Tobacco Addiction Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

Why is tobacco addictive? This lesson plan will help you explain the science of nicotine addiction with the help of a video lesson. An activity explores and puts a truthful spin on the marketing of tobacco.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • identify tobacco products
  • discuss the modes of tobacco consumption
  • explain the role of nicotine in tobacco addiction
  • describe the physical and mental effects of tobacco


60 to 90 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts.


Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.


Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6-8 texts and topics.


Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).


  • Assorted images of different types of tobacco products and packaged brands
  • Paper copies of the worksheet from the associated video lesson
  • Assorted print advertisements for tobacco products
  • Old magazines
  • Oversized multipurpose paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Markers


  • Begin by displaying the images of different types of tobacco products for the class.
    • What do these products have in common?
    • What is the primary purpose of the products featured in the images?
  • Play the video lesson Tobacco Use: Addiction and Short-Term Effects for the class, pausing it at 0:28.
    • Is smoking the only means of tobacco consumption?
  • Play the video lesson again. Pause it at 2:29.
    • What is nicotine?
    • Is tobacco itself addictive?
    • How does the nicotine in tobacco effect the nervous system?
    • Why do some people feel more relaxed after using tobacco?
    • Can tobacco use increase mental alertness?
    • What makes nicotine so addictive?
  • Play the video lesson for the class again, pausing it this time at 4:16.
    • Does it take a long time for nicotine addiction to occur?
    • What are the signs of nicotine poisoning?
    • Is nicotine a drug?
    • What are some physical effects that take place shortly after nicotine is consumed?
  • Play the remainder of the video lesson for the class.
  • Distribute the worksheet to each of the students.
  • Work together as a class to complete the worksheet using the content that was presented in the video lesson.

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