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Smoking Health Risks

Identify the risks of smoking, alcohol, and illegal drugs

Smoking, Alcohol, Drugs Worksheet

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MatchCard Science: Smoking, Alcohol, Drug Risks

Objective: Compare the health hazards of smoking, alcohol, and illegal drugs.

MatchCard: Download below.

MatchCard Information Pieces list the different smoking health risks, alcohol health risks, and illegal drug risks. Students place them in the correct category..

Print the Alcohol, Drug, and Smoking Risks MatchCard

Smoking, Alcohol, Drugs Worksheet homeschool curriculum download arrow
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This is MatchCard #9 of the Nutrition, Health, and Safety Unit Study. Find more information on MatchCard Science below.




Identify the Health Risks of Smoking, Alcohol, and Drugs

Smoking Health Risks

Lungs Diagram

Here are some of the risks of smoking. As one of the projects listed below, students can research other risks based on the Surgeon General's Warnings.
  • One of the most addictive substances known
  • Almost 500,000 deaths a year in the US alone
  • Increases cancer, heart attacks and stroke
  • Causes chronic bronchitis, emphysema, asthma and other respiratory problems
  • Children of users are more apt to have asthma or die of Sudden Infant Death syndrome.
  • Reaches the brain in 8 seconds and is half gone in 40 minutes
  • Dulls the sense of smell and taste
  • Turns teeth brown
  • Reduces desire or ability to exercise
  • Increases rate of depression and anxiety

Alcohol Health Risks

Liver Diagram

Alcohol has a different set of health risks and is often abused by children and teens. It may be used in the same context or different contexts than nicotine.
  • Most common form of drug abuse
  • Used by almost half of Americans, with about 5 – 10% addiction rate
  • Frequently causes vomiting, confusion, seizures, and unconsciousness
  • Long term use causes cirrhosis or damage to the liver
  • Cause of broken families and poverty
  • Increased rate of depression and suicide

Illegal Drugs Health Risks

Lungs Diagram

Drugs present numerous physical, emotional, and social risks for the uers. Some of the most common include:
  • Causes initial feeling of pleasure, followed by a flat, depressed, hopeless feeling
  • Significantly increases spread of HIV and sexually transmitted diseases
  • Long term damage to the brain, heart, kidneys, liver, and other organs.
  • Often causes permanent decrease in intelligence
  • Puts the user in direct contact with the most dangerous criminals and murders in the world
  • Increased rate of suicide and homicide
  • A major cause of homelessness, crime and violence

Learning Activities

Lungs Diagram

Here are some of the student activities to identify the risks of smoking, alcohol, and drugs.

Life Goals: PART I

Before starting this lesson, have a session where your kid(s) write down and share their life-goals. Do the same for yourself. Encourage everyone to list at least five goals.

Put them aside while you do the next activity below.


Emphysema Simulation

Have kids put a drinking straw in their mouth and seal their lips around the straw so they can only get air through the straw. Now run around the outside of the house or a jogging track for several minutes so their heart rate and breathing rate goes up.


Portable Oxygen Anyone?

Smoking looks cool, huh? Do an internet search for the different oxygen containers those with chronic bronchitis or emphysema have to go out with. Do any look cool to you?

Take time to discuss how their life would be different if they had to carry one of these things around every where they went the next few days.


Surgeon General's Warnings

Make a poster or project about all the surgeon general’s warnings that are on cigarettes. Just what would it take to get through to people, anyway?


Hey Buddy, Can I Borrow....

Find out how much a pack of cigarettes cost in your area. How much would it cost to smoke one pack a day? In a week? In a month? A year?


Driving Under the Influence

Do a web search of stories of fatalities and driving under the influence of alcohol.

Some of the saddest stories are those of teenagers who die close to the time of their high school graduation due to driving with drugs or alcohol in their system. Why do some of the kids think it won't happen to them?


We Serve Cirrhosis

Look for pictures and information about cirrhosis of the liver. Permanent damage can be caused by only a few episodes of binge drinking.


Drugs in Your Area

This site has information on drugs that are currently being used in different parts of the country: www.DrugFreeWorld.com


Code Words

If you are at a friend’s house and drugs are involved you should call your parents. It helps to have an agreed upon verbal message you can give your parents for a variety of risky situations where they understand you need them to come get you.

It might be as simple as, “Do you have my headache medication? I think I need it.”


Practice Makes Purpose: Just Say NO

Most people will be offered cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs during a social event in their teen years or young adult years. The more often you say NO, the sooner others will back off.

But “No” doesn’t happen easily or automatically when there is a lot of peer pressure to say “Yes.”

Practice what you might say, so it will come more automatically.

  • Nope. I’m not taking anything that will lower my grade point average or affect my thinking ability.
  • No. It is crazy to break the law and I’m not going to do it.
  • No way. I’m not going to be one of those people who get in trouble for what their friends do.



Life Goals: PART II

Bring out the written life goals again. If it has been more than a few days, give them a chance to add goals or make changes.

Will cigarettes, alcohol, or illegal drugs help you obtain your life goals? Hurt?

Do you think drug addicts whose life is ruined started with good goals they wanted? They may have had some of the same goals. What happened?






MatchCard Science

How To Use MatchCards

MatchCard Science Instructor's Guide

MatchCards are like flashcards - but fun. Students learn and review all the major science concepts with one MatchCard for each objective. Learn how to set up a MatchCard Notebook with the free download of the MatchCard Science Instructor's Guide.

Review 5 objectives a day, three days a week and watch how their knowledge of science expands.

Nutrition, Health, and Safety Unit Study

Nutrition, Health, and Safety Unit Study Cover

Eleven different MatchCards will guide students to making healthy choices for optimal living.

Download the entire Nutrition, Health, and Safety Unit Study.

12 Complete MatchCard Science Unit Studies

MatchCard Science Cover



There's even more! MatchCard Science has a total of 12 unit studies comprising all major areas of science. Comprehensive objectives, reusable MatchCards, hands-on demonstrations, and suggested projects make MatchCard Science Unit Studies a rewarding science curriculum for students who like to get their hands into science.


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