Breathalyzer for smokers

Are you a secret smoker? Have you been fooling your family and co-workers into thinking that you're smoke free? Well, your days of secrecy are coming to an end - because of a science project. Yes, that's right, a high school science project.

Ashray Reddy, a sophomore high school student, and his father Dr. S. Reedy presented data at the American College of Chest Physicians meeting in Chicago on Monday. They took a pulse cooximeter, a machine used to identify carbon monoxide in patients and firefighters, to identify if the study subject was a smoker (HealthDay News).

The device, which Reddy said costs $4,000-$5,000, measures the level of carbon monoxide in hemoglobin. It accurately spotted up 95 percent of all smokers when Reddy looked only at those who had a 6 percent or higher level of carbon monoxide.
It will be interesting to see if these results are able to be repeated. If they are, then the ramifications of this are huge. I can see insurance companies using this to see how high your premiums will be if you're identified as a smoker. I see other entities like schools and employers utilizing this machine for their own purposes. Who knew a high school science project could have such wide ranging implications? (image credit)