We know the tobacco industry has targeted youth in order to get them hooked on using tobacco.  From engaging students with stimulating Canva slides to a perceptive take-home discussion guide, this lesson uses the Positive Youth Development framework to teach middle school students about these tobacco industry tactics, with the ultimate goal to increase resistance skills to these marketing influences and prevent and reduce use.Students in 6th-8th grades will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to decode external marketing tactics that encourage young consumers to use nicotine products.

Learning Objectives

By hearing and participating in this lesson, students will:


  • Students will be able to recognize that the e-cigarette companies are using the same marketing tactics used for decades by the tobacco industry to grab the attention of new and young  customers.
  • Students will be able to identify implicit messaging used in nicotine e-cig marketing. 

  • Students will be able to recognize flavored nicotine products as another marketing tactic to disguise the health harms of their products from existing and potential consumers. 

  • Students will be able to recognize and discuss the effects of nicotine e-cig industry targeting on youth and their communities.

Key Takeaways

  • The tobacco industry is using the same marketing tactics as before to hook new young consumers on e-cigs. 
  • Nicotine e-cig companies use eye-catching advertisements and marketing tricks to appeal to a young audience.

  • The tobacco  industry uses sneaky messaging in ads and flavored e-cigs to get young consumers hooked on the nicotine that's in the e-cig.

Click above to view the talking points for this lesson. Use the talking points alongside the Canva slides!

We suggest providing students with the Discussion Guide that they can take home and discuss with a trusted adult such as a parent/caregiver, coach, mentor, and/or a peer.

We suggest you end with a Kahoot, which can be found and easily linked to in the last slide of this OR using the link above.

We recommend using Canva to get the full-scale experience of each lesson. If you need to go offline, feel free to download lesson 1 below.

** Disclaimer: Please note that because of the conversion between Canva and PowerPoint, some fonts, images, animations and videos may not work properly. For the full experience, utilize the Canva slides above. 

Optional Activities

Below are some additional activities that you can do with your students as time allows. 

  • Here is another activity on ads that you can do if you want students to gain a deeper understanding of how e-cigarette companies market their products to youth. 

  • Keep an open environment for students to come and ask questions or circle back to the material.