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We have found that our Tobacco Awareness Video "They're Rich, You're Dead" on the health, addictive and social aspects of tobacco use effectively educates and influences adolescent audiences when it's presented by one or more health professional students (i.e., medical, premedical, nursing and/or cardiopulmonary technology students) who are prepared to answer audience questions after the Video is shown. (see pgs 74-84)

The Project is simple:

  1. The health professional student presents the Video* or part of it (i.e., 25-40 minutes) to an adolescent audience of his/her choice and then answers audience questions factually, without preaching or exaggerating. (10-15 minutes).

    To prepare for the session, this Video Study Plan* is reviewed since it contains answers to the most common questions raised by adolescents after they see the Video (e.g., How did the patients get that way? If tobacco is so bad, why is it legal? How does smoking hurt me right now, as a teenager? How can tobacco addicts be helped to quit? What are the short and long term risks if you don't quit? What are the short and long term benefits of quitting? What are the hazards of breathing second hand smoke? Is smoking marijuana safer? etc.). These and other questions can also be raised by presenters to promote discussion. (See True/False Test on pgs 66-71).
  2. If desired, five slides* (with slide notes) can be presented (10 minutes) at the end of the session to further illustrate and stress the main points of the Video.
    • How severe and how common tobacco addiction and diseases really are and how they are caused by the nicotine and tar in tobacco (basic pathogenesis).
    • That the addiction and the damage that lead to these horrible diseases clearly start during teenage years
    • That big tobacco companies through their billion dollar ads and promotions are playing you for a fool! If their product is used as intended, you become addicted to it, become a regular long term smoker (client) and then have a 50% chance of dying, on average, fifteen years early because of it (i.e., from one or more of the diseases seen in the Video). That's why the Video is called "They're Rich, You're Dead".
  3. If time permits (e.g., a 90 minute session), live testimony from a patient or a teenage tobacco addict, if available, (10-15 minutes) further strengthens the presentation.
  4. If there is additional time and interest for one or more follow-up sessions, selected segments from our Interactive CD-ROMs* (e.g., on critical thinking, tobacco advertising or how to say "NO") can be presented via computer (LCD) projector, and/or one or more projects described in this Study Plan can be carried out.

The Project serves a dual purpose:

  • To raise tobacco awareness and prevent tobacco use in adolescents.
  • To train health professional students how to raise tobacco awareness and prevent tobacco use in adolescents through background reading and preview of our teaching materials followed by community presentation and group interaction.

By participating in this Project, health professional students will better understand tobacco addiction and the many diseases it causes, practice preventive medicine in the community, perform an invaluable public health service and save lives. Tobacco is the single most preventable cause of premature death in the United States and 90% of tobacco users start before the age of 20. Preventing tobacco use among youths is therefore one of the greatest public health opportunities of our time!

Arthur E Pitchenik, MD
Professor of Medicine, University of Miami Medical School
Director, Tobacco Awareness Community Program
e-mail contact: arthurpit@aol.com

Description of Teaching Materials

  1. *The Video: includes a medically illustrated RAP song, powerful testimonies by youths and adults on the social pressures to start smoking and on their tobacco addiction, medically illustrated histories of patients with mouth, throat and lung cancer, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, coronary heart disease and complications of pregnancy with explanations of how smoking caused their diseases, cosmetic consequences of smoking and consequences of smoking in teenagers. The Video is available on VHS video cassette in English (TRT 40 min.), Spanish (TRT 30 min.) and Mandarin (TRT 30 min.) in both NTSC and PAL formats and is also available on DVD in English with multiple submenus. (see Main Menu-website Videos)
  2. * The Video Study Plan: includes answers to most questions raised by adolescents after the Video is presented.
  3. *Five Slides with accompanying slide notes compliment the Video and include: (see Main Menu-PowerPoint Presentation)
    • Tobacco ads (lies) vs patient visualizations (truths)
    • Consequences of tobacco use in teenagers
    • The tar in two Marlboro cigarettes and its significance
    • The tar in two marijuana cigarettes and its significance
    • Sites and types of tobacco diseases with simple explanations of how tobacco tar causes these diseases.
  4. * The CD-ROM's: include interactive audiovisual exercises on critical thinking and decision making with respect to tobacco use, Surgeon General's warning visualizations, tobacco advertising and high impact counteradvertising, True/False tests on the addictive, health and social aspects of teenage smoking (CD-ROM-1); how to say "NO" when pressured to smoke and illustrated anti-smoking RAP songs and RAP karaoke (CD-ROM-2). (see Main Menu-Interactive CD-ROM's)

Previewing, Obtaining and Copying the Teaching Materials: All of the teaching materials described above may be previewed on our website www.mededu.miami.edu/Tobacco with a rapid Internet connection and the appropriate plugins (Real Player for Video, PowerPoint or Adobe Acrobat for Slide presentation, Shock Wave and Quick Time for CD-ROM's.

The Video and Interactive CD-ROM's may be ordered at non-profit copying cost by contacting our fulfillment company by telephone at 1-800-654-5765 or, if outside the US, by e-mail: tapeorders@accordvideo.com (see pgs 85-87 for price list). The Slide Presentation and this Video Study Plan may be downloaded from our website and, if desired, printed out. All materials may be copied provided they continue to be used for non-profit community service and are not edited. (NOTE: VHS video cassette copies provided by the fulfillment company at copying cost are made from a Beta SP Master and are therefore of higher quality than second generation copies made from another VHS video cassette).

Presenting the Teaching Materials. The Video (as a DVD), the PowerPoint slide presentation, the interactive CD-ROM's and this Study Plan can all be placed on the desktop of a personal laptop computer (with DVD player) as a single smoking prevention educational package for presentation via an LCD projector. Alternatively, the Video (as a VHS video cassette) can be shown via a VCR player, the color Slides can be printed out and shown as handouts, overhead transparencies or Ko-dachrome slides and the CD-ROM's can be shown via a personal computer and an LCD projector.