Cigarettes contain tobacco and other additives that are wrapped in a thin paper and smoked through an attached filter. The tobacco found in cigarettes is a known cause of cancer. Despite the fact that smoking poses health risks, approximately 43 million Americans smoke. To learn more about smoking, there are a variety of science projects to conduct.
To determine the effects of smoking on the lungs, use a sponge, two jars and a thin piece of tubing that is 12 inches long. Cut the sponge in half and place half in each of the jars. Cut a hole in the top of each jar big enough for the tubing to fit through. In one of the tops, cut a hole big enough for the cigarette to fit through. Screw the lids on the jars. Then place one end of the tubing into the hole in the lid of one jar and the other end of tubing into the hole in the lid of the other jar. Light one cigarette and place it through the remaining hole in the lid of one of the two jars. Make sure the filter part of the cigarette is sitting on top of the lid. After the cigarette is finished burning, unscrew the lids of the jars and pull out the sponges to examine them. The smoke will have left them dirty, just like it would a human's lungs.
Smoker or Nonsmoker
The "Smoker or Nonsmoker" science project focuses on using the sense of smell to determine whether or not a person smokes. To do this project, five people will be needed. Three of these people will be smokers. Assign each person a number 1 to 5, write it on a name tag and place it on their shirt. Then have each person walk in the room by themselves. Have students use their sense of smell to detect whether or not the person smells like cigarette smoke or not. Each student will then write the person's number on a piece of paper and put smoker or nonsmoker by that number. Once that person leaves the room, another person will come in and the process will repeat itself until everyone has come into the room and each student has written their number down and whether or not they thought they were a smoker. The group of five people will come back into the room, together and reveal whether they smoke or not. Students will compare what they wrote on the paper to the actual results.
Lima Bean Baby
A lima bean represents an unborn baby and the effects of smoking during pregnancy in the "Lima Bean Baby" science project. To begin, fill one cup with milk, another cup with water and the last cup with tobacco water. (Tobacco water is made by emptying the inside of cigarette into a cup of water.) Place three lima beans into each cup. Daily, examine each lima bean and record any changes that are seen. At the end of 14 days, determine whether the lima beans in tobacco water grew better or worse than the lima beans in the water and milk.