 are present. The smoker can be fined $50 for violating the law. That ordinance, passed by Bangors City Council, made some people very happy. Others were angry; they say the law is an invasion of privacy. "If the government interferes in this way, who knows whats next?" they say. "Soon, the government might pass laws about what foods we can feed our kids and which ones we cannot." Share this news with students, then ask, How do you feel about Bangors new law? (Note: Some states -- including Arkansas and Louisiana -- have banned smoking in cars with children, and other states -- including California and Connecticut -- are considering such laws, but Bangor is believed to be the first city to enact a ban.)

    Follow-Up Activities

    Art. Share with students some of the "No Smoking" signs that were created to help Hawaii businesses announce the new law. Let students talk about how the signs reflect the state. (Students will point out leis, beautiful flowers, and even fish on the signs.) Challenge each student to create a "No Smoking" sign that reflects the element(s) of your state.

    Math -- read a table. In this weeks News for Kids article, the following fact was shared: Only about 17 percent of adults in Hawaii smoke, which is the fourth-lowest rate in the U.S. Where does your state stand in terms of the percent of people who are smokers? Use a projector attached to your computer to show this table showing the prevalence of smokers by state. (Or photocopy the table onto a transparency and use an overhead projector to display it.) Ask questions about the table, such as the following questions:

  • Can you name one of the three states that has a smaller percent of smokers than Hawaii does? (California, Connecticut, or Utah)
  • In which state do 20 percent of people smoke? (North Dakota or Texas)
  • In how many states do 25 percent or more of people smoke? (six states -- Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and West Virginia)

    More smoking activities. Be sure to see additional activities on Education Worlds Anti-Smoking Activities 'Permeate' the Curriculum page.

    Assessment

    Use the Comprehension Check (above) as an assessment. Or have students work on their own (in their journals) or in their small groups to respond to the Think About the News questions on the news story page or in the Comprehension Check section.

    Lesson Plan Source

    Education World

    National Standards

    FINE ARTS: Visual Arts
    GRADES K - 4
    NA-VA.K-4.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
    NA-VA.K-4.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
    NA-VA.K-4.4 Understanding the Visual Arts In Relation to History and Cultures
    NA-VA.K-4.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines
    GRADES 5 - 8
    NA-VA.5-8.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
    NA-VA.5-8.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
    NA-VA.5-8.4 Understanding the Visual Arts In Relation to History and Cultures
    NA-VA.5-8.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines
    GRADES 9 - 12
    NA-VA.9-12.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
    NA-VA.9-12.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
    NA-VA.9-12.4 Understanding the Visual Arts In Relation to History and Cultures
    NA-VA.9-12.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines

    LANGUAGE ARTS: English
    GRADES K - 12
    NL-ENG.K-12.2 Reading for Understanding
    NL-ENG.K-12.3 Evaluation Strategies
    NL-ENG.K-12.4 Communication Skills
    NL-ENG.K-12.11 Participating in Society
    NL-ENG.K-12.12 Applying Language Skills

    PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND HEALTH: Health
    GRADES K - 4
    NPH-H.K-4.1 Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
    NPH-H.K-4.3 Reducing Health Risks
    NPH-H.K-4.5 Using Communication Skills to Promote Health
    GRADES 5 - 8
    NPH-H.5-8.1 Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
    NPH-H.5-8.3 Reducing Health Risks
    NPH-H.5-8.5 Using Communication Skills to Promote Health
    GRADES 9 - 12
    NPH-H.9-12.1 Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
    NPH-H.9-12.3 Reducing Health Risks
    NPH-H.9-12.5 Using Communication Skills to Promote Health

    SOCIAL SCIENCES: Civics
    GRADES K - 4
    NSS-C.K-4.2 Values and Principles of Democracy
    NSS-C.K-4.5 Roles of the Citizen

    GRADES 5 - 8
    NSS-C.5-8.2 Foundations of the American Political System
    NSS-C.5-8.5 Roles of the Citizen
    GRADES 9 - 12
    NSS-C.9-12.2 Foundations of the Political System
    NSS-C.9-12.5 Roles of the Citizen

    See recent news stories in Education Worlds News Story of the Week Archive.

    Article by Ellen Delisio and Gary Hopkins
    Education World®
    Copyright © 2007 Education World

    01/24/2007


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