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Tobacco Danger Taught at New Hingham


S.A.F.E. Tobacco Danger Taught at New Hingham


CHESTERFIELD - The Goshen and Chesterfield fire departments presented the fourth in series of five S.A.F.E. (Student Awareness of Fire Education) lessons at the New Hingham Regional Elementary School Wednesday, April 25th.  Chief Sue Labrie from the Goshen Fire Department and Terry Welsh from the Chesterfield Fire Department taught students from Kindergarten to 6th grade about the dangers of tobacco use.  The lessons were tailored to each age group. 



As seen in this photograph, the Kindergarteners played a game teaching them about cilia, the tiny hairs in the nose and trachea (windpipe) that clean the air breathed before it reaches the lungs.  The tunnel beneath their legs represented the windpipe.  The two children at the end represented the lungs.  The balls represented dirt and germs.  The children used their arms (the cilia) to sweep out the balls before they reached the lungs.  We then pretended cigarette smoke was inhaled and the cilia were paralyzed (not moving anymore) and the balls were able to reach the lungs through the tunnel.  The students loved it, learned, and wanted to play again.


Older students were given anatomy lessons explaining how the respiratory and circulatory systems work and how cigarette smoke and nicotine affect the body.  In addition, they were asked to breath through a straw for one minute to simulate the effects of emphysema.  The first and second graders felt their heartbeat then ran in place for one minute and felt their heartbeat again.  This exercise was to simulate the effect of nicotine on the circulatory system. 


All students were shown advertisements for cigarettes and discussed the tricks advertisers used to lure young people to smoke.  It led to very interesting discussions about why tobacco companies are still allowed to sell their products.


The students in grades 3 – 6 are now working on posters for a poster contest.  The winners will be announced May 30th.  The top three will win gift certificates and have their posters displayed on the fire department website.


(April 25, 2007)