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Native Pathways to Education
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High School Mathematics Problems from Alaska

A database of lessons and units searchable by content and cultural standards, cultural region and grade level. More units will be available soon. You can use Acrobat Reader to look at the PDF version of the Cover Sheet for the Units and Self-Assessment for Cultural Standards in Practice.

Cigarette Smoking


Bobbi Jordan

Adapted from Village Math by Alan Dick

MS Word Download

Standards: Estimation and Computation, Functions and Relationships.

Performance Standards: A3.3.1, A3.3.3, A3.3.4, A3.3.5, A3.4.6, A4.3.2, A4.3.4, A4.3.5, A4.4.2

Concepts: Computation of whole numbers, decimals, percents, figuring percent of increase, making conversions, estimating cost and linear graphing.

Carnegie Chapter: Formulas, Tables of Values, and Graphs.

Overview: Lesson for "The Great American Smoke Out." Students analyze the monetary cost associated with smoking. It also uses the statistic of "for each cigarette smoked a person loses 3 minutes of his or her life" to determine life expectancy and cost.


Cigarette Smoking

Jason has been smoking cigarettes since he was 13 years old. He has smoked an average of one pack of cigarettes a day since he started smoking. A single pack of cigarettes contains 20 cigarettes.

  1. Given Jason’s age, find the number of packs of cigarettes he has smoked.
    1. By 15 years old

    2. By 19 years old

    3. By 25 years old

    4. By 50 years old
  1. Write an expression representing the number of packs of cigarettes smoked based on Jason’s age.




Answer the following questions and show your work.

  1. If a pack of cigarettes cost $5.50 per pack, how much does one cigarette cost?




  1. a) If Jason started smoking in 1970 and continued to smoke a pack a day through 2002, how many cigarettes will he have smoked?



  1. b) If cigarettes averaged $0.27 a piece, how much money has he spent in 32 years?



  1. In 1970, a pack of cigarettes cost $0.75. Today a pack of cigarettes cost about $5.50. How much has the price increased?



  1. What is the percent of increase in the cost of a pack of cigarettes over the past 32 years?



  1. What is the average rate of increase for each year since 1970? Round your answer to the nearest tenth of a percent.



  1. It is said that for every cigarette smoked, a person takes 3 minutes off their life. If this is true, how many minutes are lost if a person smokes
    1. 1 cigarette?

    2. 20 cigarettes? (one pack)

    3. 100 cigarettes?

    4. 250 cigarettes?
  1. Write an expression to show the relationship between the number of cigarettes smoked and the time off a person’s life.




  1. Complete the table using the information from problem #9.































  1. Construct a graph to show the relationship in the table above. Label the axes, indicate the intervals and give the graph a title.



  1. a) What is the slope of the graph?



  1. b) Explain the meaning of the slope.




  1. If for every cigarette smoked, you took approximately 3 minutes off your life, how much time would you be taking off if you smoked a whole pack?



  1. a) How would your graph change if you changed the intervals from minutes to hours?



  1. b) Did the slope change? Why or why not?



  1. How many cigarettes would a person smoke before they lost one year of their life?


  1. Use your answer from question 15 to determine how much loosing one year of a life would cost if the cost per pack remained at $5.50?



  1. If cigarettes remain at $5.50 for the next 5 years, how much would a smoker pay to be able to smoke one pack of cigarettes per day over that time?



  1. a) If a person started smoking one pack of cigarettes per day, how long would it take them to smoke 8760 packs?



  1. b) If a pack of cigarettes remains at $5.50 a pack, how much money would it cost to pay for one year off of a life?



  1. If cigarettes continue to increase in cost each year at the average rate found in Problem #7, what would it cost a smoker to smoke for 24 years if they started this year?




Table of Contents


AL-CAN Highway Problem

Cigarette Smoking

Commercial Salmon Fishing

Cutting Cordwood

Dog Lot Math

Firefighting Crew

Firewood Problem

Investigation of Herring Statistics

Jesse Thomas Moose Hide Problem

Predicting Plant Coverage

Problem 1 - Converting the Date to the Day of the Year

Problem 2 - Azimuth and Arc Length

Problem 3 - Reading a Graph: Azimuth Range vs. Day in Barrow, Alaska

Problem 4 - Writing an Equation: Altitude Range vs. Day in Barrow, Alaska

Problem 5 - Problem Setup and Pattern Recognition: Sunrise in Barrow, Alaska

Problem 6 - Extensions of Data: Barrow, AK Sunrise/Sunset Information

Problem 7 - Writing an Equation: Fundraiser

Problem 8 - Writing an Equation: Fundraiser Choosing a Distributor

Stanley Jonas Travel Problem

Subsistence Fishing on the Kenai

Tourist and Traveler Information



For the Teacher's Guides, please email Alaska Native Knowledge Network

Whouy Sze Kuinalth
"Teaching Our Many Grandchildren"
Tauhna Cauyalitahtug
(To Make a Drum)
Math Story Problems
St. Lawrence Island Rain Parka Winds and Weather Willow
Driftwood Snowshoes Moose
Plants of the Tundra Animal Classification for Yup'ik Region Rabbit Snaring
The Right Tool for the Job
Fishing Tools and Technology
Blackfish Family Tree
Medicinal Plants of the Kodiak Alutiiq Archipelago Beaver in Interior Alaska Digging and Preparing Spruce Roots
Moose in Interior Alaska Birds Around the Village  


Handbook for Culturally Responsive Science Curriculum by Sidney Stephens
Excerpt: "The information and insights contained in this document will be of interest to anyone involved in bringing local knowledge to bear in school curriculum. Drawing upon the efforts of many people over a period of several years, Sidney Stephens has managed to distill and synthesize the critical ingredients for making the teaching of science relevant and meaningful in culturally adaptable ways."



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Last modified August 18, 2006