Source: New York Voices: "Smoking in the City"
Funding for the VITAL/Ready to Teach collection was secured through the United States Department of Education under the Ready to Teach Program.
This video segment from New York Voices looks at the battle over fresh air in bars and restaurants. For reasons concerning public health, states all over the country are beginning to ban smoking in public places. For example, in 2003, New York State became the third state to stamp out cigarette smoking in virtually all businesses. Legislation ended smoking in certain restaurants, bars and other public places. Smokers describe when they began to smoke and why, how they feel about smoking and how they are viewed as smokers by others. Learn more about the controversy regarding banning smoking in “The Smoking Section,” another video in this series.
Public health, economics, civics
The following Frame, Focus and Follow-up suggestions are best suited for middle school students using this video in an English language arts lesson. Be sure to modify the questions to meet your students' instructional needs.
What is Frame, Focus and Follow-up?
Frame (ELA) If you were writing a news article to inform your friends about smoking, what kind of information would you need to gather? Who would you want to interview to gather information?
Focus (ELA) As you watch the video, think about what questions you would ask these smokers to learn more about their smoking habits.
Follow Up (ELA) Discuss who you would want to interview to gather more information. Why you would seek out these people? Compile a list of questions to ask them.
RAFAEL PI ROMAN: New Yorkers go out to eat more than any other people in the world and today on New York Voices, New York Times William Grimer will take us through our love affair with all things delicious. We'll also look at the battle over fresh air in bars and restaurants. Hello I'm Rafael Pi Roman. You know the last mayor of New York City went after squeegee men, the current resident of city hall is after smokers in bars just like this one. In fact, he wants to ban smoking in all public places including bars, restaurants, pool halls and even bowling alleys. Will the forces of clean healthy living triumph over a long history of such romantic symbols as film noir detectives, political revolutionaries and city room reporters? We start with the voices of two New Yorkers to show us how smoking fills up their lives in the changing culture of the city.
GEORGE: I started smoking when I was 15 and I've been a fairly heavy smoker ever since.
KELLY: I was 17, I hadn't rebelled at all. I thought it looked kind of cool.
GEORGE: If you're tense or uptight about something, a cigarette will end up relaxing you. The pleasure of feeling the object in your hand, it's nice and soft but it's firm. and it's smooth and it's, I guess, the American equivalent of worry beads they use in the mid east.
KELLY: I don't really remember too much was life was like without smoking, but I don't like the fact that I'm a smoker. It's not something that I'm proud of.
GEORGE: Used to be able to sit at my desk and smoke, then they outlawed smoking in the workplace. It kind of shook everybody up the first day that you weren't allowed to smoke on the job. So when I brought a spittoon and put it next to my desk, it really leveled some cages. I didn't use it of course, but it had a beautiful psychological effect.
KELLY: I think smokers don't want their co workers to see them smoking because there's a stigma attached to it. One of my co workers who is a smoker said, "Watch out, you don't want people to see you because then you get a reputation of, "Oh, they smoke."
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