A comparison of maximum oxygen consumption, aerobic performance, and endurance in young and active male smokers and nonsmokers

Mil Med. 1998 Nov;163(11):770-4.


The purpose of this study was to compare 2.4-km running performance in 2,639 smoking (SM) and nonsmoking (NS) male conscripts aged 18 to 26 years. Maximum oxygen consumption (VO2max) and aerobic exercise endurance were also compared between SM and NS subjects (N = 156) stratified into various running performance bands. SM subjects ran significantly slower (10.59 +/- 1.17 minutes) than NS subjects (10.32 +/- 1.03 minutes) in the 2.4-km run test (p < 0.001). The mean VO2max of SM subjects (53.38 +/- 8.58 ml kg-1 min-1) was not significantly different from that of the NS subjects (54.42 +/- 7.82 ml kg-1 min-1) (p > 0.05). Exercise endurance time on the treadmill protocol (EXtm) was significantly longer in the NS group only among those who completed the 2.4-km run in < 9.01 minutes (p < 0.05). Maximum minute ventilation (VEmax) was also significantly higher in the NS group in the < 9.01-minute performance band. No other significant differences were found between SM and NS subjects in EXtm and VEmax. Mean maximum heart rate achieved during the tread-mill test ranged from 180 +/- 4 to 191 +/- 12 beats per minute in the SM group and from 183 +/- 5 to 188 +/- 19 beats per minute in the NS group. These were not significantly different (p > 0.05). In conclusion, smoking habit was shown to influence aerobic performance in the 2.4-km run, VEmax, and EXtm only during high-intensity aerobic exercise. VO2max was not influenced by smoking habit when aerobic performance was held constant.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Exercise Test
  • Exercise Tolerance*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Military Personnel*
  • Oxygen Consumption*
  • Physical Endurance*
  • Running*
  • Smoking / metabolism
  • Smoking / physiopathology*