Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the impacts of electronic cigarette use on vocal parameters compared to the impacts of tobacco cigarette use. In addition, this study served to determine participants’ perceptions of harm and benefits associated with electronic and tobacco cigarette use and their perceptions of their vocal qualities.
Participants: Participants were between the ages of 18-25 and belonged to one of the following three groups: sole electronic cigarette user, sole tobacco cigarette user, or nonuser.
Methods: The participants provided acoustic samples on their personal computers through the acoustic analysis application, Praat. The participants were given a survey and questionnaire to assess their perceptions of their vocal quality and the risks and benefits of smoking.
Results: No significant differences were found in objective vocal parameter measures between the groups (p > 0.05). In general, the nonuser group rated their voices as the least healthy, and the e-cigarette and tobacco cigarette users rated their voices as healthier. While the groups demonstrated knowledge of some of the risks of smoking, many were unsure of whether smoking could damage the vocal folds or change the perceptual quality of the voice.
Implications: While there were no significant findings, patterns indicate that e-cigarette and tobacco cigarette users have poorer objective vocal qualities than nonusers. The surveys demonstrated that these users perceive their voices as healthy and are not aware of the impacts of smoking on the voice, meaning that more should be done to research the impacts and inform individuals of the potential risks of use.
University Honors Capstone Project Paper, University of Minnesota Duluth, 2021.
The Effect of Electronic Cigarettes on Objective Vocal Measures as Compared to Users’ Perceptions.
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