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Title: An investigation of the effects of passive smoking on non-smokers, with particular emphasis on cognitive and social behaviour
Author: Higgins, L.
Awarding Body: University College of Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1983
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Passive smoking refers to the involuntary inhalation of another person's tobacco smoke. Concern over the passive smoking issue has stimulated a body of literature which focuses mainly on the health consequences resulting from exposure to other peoples smoke. However, only two studies quoted in the literature have considered the performance effects of passive smoking. Since many non smokers are exposed to tobacco smoke in the work environment, any consequences this may have for performance would prejudice the efficiency of those individuals. The research described in this thesis was designed to investigate the performance effects of passive smoking. Having established in replicated studies that non smokers do suffer adverse performance consequences when tested with active smokers, the question of whether this effect was socially or chemically induced was adressed. The findings indicate that it is the presence of the active smoker rather than the cigarette smoke per se which contributes to the passive smoking effect. Other parameters which may contribute to the passive smoking effect were explored. It was found that the performance effects of passive smoking are restricted to those tasks involving sustained attention. Demand characteristics of the task are important such that only those tasks with high demand characteristics are affected. An increase in level of cigarette smoke served to enhance the decrement on already effected tasks rather than to extend it to previously unaffected tasks. Using psychographic measures, non smokers who may be particularly sensitive to the passive smoking effect could not be reliably identified. Concerning the smoker, it was found that non smokers have a generalised negative perception of smokers and that manipulation of this perception in a positive direction alleviated the performance effects of passive smoking. The notion of perceived control was put forward as an explanation for the result.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available