Learning Activity: It All Adds Up


•Chalkboard, transparency or butcher paper

•Worksheets (one per student)


•Calculators (optional)

•Poster board or butcher paper

•Art supplies

•Old magazines



Identify the price of a pack of cigarettes in your community, and write the price on a chalkboard, transparency or butcher paper.


Calculating Costs of Buying Cigarettes

  1. Students will calculate the amount of money a smoker spends on buying cigarettes during different time periods.
  2. Explain the conversion process for a day, week, month and year with the students.
  3. The cost of smoking increases over time. Therefore, the more that you smoke, the more it costs. Have students complete the Cost of Smoking worksheet.
  4. Have students create posters showing objects that could be purchased with the same amount of money calculated on the worksheet.


Discuss the following questions with the students. Were the costs more or less than what you expected them to be? If some people know how much money it costs and how much time they lose by smoking cigarettes and using tobacco products, why do they keep doing it?

Extension: Adding the Extra Health Costs

Explain to students that over time, smokers pay more than non-smokers for doctor’s visits and other health costs related to smoking. Some health experts have estimated that just the extra health costs add about $3.45 per pack of cigarettes. Have the students redo their worksheets and adjust their figures to include the additional costs.

Optional: Losing Time

Warning: This may introduce questions about death or dying. Please discuss this topic carefully and use your discretion when discussing this matter.

Inform students that people who use tobacco products can lose time from their life expectancy. Health experts estimate that every cigarette smoked shortens life expectancy by 11 minutes. Have students calculate the number of minutes reduced by the smoking patterns on their worksheet.

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