Report: Smoking could make you stupid

Are people who smoke "dumb," or does smoking dumb them down?

cigarette 88 (photo credit: )
cigarette 88
(photo credit: )
Are people who smoke "dumb," or does smoking dumb them down?

At least one connection - that long-term smoking brings down IQ - has been suggested by a new University of Michigan study.

Although many smokers claim a cigarette helps them concentrate and feel more alert, years of tobacco use may have the opposite effect, dimming the speed and accuracy of a person's thinking ability and bringing down their IQ, according to the study of 172 alcoholic and non-alcoholic men that had initially been aimed at examining the long-term effects of alcoholism on the brain and thinking skills.

The Israel Cancer Association has used the IQ-lowering phenomenon to promote smoking-cessation courses.

While the researchers confirmed previous findings that alcoholism is associated with thinking problems and lower IQ, their analysis also revealed that long-term smoking is too.

The effect on memory, problem-solving and IQ was most pronounced among those who had smoked for years.

The findings are the first to suggest a direct relationship between smoking and neurocognitive function among men with alcoholism.

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