What makes young people smoke, drink, take drugs or lead a dissolute life? As a rule they don’t think about the risks they run and the terrible consequences of such a dissolute life. But they’d better stop it before it is too late.
Smoking is practiced by more than 1 billion people including women, teenagers and children. Smokers should know that nicotine is a drug that causes addiction like heroin or cocaine and it is very harmful to their health. Besides nicotine there are over 400 chemicals in one cigarette that are known to be harmful. Smoking is among the leading causes of many serious diseases such as many forms of cancer including lung cancer, heart attacks, cardiovascular disease, asthma, bronchitis, cataracts, etc. It can lead to birth defects and reduces memory. Tobacco-related diseases shorten life and cause premature death. Regular smokers are estimated to live up to 10 years fewer than nonsmokers. Besides all these facts people who smoke have yellow teeth, bad breath, dry skin and premature wrinkles. So what is it that makes people light up a cigarette in spite of all warnings? Some of them say that they enjoy smoking because they like the taste or smell of cigarettes or because it helps them steady their nerves and think. Others say that it helps them make friends and feel relaxed in a company of smoking people. For many children and teenagers smoking is the first step out of childhood and the way to show off. But the game is not worth the candle!
As soon as people began to realize the health hazards of smoking there have been many attempts to ban it. But despite many restrictions, bans and anti-smoking advertising a considerable proportion of the population remains heavy smokers. Some people try to give up smoking but not all of them are strong enough not to return to this bad habit. Without their cigarettes, smokers feel irritated, nervous and depressed. The governments of many countries are launching anti-smoking campaigns in mass media. Smokers do harm to their health and to the health of those people who surround them. Passive, or secondhand smoking, is dangerous to people who have to inhale smoke. That’s why there are good reasons to ban smoking in public places, including offices, restaurants, bars and night clubs.
Some people are sure that alcohol helps them relax, feel more confident, communicate with people and enjoy life. As a result they have a hangover and feel pangs of conscience the next day. A drunk person is characterized by a tipsy gait, slurred speech and silly or indecent behaviour. He is not responsible for his actions and everything may happen to him. For example, he may loose his purse or fall and break his leg. A drunk person is often subject to violence and public disorder. He is extremely dangerous when he drives a car as it can lead to terrible accidents. Alcohol misuse causes physical, social and moral harm to the drinker. Overdosing can be fatal as it causes alcoholic poisoning. Large amounts of alcohol impair normal brain development. A person who drinks loses everybody’s respect and it affects his family and friends. Besides, it is very difficult to stop drinking especially for a woman.
Millions of people throughout the world have AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) which is caused by HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). HIV makes a person’s body unable to defend itself against diseases and infections. Thousands of young people are infected with AIDS every day. 9 out of 10 people are unaware that they are infected. The disease is passed through leading a dissolute life, blood transfusion or breastfeeding from mother to her baby. People taking drugs infect each other exchanging needles or syringes. There is still no cure for AIDS, but some medical treatments have made it possible for the infected people to live for much longer than before as they slow the course of the disease. Everybody should care about AIDS as it can touch anyone.
1. Read the following sentences and circle TRUE or FALSE: 1) Smoking is practiced by more than 1 million people including women, teenagers and children. | T | F |
2) Nicotine is a drug that causes addiction like heroin or cocaine. | T | F |
3) Regular smokers are estimated to live up to 10 years fewer than nonsmokers. | T | F |
4) Owing to many restrictions, bans and anti-smoking advertising a considerable proportion of the population has given up smoking. | T | F |
5) It is very easy to give up smoking. | T | F |
6) Passive smoking is absolutely harmless. | T | F |
7) A drunk person is not responsible for his actions. | T | F |
8) There is still no cure for AIDS. | T | F |
2. Complete each sentence (A-H) with one of the endings (1-8): A. Besides nicotine there are over
B. Smoking is among the leading causes of many serious diseases such as
C. Tobacco-related diseases
D. As soon as people began to realize the health hazards of smoking
E. Without their cigarettes, smokers
F. Large amounts of alcohol
G. HIV makes a person’s body
H. AIDS is passed through
1. shorten life and cause premature death.
2. impair normal brain development.
3. unable to defend itself against diseases and infections.
4. 400 chemicals in one cigarette that are known to be harmful.
5. leading a dissolute life, blood transfusion or breastfeeding from mother to her baby.
6. there have been many attempts to ban it.
7. many forms of cancer including lung cancer, heart attacks, cardiovascular disease, asthma, bronchitis, cataracts etc.
8. feel irritated, nervous and depressed.
3. Answer the questions
1) Why is smoking dangerous to a person’s health?
2) Why do many people smoke in spite of all health hazards?
3) What makes children and teenagers light up a cigarette?
4) Why is it so difficult to give up smoking?
5) Why is it important to ban smoking in public places, including offices, restaurants, bars and night clubs?
6) Why do people drink alcohol?
7) What may happen to a drunk person?
8) What effect can alcohol dependence have on a person?
9) Why is AIDS dangerous?
10) How can a person prevent AIDS?
4. Agree or disagree with the statements below. Explain your answer – Smoking is the first step out of childhood.
– A person who drinks loses everybody’s respect.
– People selling cigarettes, alcohol and drugs sell death.
– Everybody should care about AIDS as it can touch anyone.
– People with AIDS are not dangerous to society.
5. Imagine that you are speaking to your younger brother. Give as many arguments as you can against (1) smoking, (2) drinking, (3) taking drugs and (4) leading a dissolute life and say some words about their destructive consequences
6. Read the quotations below. Choose two statements and comment on them explaining your attitude to the problem – ‘The true face of smoking is disease, death and horror – not the glamour and sophistication the push – ers in the tobacco industry try to portray.’ (David Byrne)
– ‘Smoking is the perfect way to commit suicide without actually dying.’ (Damien Hirst)
– ‘Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times.’ (Mark Twain)
‘Alcohol doesn’t console, it doesn’t fill up anyone’s psychological gaps, all it replaces is the lack of God. It doesn’t comfort man. On the contrary, it encourages him in his folly, it transports him to the supreme regions where he is master of his own destiny.’ (Marguerite Duras)
‘Avoid using cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs as alternatives to being an interesting person.’ (Marilyn vos Savant)
‘HIV infection and AIDS is growing – but so too is public apathy. We have already lost too many friends and colleagues.’ (David Geffen)
‘AIDS is a global problem and there should be a global solution found by the entire international community.’ (Sarah Polley)
A dissolute way of life has killed many people and there are a lot of celebrities among them. Read the information about some famous people who died because of AIDS, alcohol or drug addiction. Give your own examples from life.
Freddie Mercury (1946-91)
He was a popular singer with the pop group Queen. Freddie Mercury was known for his unusual clothes and his energetic performances on stage. October 8th was the last time Freddie Mercury performed on stage. At the time, he was terribly ill with AIDS, although he didn’t want people to know about it. He announced that fact the day before he died. Being ill he continued to compose and record songs and even took part in making videos.
Kurt Cobain (1967-94)
He was a US singer and songwriter with the group Nirvana, who developed a new style of rock music called ‘Grunge’. During the last years of his life, Cobain struggled with drug addiction and his heroin addiction worsened as the years progressed. Cobain proceeded to perform with Nirvana, giving the public no indication that anything out of the ordinary had taken place. On April 8, 1994, Cobain was found dead in his home in Seattle. He shot himself in the head. A high concentration of heroin was found in his body.
Janis Joplin (1943-70)
She was a US singer, songwriter, and music arranger, known for her low rough singing voice, and for her exciting performances on stage. Janis Joplin rose to prominence as the lead singer of Big Brother and the Holding Company, and later as a solo artist. On October 4, 1970, she died in Los Angeles at the age of 27. The official cause of her death was an overdose of heroin, possibly combined with the effects of alcohol.
A. Which thing is the silliest and the most dangerous to do? Choose one or two points from the list below and explain your choice. Compare your answer with other people in your group and say if you agree with them. – to smoke in order to show that you are cool and old enough;
– to sniff some glue because your friend does it;
– to drink alcohol in order to feel more confident and sociable;
– to mix drinks wishing to show that nothing will happen to you;
– to drive a car while drunk;
– to take drugs because you have some problems and want to forget about them;
– to lead a dissolute life.
B. Read the text ‘Stop It Before It Is Too Late’ and explain the title.