My first fag nearly kills me 

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My first fag nearly kills me

I was just going home after school, when I saw some of my classmates smoking.

Before I could open my mouth, they cornered me, blowing smoke in my face and chanting: “ It kills 50,000 people a year”, “It doesn’t only damage your own health of those around you “.”Each cigarette knocks five minutes off your life”. “It’s just like kissing an ashtray.”

I couldn’t see why, if they knew all this, if they knew all this, they still smoked, but they were happy to talk about it.

Ann said that that she started when she was thirteen. Her older sister was going out with a heavy smoker. One night their parents were out and her sister and her boyfriend said jokingly, “ Would you like a cigarette?” She’d said OK, because she didn’t want to look stupid. Smoking made her feel dizzy and hurt the back of her throat but she carried to impress her sister and her boyfriend. Now she bought her fags from the corner shop, or got them from the friends. She didn’t think there was any point in her giving up, as her mum and dad smoked and her health was still in danger because e she was breathing in their smoke anyway. She also said she thought smoking made her look sexy.

Dave said he enjoyed smoking and thought it made him look big and hard. He started smoking when he and his cousin bought some cigarettes and tried them down by the river. At first he only smoked at parties and discos. Later he found a cigarette helped after arguments with his mum.

In the end they insisted on me having one, so that I knew what I was missing. They suggested that there was something wrong with me if I didn’t smoke. I had a puff, which didn’t feel too bad, though it made me want to cough. I took two or three really deep breaths. I started coughing, my eyes watered and I nearly fainted. When I began to look as if I was about to throw up, my classmates, who thought it was very funny, left.

On the way home, I stopped to buy some chewing-gum to cover up the smell. Got home, cleaned my teeth and held my breath when mum kissed me goodnight.

Answer the questions to the text.

1. Why did Ann take her first cigarette?

2. Why doesn’t Ann stop smoking now?

3. When is a cigarette helpful to Dave?

4. What did the boy’s classmates find funny?



Many kinds of drugs are used by athletes competing in sports all over the world. Some are used to build muscles or give the athlete extra energy. Others kill the pain of injuries or calm nerves, but many are illegal.

Taking substances to improve sports performance is not new. Athletes in ancient Egypt drank a mixture of oiled donkey hoof, rose petals and rose hips, believing it would make them winners. The winner of the 200 metres at the Olympic Games of 668 BC in ancient Greece used a special diet of figs.

What kinds of drugs are used by some people in sport?

The anabolic steroids which are used in sport resemble male hormones. "Anabolic" means to build up — in this case to build up muscles. Body-builders use anabolic steroids in order to look good in competitions but big muscles do not necessarily mean extra strength!

Stimulants make you feel of energy and confidence, but they can also make you feel more aggressive. They are officially banned in sport, but amphetamines have been abused by cyclists, who need lots of stamina and cocaine has been used by basketballers and footballers to make them more competitive.

Beta-blockers are drugs which are normally prescribed by doctors for people with high blood pressure or heart problems. They help calm you down and relieve stress. Snooker players, archers and those who shoot in compe­titions all need steady hands and cool nerves. It is rumoured that some athletes have taken beta-blockers for this rea­son.

All of these drugs can cause health problems if taken in large doses. For example, steroids can cause liver can­cer in men and infertility in women. There is also evi­dence that people who take steroids can become very ag­gressive.

Stimulants are also very dangerous. They do not cre­ate energy — they take it from the body. Eventually, users feel exhausted and washed-out. When doing hard exer­cise, there is danger of having a heart attack. The problem is that people who take stimulants think they can keep going and they push their bodies too far. A British cyclist, Tommy Simpson, and Len Bias, an American basketball player, both died in this way.



Meals in Britain

A traditional English breakfast is a very big meal - sausages, bacon, eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms... But nowadays many people just have cereal with milk and sugar, or toast with marmalade, jam or honey. Marmalade and jam are not the same! Marmаlade is made from oranges and jam is made from other fruit. The traditional breakfast drink is tea, which people have with cold milk. Some people have coffee, often instant coffee, which is made with just hot water.

For many people lunch is a quick meal. In cities there are a lot of sandwich bars, where office workers can choose the kind of bread they want - brown, white or roll - and then all sorts of salad and meat or fish to go in the sandwich. Pubs often serve good, cheap food, both hot and cold. School-children can have a hot meal at school, but many just take a snack from home - a sandwich, a drink, some fruit.

'Tea' means two things. It is a drink and a meal! Some people have afternoon tea, with sandwiches, cakes, and, of course, a cup of tea.

The evening meal is the main meal of the day for many people. They usually have it quite early, between 6:00 and 8:00, and often the whole family eats together.

On Sundays many families have a traditional lunch. They have roast meat, either beef, lamb, chicken, or pork, with potatoes, vegetables, and gravy. Gravy is a sauce made from the meat juices.

The British like food from other countries, too, especially Italian, French, Chinese, and Indian. People often get take-away meals - you buy the food at the restaurant and then bring it home to eat. Eating in Britain is quite international!

Answer the questions:


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