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Effect of smoking on the sense of smellFeatured science projectScience project video


The materials required for this science fair project:
- Flavors – cinnamon, rose, lemon, lavender, banana, vinegar, apple, orange, soy sauce
- 30 test tubes
- 3 test tube stands
- A blindfold
- 10 participants who are heavy smokers (ascertain that they typically smoke at least 10 cigarettes a day and have been doing so for at least 5 years)
- 10 participants who are non-smokers
- Tap water
- 10 syringes


1. For this science fair project, the independent variable is the concentration of the 10 test scents. The dependent variable is the choice of the most intense scent  selected by the participants. This is determined by asking the participant to smell the 3 samples of each scent in the test tubes. The constants (control variables) are the number of scents used and the amount of scented liquid placed in the test tubes.

2. The liquid scents of cinnamon, rose, lemon, lavender, banana, apple and orange are purchased in small bottles from a department store or supermarket.  Vinegar and soy sauce may be purchased from a grocery store.

3.  Three test tubes  are each  labeled as cinnamon, rose, lemon, lavender, banana, vinegar, apple, orange and soy sauce. The 3 test tubes for each scent are now labeled 1, 2 and 3.

4. Using a different syringe for each flavor, 50ml of the first scent is transferred to test tube labeled 1. 25ml is transferred to test tube labeled 2 and 10 ml is transferred to test tube  3. Another 25ml of water is added to test tubes marked 2 and 40ml water added to test tubes marked 3.

5. The first smoker is blindfolded. The participant is given the 3 test tubes for the 1st flavor and asked to smell and identify which test tube has the strongest smell. After the choice is made, the results are recorded and the same test is done on the remaining 9 flavors.

6.  Procedure 5 is repeated  for the remaining 9 smoking participants. The total number of smoking participants who made the right choice for each flavor is recorded in the table given below.

7. Procedures 5 and 6 are repeated using  10 non-smoking participants and the results are recorded.

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Complexity level:
Project cost ($):
Time required:
1 hour to prepare, 1day for the science project experiment
Material availability:
Easily found at a department store/supermarket
Safety concerns: