Jackie Hardie


The well known demonstration with a vacuum pump, sucking cigarette smoke through cotton wool or fibreglass, is impressive. Trap and condense the smoke to show the tar and find the pH of both with universal indicator. Use the apparatus to compare different cigarette brands, or make the demonstration quantitative rather than qualitative by weighing the fibreglass or the condensate.


Get a sheep's pluck and look at the gross appearance of the lungs and the trachea. It may also be possible to show the blood vessels connecting the heart and lungs. Demonstrate the sponginess and elasticity of lung tissue by inflating the lungs (use a foot pump and rubber tubing to do this!). Cut open a lung to show the internal structure and the branching tubes of the bronchial tree.


Nicotine - an alkaloid in tobacco - is what makes the cigarette addictive, and all standard texts deal with its effects on the body. Research other uses of nicotine - eg one is in insecticides; another is using an infusion of tobacco leaves to catch and kill immature eels in the Basque countrywww.buber.netBasqueFood Recently, tobacco plants have been genetically engineered to produce human proteins to combat the rabies virus www.newscientist.comarticle.ns?id=dn3790).

Register to continue reading for free

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you

Jackie Hardie

Latest stories

Girl doing the splits

10 features of a flexible classroom

A flexible, empathetic environment can work wonders for learning. Ginny Bootman offers her tips on how to achieve it
Ginny Bootman 30 Nov 2021
Early years: Why our broken EYFS system is failing

Why early years funding increases still fall short

An experienced early years head explains why 21p per hour funding increases don't go far enough for a sector that feels it is continually overlooked when the cash is handed out
Dr. Lesley Curtis 30 Nov 2021