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Anatomy of a Puff 2009

Highly Recommended

Distributed by Distributed by Human Relations Media, 41 Kensico Drive, Mt. Kisco, NY 10549; 800-431-2050
Produced by Produced by Anson Schloat
Directed by Directed by Peter Cochran
DVD, color, 88 min.



Jr. High - Adult
Japan, Popular Culture, Music Trade, Singers

Date Entered: 06/04/2010

ALA Notable:
Reviewed by: Reviewed by Margie Ruppel, Boise State University

Anatomy of a Puff is a brief overview of the chemicals found in cigarettes and the physical consequences that occur when smoked. Nicotine dependence, tobacco companies, and secondhand smoke are briefly covered. The DVD is highly recommended because it meets its stated learning objectives; uses clear language and visuals; and because its length of fifteen minutes makes it easy to use in the classroom. It is aptly-titled because the main goal of the DVD is to communicate the fact that the chemicals are so effective, smokers are often addicted after their first puff.

After highlighting the effects of the chemicals used in cigarettes (tar, benzene, arsenic, carbon monoxide, ammonia, and hydrogen cyanide), it emphasizes the fact that while nicotine is the ingredient that makes cigarettes addictive, these chemicals make it even more addictive. Visuals include video footage, clear, readable fonts for informative text, and animation appropriate for the middle and high school age groups. Two of the most effective visuals in this DVD are a close-up of a cigarette tip turning red when the smoker inhales and a high school-age girl inhaling and exhaling. These two clips are used effectively throughout the program to enhance the DVD’s learning objectives and to provide continuity.

Intended for students in middle and high school, the DVD is packaged with fact sheets and student activities to use in the classroom. Activities include a pre/post test, a list of questions to research, questions to use when interviewing someone for a smoking history, discussion questions for learning about tobacco dependence, and a worksheet for learning about additives. Fact sheets mainly cover the chemicals in the DVD and a list of resources to consult for more information. This DVD is highly recommended and can easily be integrated into units on smoking in the middle and high school health curriculum. Libraries that serve students in this age group and academic libraries that contain curriculum collections should consider purchasing Anatomy of a Puff.