Are You Dying to Smoke?

This topic submitted by Alexis Evans, Meghan Feran, Matt Conner, Laurie Perrin, Mike Moore (lexx3@eudoramail.com, megdf@hotmail.com, wombat909@hotmail.com, mooremb@miamioh.edu) at 2:03 pm on 10/20/00. Additions were last made on Wednesday, May 7, 2014. Section: Cummins

Are You DYING to Smoke?

Abstract:

Do you think smoking is attractive? Maybe after this study of how smoking effects people's health, you'll change your mind, and you'll actually see what smoking is all about. Just take a look at the pictures. Smoking is NOT a pretty subject.


Introduction:

Smoking is one of the largest problems in the United States. There are constant lawsuits over the effects smoking has on people. Smoking is the largest leading cause of death in the US; it causes many different kinds of diseases and health problems. In college dorms we are all living in a small space where different people have different preferences. This leads to the question of just how much effect does smoking cigarettes have on general health.
To narrow down the study, we choose to pick a few health factors to test and prove our hypothesis. We believe that a first-hand smoker will suffer worse the worst consequences. In order to test this we will need a significant pool of people who smoke. These people can be found in the designated smoking dorms. Another issue we will confront is the effects of smoke on non-smokers. There will be those that live in a smoking dorm, and those that live in a non-smoking dorm. We predict that those who live in a smoking dorm or are frequently around smokers will suffer a decrease in health over time. Those who do not encounter second-hand smoke frequently will show no difference in health conditions.
From media we are aware that smoking cigarettes has an effect on health. We want to further examine the specifics on people, challenging the facts with our own data. We hope that this will hit home more when smokers find out truly how much damage we predict smoking cigarettes causes. By determining our data from research off of our peers, this should be more effective than a less personal statistic in the media.
Smoking is "the largest preventable cause of death and disability in developed countries"(National Cancer Institute, 1), and is a large problem in the United States. Smoking causes 400,000 (or approximately one out of every five) deaths yearly in the United States, in addition to many diseases and health problems, such as coronary heart disease and an increased risk of heart attack. This occurs as a result of smoke lowering the quantities of antioxidants in the bloodstream, which help to protect the heart. Without antioxidants in the bloodstream, or with lowered amounts, the heart is more prone to disease. Smoking also increases the risk of emphysema and cancer. Specifically, the nicotine in tobacco products such as cigarettes affects the brain, muscles and cardiovascular system as well as altering one's mood, anxiety and stress levels, anxiety, behavior and cognitive processes.In addition, smokers do not pose a health risk just to themselves, but also to the people around them. Passive or second hand smokers run the same health risks as smokers just from inhaling other's cigarettes smoke, including irritation of the eyes, nose, and respitory tract (especially the aggravation of conditions such as asthma and emphysema). Second-hand smoke also has tentative links to diverse ailments such as various cancers, strokes, sudden infant death syndrome.Unfortunetly, nicotine is also extremely addictive and habit forming, so much so that although every year 15 million Americans try to quit smoking, less than 3% are successful in the long-term. Indeed, according to the Federal government, "the pharmacological and behavioral processes that determine tobacco addiction are similar to those that determine addiction to drugs such as heroin and cocaine". So cigarettes combine an amazing lethality with a high addiction rate, and are extremely obtainable and legal.

Relevance of Topic:

Although many studies have been done to prove that smoking is dangerous to the health of both smokers and non-smokers, and most smokers will admit that smoking is not a healthy activity, there has not been a significant decline in the number ofsmokers, with the amount of people who start smoking balancing out the number of smokers who quit smoking or die.For all of these reasons, our student-generated lab is pertinent and important, especially within our peer group. Recent surveys indicate that 44.1% of eighth-graders, 44.1% of tenth-graders, and 64.6% of high school seniors have smoked atleast one cigarette. 17.5 % of eighth-graders, 25.7% of tenth-graders, and 34.6% of seniors smoke regularly, and 3.3% of eighth-graders, 7.6% of tenth-graders, and 13.2% of seniors smoke at least a pack per day. These figures, taken from a 1999 survey of Michigan students, seems somewhat frightening, as they indicate that, by age 18, almost one-third of the population smokes. The problem is not confined solely to Michigan, or the United States, for that matter. Smoking is prevalent worldwide as well, making our research relevant not only on a local, but a global scale.There is evidence that quitting smoking at an early age (or never beginning) greatly reduces any long-term detrimental health effects. It is our hope that the results of our study, since they will be taken from the Western population, will further encourage people to stop smoking. From media we are aware that smoking cigarettes has an effect on health. We want to further examine the specifics on people, challenging the facts with our own data. We hope that this will hit home more when smokers find out truly how much damage we predict smoking cigarettes causes. By determining our data from research off of our peers, this should be more effective than a less personal statistic in the media.In addition, in college dorms we all live in small communal spaces where different people have different preferences, and our decisions effect each other. This leads to the question of just how much of an effect second hand smoke has on non-smoking students' general health. If we do indeed find that smoking greatly effects the health of non-smokers, we hope that smokers will realize the harmful effect that their smoking has on nonsmokers and will make a conscious effort not to smoke in nonsmoking areas.Hypothesis:

We believe that a first-hand smoker will suffer worse the worst consequences. Another issue we will confront is the effects of smoke on non-smokers. There will be those that live in a smoking dorm, and those that live in a non-smoking dorm. We predict that those who live in a smoking dorm or are frequently around smokers will suffer a decrease in health over time. Those who do not encounter second-hand smoke frequently will show no difference in health conditions.


Procedure:
To narrow down the study, we chose to pick a few health factors to test our
hypothesis.

PART ONE:
- Surveys will be distributed to all of Western Campus (Halls - Peabody, Mary Lyon and McKee) in order to establish one large research population
The Survey Questions are as follows:
1. Gender?
2. Weight (if you don't mind us asking)?
3. Have you smoked at least 100 cigarettes in your life?
4. Do you smoke now?
5. About how long has it been since you last smoked cigarettes regularly?
6. Do you live with someone who smokes?
7. Do you live in a smoking or non-smoking dorm?
8. How often are/were you recently exposed to cigarette smoke?
9. During the past year have you had any upper respiratory infections? If
so, how many?
10. Please rate your health level from on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being
the healthiest, and 1 being the least healthy)

PART TWO:
- We will test around 40 students from around Western Campus.
- Each student will fill out their survey on-site
- We will be measuring heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration rate.
- The subjects will have the measurements taken before and after the short
exercise. For the short exercise, the subjects will walk up a flight a
stairs at a fast pace and they will stop at a set point.
- We will also measure their heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration
rate of smokers before and after smoking a cigarette.


DATA TABLE

Smoker Non-Smoker
1. Gender
2. Weight
3. Have you smoked atleast 100 cigarettes?
4. Do you smoke now?
5. How long has it been since you last smoked regularly?
6. Do you live with someone who smokes?
7. Do you live in a smoking or non-smoking dorm?
8. How often are/were you exposed to smoke?
9. In the past year, how many upper respiratory infections have you had?
10. Rate your general health on a scale from 1 to 10, 10 being the healthiest.

Smoker Non-Smoker
1. Gender
2. Weight
3. Have you smoked atleast 100 cigarettes?
4. Do you smoke now?
5. How long has it been since you last smoked regularly?
6. Do you live with someone who smokes?
7. Do you live in a smoking or non-smoking dorm?
8. How often are/were you exposed to smoke?
9. In the past year, how many upper respiratory infections have you had?
10. Rate your general health on a scale from 1 to 10, 10 being the healthiest.

Results:

We expect to find that the heart rates, respiration rates, and blood pressure of smokers will all be higher in general than those of non-smokers, with persons who do not smoke but are exposed to it often falling somewhere in the middle. After the exercise, we expect that the smokers will be in even worse shape than the non-smokers, though this test will have more external variables to be accounted for. We hope that the results of this experiment may convince people to stop smoking if they already smoke, or at least makepeople think twice about what they do to their bodies every time they light up a cigarette.


Sources:
Changes in Cigarette-Related Disease Risks and Their Implication for Prevention and Control by the National Cancer Institute. NIH Publication 97-4213, February 1997.

"Environmental Tobacco Smoke: Health Risk or Hype?" American Council on Science and Health. http://www.acsh.org/publications/booklets/ets.html

Federal Register: August 11, 1995 (Volume 60, Number 155). Page 41534 From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov] DOCID:fr11au95-13

Federal Register: August 11, 1995 (Volume 60, Number 155). Page 41621-41643 From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov] DOCID:fr11au95-20

"Smoking" from WebMD online reference encyclopedia.

Survey conducted by University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research, results found at http://www.nida.nih.gov/Infofax/tobacco.html.


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