Just Smoking A Little Won’t…What Was I Saying?
Smoking Socially Damages Memory as Much as Smoking Regularly
Think smoking only now and then won’t bite you in the ass? A new study reveals one way that it likely will. Researchers found that smoking impairs memory just as badly in social smokers, individuals who only smoke on the weekends, as it does in those who smoke every day. Maybe this explains why social smokers often forget they’re social smokers and start lighting up at 6 A.M. with a coffee and leftover Chinese.
The study compared three groups: individuals who smoked 10 to 15 cigarettes daily, those who smoked around 20 cigarettes a week (generally on the weekend), and those who had never smoked.
The individuals were asked to perform a memory task like remembering to text a friend while walking past a certain store. Both smoker groups performed worse than those who did not smoke—and the researchers found no pattern in performance correlating to how much the individual smoked. Sort of ironic that “social” smokers start to forget their social networking, eh?
One of the researchers, Dr. Tom Heffernan, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, says, “Smoking-related memory decline in general has been linked with increases in accelerated cerebral degeneration such as brain shrinkage. This new research suggests that restricting smoking to weekends makes no difference – smoking damages your memory.”
Smoking is one of the hardest things to quit, but here’s to hoping that you’ll eventually forget to buy cigarettes.
Source: Northumbria University (2012). Weekend smoking can damage your memory, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120306072912.htm
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