Even Social Smoking Is Damaging Your Memory


Photo: Flickr/Javier Ignacio

Social smokers who only light up on weekends cause as much damage to their memory as those who smoke daily, according to research published in The Open Addiction Journal.In the first study of its kind, researchers at Northumbria University compared the prospective memory of 28 people who smoke 10-15 cigarettes daily, 28 who smoke about 20 cigarettes on weekends and 28 people who had never smoked.

Prospective memory is the cognitive ability to carry out a particular planned action at some future point in time.

Participants were asked to remember 16 pre-determined actions at specific locations when viewing a eight-minute clip of a busy street.

Researchers found that both groups of smokers performed worse than those who had never smoked, with no differences according to the pattern of smoking.

“This new research suggests that restricting smoking to weekends makes no difference – smoking damages your memory,” said Dr. Tom Heffernan, who co-authored the study.

[via ScienceDaily]

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