# How can I measure the effect of smoking on respiratory/breathing rate?I have a lab on the effect of a certain factor on breathing rate, I picked smoking and want to investigate the difference of...

How can I measure the effect of smoking on respiratory/breathing rate?

I have a lab on the effect of a certain factor on breathing rate, I picked smoking and want to investigate the difference of breathing rate in smokers and non-smokers. What would be my independent and dependent variables? What do I use to measure the breathing rate?

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In order to study the effect of smoking on respiratory, or breathing, rate you must first generate a hypothesis relating the two. The independent variable is smoker status, i.e. smoking or non-smoking. The dependent variable is respiratory volume. It is important to understand some or most of these terms and what normal values for each would be:

Tidal Volume, Expiratory Reserve Volume, Inspiratory Reserve Volume, Vital Capacity, Forced Expiratory Volume, Respiration Rate, Minute Respiratory Volume, Alveolar Ventilation Rate. (Remember respiration rate has too many variables that cannot be controlled for so a volume must be chosen for the dependent variable.)

The instrument used to measure lung volume is called a spirometer and some labs have access to software programs such as "Spirocomp" that can calculate various respiratory volumes.