1.Work in pairs. Which of the following do you think is the riskiest?
Playing Russian roulette; taking cocaine; riding a motorbike at 200 kph; crossing the road with your eyes closed; hang-gliding; smoking tobacco.
2. Read the quotation about smoking. What view of smoking does each quotation express?
a) “Out of a thousand smokers of 20 cigarettes a day, one will be murdered, six will be killed on the roads, and about three hundred and thirty will die prematurely because of their smoking.”
b) “If you decide to give up smoking and drinking, you don’t actually live longer; it just seems longer.”
c) “teenagers begin to smoke because they think it’s cool and because they think they look grown-up. The cigarette is a symbol of defiance and an attack on authority.”
d) “I have every sympathy with the American who was so horrified by what he had read about the effects of smoking that he gave up reading.”
e) “The world spends $150 billion a year on smoking-related illnesses.”
3. Have attitudes to smoking changed in your country over the past few years? How? Do as many people smoke?
4. Read the text.
David Andrews meets B J Cunnungham, a dedicated smoker who loyally puffs his own cigarettes called Death.
Ok. So here are the facts. There’s an Englishman called B J Cunningham who has been smoking since he was eleven. He’s a chain smoker who’s in love with smoking. He smokes between two and three packets a day, and already, at the age of 30, has a weak chest. He was in hospital for six days when his lungs collapsed. “It was at that point that I did actually give up cigarettes for six months.” But then he returned to his true love. He wears black leather cowboy clothes and has a fondness for classic Harley-Davidson motorbikes, which he has been riding for the past fifteen years. “I’ve had about ten of them.” he says cooly.
So far, not a very remarkable life. But then, B J Cunningham (no one actually knows what B J stands for) had an idea one night in a bar in LA. “Let’s market a cigarette called Death ,” he said to a bussiness partner. “Why?” said the partner.
“It’s obvious,” he explains to me. “When you take a packet of cigarettes out of your top pocket and put it on the bar in front of you, you’re making a statement about yourself, exactly as you do whith the clothes you wear, the music you like, and the newspaper you read. You’re saying, “These cigarettes are a part of me.”
“So, if you take out a packet of Benson and Hedges, you’re saying, “I’m classy – gold packer – part of high society.” If you take out a packet of Marlboro, you’re saying, “I’m an outdoor type, I like wearing a cowboy hat and riding horses...”
“Now, if you produce a packet of Death cigarettes,” he continues, producing a packet of Death cigarettes to illustrate his point, “what you’re saying is...”
He looks at me to make sure that I’m going to write down what you’re saying about yourself if you smoke Death cigarettes. But do I need to? We all know what Death cigarettes are about. B J Cunningham has been telling us about them since he started his Enlightened Tobacco Company (ETC) in 19991.
Everyone has now got the joke, thank you very much. We’ve seen the black packets with their death’s head on the front and the white packets which are called Death Lights; and we’ve heard about the coffin-shaped vending machines in pubs and clubs.
However, for anyone who has managed to avoid B J’s publicity, here goes. Death cigarettes are for the smoker who wants to say, “Yes, I’m killing myself, but at least I know it, and I smoke a brand which doesn’t try to hide the fact.” “Death cigarettes,” concludes B J, “say, “Don’t you dare tell me to stop!”
B J Cunningham, now on his ninth cigarette of the interview, says he wants to expose the hypocrisy behind the tobacco industry. Governments can’t affort to ban smoking because they receive huge amounts of money in tax. “Tobacco companies try to improve their image by sponsoring sports events such as motor racing, rugby, football, cricket, and tennis, at vast expence. “What everybody wants to forget is that smoking kills. That’s why I’m here, to remind people that smoking and death are linked.”
The ETC hoped to win a good share of the UK market. “Cigarettes in Britain are a &12 billion industry in which four companies control 95 % of the market. The question is: How do we get a share?” He knows the question but he can’t afford the answer. The ETC can’t afford to advertise like the big companies. It has been losing about &1 million a year.
Personally, I have a very different opinion as to why so few people choose to smoke a brand of cigarette called Death . B J has misunderstood human psychology. Of couse smokers know that their habit is probably going to kill them, but they prefer not to think about it. The only people who are going to smoke his cigarettes are people like himself. When I offered one to a friend recently, his reaction was, “You must be joking.” And this is what Death cigarettes are all about. It’s a joke that was funny, but isn’t funny any more.
But B J is still obsessed by fags. “Do you know the main reason I love my job?” he says. “It’s because it gives me a chance to attack the anti-smoking killjoys! Those puritans who try to control our lives. I’ve met many people who don’t smoke, but who tell me that if smoking were made illigal, they would fight it. You just can’t have laws which control every aspect of the way people live.”
I finally started to warm to this character B J Cunningham. It was the end of the interview, and the number of fag ends in the ashtray had increased to fifteen. Perhaps he had something important to say after all. Not just, “Hey, everybody! Look at me! I’m weird, and I’m killing myself!”
5. Comprehention check.
Complete the sentences with the best ending, a, b, or c.
4. B J Cunningham smokes two or three packets of cigarettes a day...
q) even through he has a weak chest.
r) because he has to for his job.
s) to prove that smoking is safe.
5. He wears cowboy clothes and rides a Harley-Davidson motorbike because...
a) he plays in a rock’n’roll bans.
b) he likes everything that comes from the States.
c) it is part of the image he wants to create for himself.
6. B J says that smokers choose a certain brand of cigarettes...
j) because it shows the kind of person they are.
k) to go with the clothes they are wearing.
l) because they want to be sporty or part of high society.
7. We get the impression that the interviewer...
v) likes and admires B J Cunningham.
w) is bored and irritated by B J.
x) is very angry with B J.
8. B J Cunningham says Death cigarettes are for people...
q) who want to be honest and aggressive.
r) who want to prove that smoking cigarettes doesn’t kill.
s) Who want to expose the hypocrisy of governments and the tobacco industry.
9. B J says that his job...
l) is to get sponsorship for sports events.
m) is to sell asmany cigarettes as he can.
n) is to be honest about the dangers of smoking.
10. The interviewer thinks that ETC hasn’t been succesfull because...
b) the big tobacco companies spend &12 billion on edvertising.
c) everybody thinks that Death cigarettes are just a joke.
d) smokers don’t want to be reminded that smoking kills.
6. Here are the answers to some questions. Write the questions.
7. Discussion. Discuss the following in small groups. Then report back to the whole class.
6. How much is a packet of cigarettes in Russia? How much of that is tax? What sort of health warnings are there? Do tobacco companies sponsor any sports events?
7. Why is it that drugs such as nicotine and alcohol are legal in many countries, while other drugs are illegal?
8. Do you think smoking should be banned in all public places? Or, should smokers be allowed to smoke when and where they want?
Some causes and effects.
What causes a child to begin bulling others? If you have ever been victimized by a bully, you may be tempted to say, “There’s no exuse for that kind of behaviour.” And you are probably right. But there is a big difference between a reason and an exuse. The reasons why a child becomes bully do not exuse the wrong behaviour, but they might help us understand it.
Anger at the bully’s conduct can blind us, filling us with frustration and even hatred. But insight into his behaviour may help cool our anger, allowing us to see more clearly as we seach for solutions. So let’s consider some factors that give rise to this unacceptable behaviour.
Many bullies come from homes where the parents are cold or uninvolved or have,in effect, taught their children to ude rage and violence to handle problems. Children raised in such an environment may not see their own verbal attacks and physical aggression as bulling.
One 16-year-old girl, bulled at home by her stepfather and at school by fellow students says that she became a bully herself in the seventh grade. She admit:”Basically it was a lot of anger building up inside of me; I just picked on anybody. Feeling pain is a big thing. Once you feel the pain, you want to dish it out.” While such physical agression may not be typical of girl bullies, the anger behind it is.
Many schools bring together large numbers of students from different backgrounds, who have been reared in widely verying ways. Sadly, some children are aggressive because they have been taught at home that intimidating others and verbally abusing them are the best means of getting their own way.
Unfortunately, such methods often seem to work. Shelley Hymel, educational psychologist, says “Unfortunately, bullying works. Bullies get what they want: power, status and attention.”
Another factor that helps bullying to thrive is a lack of supervision. Many victims feel that they have no place to turn, tragically, often they are right. Debra Pepler, researcher into violance found that teachers detect and stop only about 4 per cent of bullying incidents.
Yet, Dr. Pepler believes that intervention is crucial. She says: “Children are incapable of solving the problem because it’s about power. Each time a bully picks on someone, the bully’s power is enforced.”
So why aren’t more cases of bullying reported? Because victims of bullying are convinced that if they report the problem, it will only get worse. Thus, to some extent, many young people spend their school years in a permanent stste of anxiety and insecurity.
A report from the National Association of School Psychologists in the United States says that every day more than 160,000 children miss school because they fear being bullied. Targets of bullying may stop talking about school. They may try to go to school late each day or miss classes or even to miss school entrily. Children who are bullied may become moody, irritable, frustrated, or act tired and withdrawn. They may become aggressive with those at home or with peers and friends. Innocent bystanders who observe acts of bullying also suffer consequences. The situation induces considerable fear in them, which detracts from their ability to learn.
The most extreme consequence of bullying for victims and society is violence, including suicide and murder. A profrssor of public health sciences expresses concern that “those who are involved in bullying are much more likely to experience emotional difficulties now and in the future.” During the 2001 school year, more than 225,000 Ontario students were surveyed, and between one fourth and one third of them were involved in some from of bullying, either as a target or as a perpetrator. In the same group, 1 in 10 had seriouslycontemplated suicide.
Persistent bullying may erode a victim’s self-cofidence, induce serious health problems, and even ruin a career. Bullied individuals may experience headaches, sleeplessness, anxiety, and depression. Whereas physical attacks may bring on an outpouring of sympathetic support for the victim, emotional attacks may not elict the samerespose. The damage is far less apparent. So instead of sympathizing, friends and family may tire of hearing the victim’s complaints.
Bullying also has bad effects on the bullies themselves. If not stopped in childhood, they will likely grow up to bully others in the work- place. In fact, some students reveal that those who had been bullies as children developed behaviour patterns that endured into adult life. They were also more likely to have a criminal record than those who were not bullies.
Workplace bullying affects domestic stability and tranquillity. It can’t trigger an inexplicable urge for the target, or victim, to hurt loved once at home. Furthermore, it can lead a spouse of family member to fight the bully in a misguided show a support for the victim. On the other hand, a spouse may blame his or her victimized mate for bringing on the trouble. In some instances bullying results in a loss of career and livelihood, in separation and divorce, or even in suicide.
Workplace bullying is also costly for employers. A workplace bully could be an acid-tongued boss or a scheming co-worker and is likely to be a woman as a man. Such ones overcontrol, micro-manage, and put others down with negative remarks and constant criticism. Bullies rarely recognize their impoliteness or apologize for their behaviour.
Workers who experience bullying tend to work less efficiently. The productivity of co-workers who witness bullying is also affected. Bullying can lead workers to feel less loyal to their employer and less committed to their work. One report claims that bullies cost industry in the United Kingdom and estimated two-milliard pounds each year. Clearly bullying has an impact on society worldwide. The question is: Can anything be done to curb the problem and eliminate it?