Northumbria University study links smoking and memory

Dr Tom Heffernan with Dr Terence O'Neill Dr Tom Heffernan (left) and Dr Terence O'Neill examined smoking and cognition

Related Stories

People who smoke lose some of their everyday memory, a study by researchers at Northumbria University has suggested.

However, it was also found that kicking the habit can restore the ability to recollect information restored to almost the same level as non-smokers.

Academics asked people to remember a series of pre-determined tasks.

Smokers correctly identified 59%, compared to the 81% recollected by those who had never smoked.

Those who had given up smoking remembered 74%.

The study, by academics from the University's Collaboration for Drug and Alcohol Research Group tested almost 100 people, split between the three groups.

Dr Tom Heffernan, from the group, said: "Given that there are up to 10 million smokers in the UK and as many as 45 million in the United States, it's important to understand the effects smoking has on everyday cognitive function, of which prospective memory is an excellent example.

"We already know that giving up smoking has huge health benefits for the body but this study also shows how stopping smoking can have knock-on benefits for cognitive function too."

Dr Heffernan, together with Dr Terence O'Neill, will now research the impact of second-hand smoke on health and everyday memory.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Tyne & Wear

Weather

Newcastle upon Tyne

Min. Night 13 °C

Features

  • Children in Africa graphicBaby steps

    Why are more children in Africa living beyond five?


  • Olive oil and olivesFood myth

    Did 1950s Britain get its olive oil from a pharmacy?


  • Rio Ferdinand and David Moyes'Playing to win'

    Memorable quotes from sporting autobiographies BBC Sport


  • Hand washing to contain Ebola in LiberiaEbola virus

    More action is needed to tackle Ebola, say experts


  • shadow of people kissing on grassOutdoor love

    Should the police intervene when people have sex in public?


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.