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BBC 6 minute English-Cigarettes v e-cigarettes

BBC 6 minute English-Cigarettes v e-cigarettes

BBC 6 minute English-Cigarettes v e-cigarettes


Transcript of the podcast

NB: This is not a word-for-word transcript

Rob: Hello I’m Rob. Welcome to 6 Minute English. I’m joined today by Finn

Finn: Hello

Rob: Today we are going to talk about electronic cigarettes – also called e-cigarettes – and teach you words that will help you to discuss the subject or understand news about it. Let’s start by asking you Finn, do you smoke

Finn: No, I don’t Rob. Although sometimes the smoke from other people’s cigarettes makes me cough (coughs a bit) – like that

Rob: Yes, it’s because you are a secondary smoker – in other words, you’re someone who doesn’t smoke but breathes in the smoke from someone else’s cigarette. And this smoke is very harmful to your health. So, here is today’s question, Finn

Finn: Go ahead

Rob: According to the World Health Organisation, there are more than 4,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke. How many of these are known to be harmful to our health? Is it at least

a) 50

b) 150

c) 250

Finn Rob, you know, I honestly have no idea. Let’s say c) 250

Rob: Always the pessimist! Well, you’ll get the answer at the end of the programme. Some estimates say there are more than a million people using e-cigarettes just in the UK. But these devices might not be very safe for secondary smokers

Finn: Really? I thought they were OK because they produce vapour – that’s water in the form of gas – rather than the smoke full of harmful chemicals that you get in ordinary cigarettes

Rob: Well, the World Health Organisation is not convinced e-cigarettes are any safer to secondary smokers. It has recommended a ban on the use of electronic cigarettes indoors and their sale to people under 18 years old

Finn: A ban? In other words, they don’t want them to be permitted indoors anymore? Well, I know that e-cigarettes work by heating liquid nicotine – nicotine is the substance in tobacco which makes it addictive. And it turns this into vapour which is then breathed in by the smoker. I thought because it was just vapour, and therefore OK for non-smokers too

Rob: Well, you see, it’s vapour with some chemicals in it. And experts fear it could have similar effects to the smoke produced by ordinary cigarettes. Listen to what Professor John Ashton has to say. He’s from the Faculty of Public Health here in the UK. Which words does he use to describe the use of e-cigarettes for an extended period of time

Professor John Ashton, from the Faculty of Public Health in the UK

There are scientists in America who’ve been studying second-hand effects of tobacco smoke who are raising these issues now about the e-cigarettes. And we really can’t allow these things to get established before we know what the long-term effects are going to be

Finn: He talks about long-term effects. And he means that the constant use of e-cigarettes for an extended period of time might cause harm which we are not aware of yet

Rob: You can’t light up a cigarette in a pub or bar anymore. It was the effect of people’s cigarette smoke on others that led to the ban on ordinary cigarettes in Britain. Private companies and the authorities are keen not to risk bringing back any kind of smoking to closed spaces in public places

Finn: This is likely to annoy many smokers who have been moving to electronic cigarettes in an attempt to cut down on nicotine or even to quit smoking

Rob: Yes, many people want to quit smoking – stop smoking – at once. And they find it easier to do this if they can use e-cigarettes. In the last few decades smokers have been feeling persecuted

Finn: Well, there’s a lot of pressure for them to quit the habit

Rob: Listen to this smoker who uses e-cigarettes. He’s in a pub in Bristol. Which word does he use to talk about the harm certain things do to children

Bristol pub, male customer

We react to absolutely everything in this world. What we’ll gonna have eventually though is ‘no drinking beer’ in pubs because it’s damaging for children to watch it happening

Finn: He uses the word ‘damaging’, meaning harmful. He complains that there’s an overreaction to things like cigarettes and alcohol

Rob: Yes. An ‘overreaction’ means responding to something in a way which is more forceful than required. He complained that one day the authorities might end up banning people from drinking alcohol in pubs. Pubs, as we know, are bars to which most customers go to drink alcohol

Finn: And I think he’s using some irony here, maybe. Making a joke there I think

Rob: Well, the right to smoke or not smoke generates passionate debates. But here are some facts, which might make people, who are about to light up a cigarette, think again

Finn: Maybe

Rob: I told you earlier in the programme that there are more than 4,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke. And I asked you how many of these are known to be harmful to health. The options were: at least 50, 150 or 250

Finn: I said 250 – is it as many as that Rob

Rob: It is as many as that. Yes, at least 250, according to the World Health Organisation website. It says that more than 50 chemicals in tobacco smoke are known to cause cancer. Any amount of second hand tobacco smoke is thought to be unsafe and second hand smoke causes more than 600,000 early deaths per year. Well, as we’re nearly at the end of the programme let’s just remember some of the words we used today, Finn

Finn: OK. We heard

cough secondary smoker ban nicotine long-term quit smoking damaging overreaction

Rob: Thanks Finn. Well that’s it for this programme. Please join us soon again for 6 Minute English from BBC Learning English

Both: Bye

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