[Purpose] Smoking has a direct effect on the respiratory system. The rate of cigarette smoking among young people has continued to increase steadily. The present study quantified and compared the respiratory function of smoking and non-smoking youths. [Subjects] Smoking and non-smoking male participants aged between 15 to 18 years were recruited (n=34 per group). [Methods] Participants were asked to complete a questionnaire relating to smoking habits and the Fagerström test for nicotine dependence questionnaire, and their respiratory function was tested (measurement of chest expansion, lung function test with a spirometer, and assessment of respiratory muscle strength). [Results] All respiratory function tests demonstrated significant differences between the smoking and non-smoking groups. Smokers initiated cigarette smoking between the ages of 15 to 18 years. The most common duration of cigarette smoking was 1-3 years and the degree of nicotine dependence among the youths was at a low level. [Conclusion] This study's findings show that the early effects of cigarette smoking found in youths can lead to problems with the respiratory system. Such information can be used to illustrate the harm of smoking and should be used to encourage young people to quit or avoid cigarette smoking.
Keywords: Cigarette smoking; Respiratory function; Youth.