What Does a Camel and Vaping Have to Do with Public Policy?

byValerie Schwarz

This curriculum unit will examine how the tobacco industry developed strategies to promote the use of cigarettes and to mitigate the health concerns.  The unit explains how the six building blocks of distributive politics apply to the case study of the tobacco industry. The resources and power of the industry enable it to spend massive amounts of money to lobby and influence public policy for its benefit.  The unit will then examine how the tobacco industry is handling the current e-cigarette controversy through this historic lens. The students will create a mock General Assembly. The students will write legislation to regulate e-cigarettes to protect the health of children. A play will be written and performed as a way for the students to delve into the journey a bill takes until it fails or becomes a law. This curriculum unit is created for a fourth grade language arts and social studies classes, but could be adapted for middle school history or civics courses.

(Developed for Language Arts and Social Studies, grade 4; recommended for Social Studies, grades 5-8, and Language Arts, grades 4-6)

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