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A Smoke-Free Life Role Play

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Mila and Helena are sitting on a bench as they take a break from window shopping. Before taking merienda (snack time), Mila says she needs a smoke.

  • Helena: When did you start smoking, Mila? I do not remember you ever smoking. You know that it is not good for your health! What would your mom say?
  • Mila: Oh, Ate (elder sister in Tagalog) it is nothing big. Smoking is something I picked up since moving to the United States. You see women here smoking all the time on television and in the movies. Besides, smoking relaxes me. Life is not always easy here, and I feel a lot of stress.
  • Helena: What about your family? If you are smoking around your children and their friends, they will breathe in the same smoke. Secondhand smoke is dangerous, especially for children. Secondhand smoke can trigger an asthma attack.
  • Mila: Are you sure that is true, Ate? That worries me, because my daughter Marites has asthma.
  • Helena: My tatay (“father” in Tagalog) smoked his whole life. What a waste of his health and his money. Do you ever think about how much money you could save if you stopped buying cigarettes? Even more important, think about the health of your children and the people around you, Mila.
  • Mila: I have thought about quitting, but it seems hard. I smoke without even thinking about it.
  • Helena: Well, sometimes you need to sacrifice. Mama always says, “Walang tagumpay, kung walang paghihirap.” “There is no success if there is no sacrifice.” I will help you any way I can, and I am sure your family will support you in quitting.
  • Mila: Thank you for being a good friend, Helena. I will start trying to quit right now by putting out this cigarette.

Back to Session 10

Information on this page is taken from the English print version of “Healthy Heart, Healthy Family: A Community Health Worker's Manual.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, NIH Publication No. 08-3674, Originally Printed 1999, Revised May 2008.

Last Updated March 2012

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