Smoking Is a Silent Killer Researchers claim that smoking is detrimental to memory . Prolonged heavy nicotine use has a negative effect on day-to-day memory, according to research. Researchers from five universities asked smokers and non-smokers to rate their long-term memory, for example remembering to send birthday cards. They found that smoking significantly impaired memory, with heavy smokers reporting the most errors. The survey was carried out by teams from Newcastle, Wales, North Umbria, Westminster and Teesside universities. The survey nvolved more than 700 people.
Researcher Dr Tom Heffernan, of the human cognitive neuroscience unit at North Umbria University, also tested everyday memory including remembering where people had put things. The teams also took into consideration how much people smoked – a heavy smoker was classed as having more than 15 cigarettes a week and alight smoker between one and four cigarettes a week. Dr Heffernan said: “The result of the study revealed that smokers reported more errors in their long-term memory than non-smokers with an additional ifference between non-smokers and heavy smokers”.
There was also a significant detrimental effect of cigarette use on everyday memory function. For example a typical heavy smoker reported 22% more memory-related problems than a non smoker and around 12% more problems than those who smoked only relatively a small number of cigarettes It is concluded that chronic, heavy smoking is associated with impairments in everyday memory, although the precise nature of the deficits are as yet unknown.