Comparison of Vital Lung Capacity between Smokers and Non ...

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Comparison of Vital Lung Capacity of between Smokers and Non-Smokers

Kasra Sadjadi and Cassra Minai

Department of Biological Science

Saddleback College

Mission Viejo, CA 92629

Cigarette smoking decreases the amount of oxygen intake per breath. In order to compensate for this lack of oxygen, the subject’s respiratory rate increases (citation). This experiment examines the respiratory rate of cigarette smokers and non-smokers prior to (resting) and after cardiovascular exercise on a stationary bicycle. During the resting and the exercising protocol, the subject will inhale and exhale as much as physically possible while their vital lung capacities are measured. The mean vital lung capacity of the smokers was 3.285 L, and the mean vital lung capacity of the non-smokers was 1.844 L (WAS THIS DURING RESTING OR DURING EXERCISE???). A significant difference was observed between the vital lung capacities of the smokers compared to the non-smokers (unpaired, one-tailed t-test, p=0.003). thus increasing the respiratory rate in order to compensate for lack of Oxygen. In this experiment respiratory rate was measured, while the volunteers (smokers and non-smokers) were resting and after cardiovascular exercise on a stationary bike, by having them exhale and inhale as much as physically possible and measuring their vital capacities with the Oxycon Mobile. Results showed a Mean significant difference between their vital capacities thus rejecting the null hypothesis.


Oxygen intake is extremely important to the survival of vital organs. The amount of oxygen intake is extremely important for amount of oxygen transfer to vital organs. An unhealthy individual (smoker?) will increase the amount of respirations they take per minute because they are unable to transfer the needed (adequate?) amount of oxygen compared to a person with healthy lungs and adequate respirations. The more respirations one takes is because they are not able to transfer the needed amount of oxygen in the same amount of respirations as a person with healthy lungs and therefore increases their respiration rate in order to increase their oxygen intake so that it is equivalent to a healthy person’s. Studies show that occasional smokers were found to have a greater lung capacity, also known as a forced vital capacity (FVC), than nonsmokers (Holmen et al., 2002). Cigarette smoking produces an inflammatory response in the airways of smokers or those exposed to cigarette smoking everyone, but only 15-20% of smokers will develop airways obstruction (Hogg et al., 1994). The inflammatory response of smoking makes it more difficult for the individual to intake adequate (what is normal??) amount of oxygen; therefore, their respiration rate will increase in response to the inflammation of their airway to compensate for their decreased oxygen levels (somehow change this…. it’s very wordy and does not make sense). Because smoking inflames the airways, it makes it harder for the individual to inhale normal amount of oxygen, thus their respiration rate increases in response to the inflammation to compensate for the decrease in oxygen inhalation.

Materials and Methods

The experiment was executed at the Department of Biological Sciences, Saddleback College. Two groups (smokers and non-smokers) of volunteers, consisting of five subjects each participated in the investigation. The subjects (n=10) ranged from 18 to 25 years of age, and each participant signed a waiver form and answered a questionnaire to determine (estimate?) how much tobacco they have smoked throughout their life. Experiment was held at the Biology lab with two groups of random volunteers, five in each group from age range of eighteen to twenty-five years old, who have filled out waiver forms and questionnaires asking how much tobacco they have smoked in their life.

Then the The Oxycon Mobile (which…does what? Measures what? Why was this chosen for this experiment? Serial number? Make? Year?) was calibrated at to 21.01% oxygen and 0.02% carbon dioxide. and hooked up to one of the volunteers. The Oxycon Mobile was attached to each subject, and they were instructed to inhale and exhale as much as possible while at rest. The subjects (smokers and non-smokers) vital lung capacities (VC) were measured for a total of one minute. The volunteer then inhales and exhales as much as possible, thus measuring the vital capacity of the participant. For about one minute the volunteers inhale and exhale as much as possible to measure to vital capacity in smokers and non-smokers, and by doing that we were able to determine the forced vital capacity (FVC), amount of air that can be exhaled after taking the deepest breath possible. After a minute of measurement taking for their respiration rate at rest, then the volunteer rides the stationary bike for five minutes, intermittently increasing their pace to full speed to max their respiratory rate to its greatest capabilities in order to get minute errors in the readings. For the cardiovascular exercise protocol, the subjects were to ride the stationary bicycle for five minutes. During the five minutes, the subjects were instructed to gradually increase their pace to full speed, in order to fully maximize their respiratory rate. Similar to the resting protocol, the subjects were asked to inhale and exhale as many time as possible to determine their vital lung capacity.

To determine the vital lung capacity of each participant, the following equation was used,


where IRV is inspiratory reserve volume, TV is tidal volume, and ERV is exspiratory reserve volume.

By determining the participant’s vital lung capacities, the forced vital capacity, which is the amount of air that can be exhaled after taking the deepest breath possible, was calculated. The data was compared between the smoking and non-smoking groups prior to and after the exercise protocol. The results were analyzed using an unpaired, one-tailed t-test to determine whether there was significance between the two groups (p ................

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