You are viewing this limited free content as a guest. To have access to the full collection of free CATCH material, please Log In or Sign Up.

Session 2: Making Our Own Choices


Slides Slide Notes

Teacher Preparation

1. Prepare enough blank index cards for each student to receive one card. If you do not have index cards, you can cut a blank sheet of paper into four squares to make cards.

2. Print out enough copies of Handout 2: Adult Interview for each student to receive one copy.

3. Review example ads in PowerPoint. If you do not have PowerPoint capabilities, print the example ads.


Activities Materials and Teacher 411 Resources

1. Introduction 

 5 minutes
Teacher Materials:

Teacher 411 Resources:

2. Direct Instruction 

 5-10 minutes
Teacher Materials:
3. Work Time

  20-25 minutes

 Teacher Materials:

Teacher 411 Resources:

4. Closing

  2-5 minutes

 Teacher Materials:

Total Time:

approx.  40 minutes


Lesson Objectives

Students will:
  • Identify the percentage of E-cigarette users in high school and middle school and describe nonsmokers as the majority.
  • Discover the amount of money the tobacco and E-cigarette industry spends on advertising its products.
  • Recognize the covert methods that the tobacco and E-cigarette industry uses to attract new E-cigarette users.
  • Analyze some of the propaganda techniques tobacco and E-cigarette companies use to sell their brand of E-cigarette.
  • Identify reasons why teens may begin using E-cigarettes.
  • Identify positive alternatives to using E-cigarettes.


Lesson Plan

Suggested Length: approx. 40 minutes 


 5 minutes
  1. Ask students to guess the following on scratch paper: What percentage of middle schoolers smoke E-cigarettes? What percentage of 11th graders smoke E-cigarettes?
  2. Ask students to share their guesses.
  3. Reveal the actual numbers: Only 11.3% of high-schoolers and 4.3% of middle schoolers have smoked an E-cigarette in the last 30 days.
  4. Discuss: Most teenagers surveyed disapproved of E-cigarette use. Very few high schoolers, and even fewer middle school students, smoke E-cigarettes. Ask: Are these numbers surprising? Why do you think students’ estimates are usually higher than the actual number? (possible answers: advertising, YouTube and social media, bragging, etc.) 
    Note: Students often overestimate the number of people they think use E-cigarettes, just as they do with conventional cigarettes. By presenting facts about the teen prevalence of E-cigarette usage, students will understand that not “everyone does it.” 
  5. Explain: Advertisers think you are easily influenced by what others do, so they try to make it seem like everyone smokes. In reality, only a very small percentage of teens use E-cigarettes.

Direct Instruction

 5-10 minutes
  1. Explain the two types of advertising: Direct and Indirect
    1. Direct advertising is clearly paid for by the tobacco and E-cigarette industry (billboards, television, internet, radio, magazine ads).
    2. Indirect advertising tries to disguise the fact that it’s an ad. 

      Explain Indirect advertising includes the following advertising methods: 

      • Social Media: Companies pay people on social media to make their product look “cool”. Websites, blogs, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube & Vine Videos. Tries to make E-cigarettes look rebellious, fun, attractive or cool, while leaving out information about the harmful consequences (e.g. nicotine addiction). 
      • Movies: Tobacco and E-cigarette companies pay actors to smoke their brands in movies. You often see characters reaching for a certain brand of cigarette or E-cigarette in a tense or romantic situation, which reinforces the myth that smoking is helpful or even needed in these situations.
      • Magazine articles: Some magazine publishers decide to limit or not include articles on the negative consequences of using tobacco and E-cigarettes.
  2. Display CDC graph titled “E-cigarette use among youth is rising as E-cigarette advertising grows.”
  3. Discuss: As a class, make observations about the graph. Possible observations: As dollars spent by the industry on advertising rose, youth E-cigarette use also rose. Advertisement spending seems to work in getting young people to try E-cigarettes. Youth E-cigarette use has increased since 2011. Advertisers spent $120 million on advertising in 2014.
  4. Share the statistic: $9.325 billion is spent every year on tobacco and E-cigarette advertising. That’s more than $25 million every day, or more than $1 million every hour.
  5. Ask: How are tobacco companies able to afford to spend billions annually on advertising? (Many of their customers are addicted to their products. A lot of product is sold to pay for the advertising)
  6. Review: Don’t forget that much of the social media and YouTube plugs you see are paid for by the industry! In reality, only a very small percentage of teens use E-cigarettes.

Work Time

 20-25 minutes 

Activity 1: Analyzing Ads (10-15 min.)

  1. Ask students to assemble into their small groups.
  2. Ask Peer Group Facilitators to turn to Peer Group Facilitator Sheet 2: E-cigarette Advertising Appeals and display example ads on the PowerPoint. Note: If you do not have PowerPoint capabilities, you can print the example ads and pass them around from group to group.
  3. Ask Peer Group Facilitators to record their group’s reactions to each ad and identify the advertising appeals that were used. Specifically address the following: How does the ad portray E-cigarette use?
  4. Ask each Peer Group Facilitator to report 2-3 of their group’s reactions to the ads.

    Possible Answers: 

    • Example Ad 1:Health, Freedom 
    • Example Ad 2: Flavors, Social Life
    • Example Ad 3: Celebrities, Glamorous
    • Example Ad 4: Freedom, Masculinity
    • Example Ad 5: Social Life, Glamorous, Masculinity
  5. Ask: How do you feel about the possibility of becoming an addict? How would it feel to become dependent on a substance, to need it to feel okay?
  6. Ask: Do the ads for E-cigarettes reflect the reality of addiction?

Activity 2: Reasons Why Young People Experiment with E-cigarettes and Positive Alternatives (10 min.)

  1. Distribute an index card or cut up paper square to each student.
  2. Ask students to independently record responses to the following question on the front side of their index card: Why might young people experiment with E-cigarettes? On the back side, record responses to the following question: What are some positive things young people can do instead of using E-cigarettes? 
    Example Reasons for Use: to rebel, because they are curious, to be accepted, to look cool, friends use it, to look older, parents use it, to taste new flavors. Example Positive Alternatives: join sports team/club, invite friends to a movie or concert, workout/exercise, try new foods, volunteer to take on more responsibility
  3. Collect the index cards and read responses aloud to the class. Make a list of the responses on the board.


 2-5 minutes
  1. Discuss the homework from the previous session (Handout 1: Where Do You Stand?)
  2. Assign Adult Interview
  • Emphasize that students should interview one of their parents or guardians, but if they cannot arrange that, they should find another adult to interview.
  • Distribute Handout 2: Adult Interview to each student, and then either read aloud, or call on a Peer Group Facilitator to read aloud the directions.

↑ Back to top


You must log in to add a comment

No Comments Yet

This content is available by purchase only.
Visit to order.

If you have received a 6-letter Access Code, enter it in the box below to unlock all purchased lessons.