Smoking and Relaxation 3 Smoking and Relaxation Are smokers more relaxed than non-smokers? I smoke and I want to find out if the effects of smoking makes one more relaxed than somebody who doesn't. College can be a very stressful time for a person and is an excellent place to test this question. Jenks (1994) conducted both measures of life and health satisfaction and measures of self-control between smokers and non-smokers. He found that "smokers were most likely to list relaxation along with psychological and physical addiction as a reasons for smoking." He also saw that male and female smokers ranked their reasons for smoking in the same order: psychological addiction, relaxation, physical addiction, pleasant activity, and weight control. He then concluded that male non-smokers tended to feel more satisfied and in control with their lives than male smokers. I believe the more control you have over you're life the more relaxed you are. This tells me that even though smokers might feel relaxed while smoking, in the long run they don't feel this, in fact they feel anxious because of their addiction. In the study of women smokers to non-smokers, the smokers were more likely to feel in control than the non-smokers. I think the reason for this is women are more likely to smoke to maintain self-esteem and self- image. When women smoke it makes them feel relaxed psychologically, making them feel better about who they are and fit in better socially. When people smoke, they do it because it's pleasurable and it calms them down. They smoke when they're feeling stress and when they're having trouble coping with certain situations. Does this make them more relaxed than non-smokers? Smoking and Relaxation 4 Method Hypothesis: Are smokers more relaxed than non-smokers are? Prediction: I predict that the results of the survey will indicate that smokers are in fact less relaxed than non-smokers are. Setting The study will take place at Westfield State College, outside of the city of Springfield, located in western Massachusetts. Participants The participants in the study will be 10 to 20 students both smokers and non-smokers. There will be an equal amount of smokers and non-smokers involved in the study. The ages used will be between 18 and 21. Materials There will be one survey given to each of the subjects. Some examples of the questions are, "Do you feel your heartbeat increase during the day?" Another one will be, "How do you feel during the day?" Design and Procedures The survey will be given to random students that are smokers and to some that aren't. It will take only a few minutes to answer the questions. The survey for the smokers consists of six questions asking about how they feel throughout the day when they smoke, and when they don't smoke. The survey for the non-smokers is made up of basically the same questions just worded differently. Smoking and Relaxation 5 Results Table 1 shows the results of the survey questions I gave to the smokers and non-smokers using mode, median and mean. When the results of the two groups were compared for further analysis, there was no real significant difference in the answers. For question 2, I asked, "How do you feel during the day?" Both groups answered between 1 (relaxed) and 2 (normal). For question 4, I asked, "Do you feel your heartbeat increase during the day?" Again both groups answered between 1 (no) and 2, with 5 (yes) being the highest. Finally in question 6, I asked, "How much time do you spend relaxing during the day?" The results were still very close together with the mean of 2.5 for the smokers and 2 for the non-smokers. Figure 1 shows the frequency for each question and the comparison between the two groups. As you can see there is a little difference, but not enough to make any real arguments. Discussion The findings are not consistent with those of other researchers when the data from my study was analyzed. They seemed to find that non-smokers had more control over their lives than smokers, indicating that they are more relaxed. The results from both smokers and non-smokers were basically the same with both subjects indicating they felt relaxed during the course of a day. The information from this study does not provide enough evidence to answer prove this theory that smoking causes relaxation. The problem with this study was that I needed to collect more data, which could have been Smoking and Relaxation 6 done if more subjects had been involved. Also some of my questions were to broad and should have been more personal to get more information. Further research is needed to determine if smokers are more relaxed than non-smokers.