November 28, 2012 / News.com.au / — SMOKING is known to be highly damaging to physical health, being a major factor in cancer and heart disease.
Now, however, its alarming effects on the mental well-being of millions of smokers have been outlined by scientists in the UK. Lighting up regularly has been associated with a sharp decline in the performance of the brain, according to their study. They found that middle-aged smokers performed worse on tests compared with those without the tobacco habit.
The project examined memory, planning and overall mental ability after four and eight years. The tests included asking people to learn new words or name as many animals as they could in a minute. Researchers concluded that smoking “consistently” reduced all three performance measures after four years. They also found that high blood pressure and being overweight took their toll of brainpower – but not as much as smoking.