Selling Tobacco - Lesson Lesson Plan


Level: Grades 7 to 10

Author: MediaSmarts


In this lesson, students explore how tobacco advertising has evolved over the past sixty years. They begin by discussing advertising techniques used by the tobacco industry; and then they compare ads from the 1940s, '50s, '60s, '70s and '80s, with more recent tobacco advertising. Using online databases of tobacco advertisements, each student will research and prepare an essay on a selected topic, such as the advertising history of one brand, how tobacco advertising has changed over time, gender representation in tobacco ads, and strategies geared to a particular target audiences. 

Learning Outcomes

Students will demonstrate:

  • an awareness of the strategies used by tobacco advertisers to engage customers
  • an understanding of the gap between messages in ads and reality
  • an awareness of how advertisers use different strategies to engage specific target groups
  • an awareness of how tobacco advertising has changed over the last sixty years

This lesson and all associated documents (handouts, overheads, backgrounders) is available in an easy-print, pdf kit version.

Lesson Kit