Can’t remember where you put your pack of cigarettes? That might be a good thing. A growing problem as we age is memory loss, and many things attribute to memory loss – including smoking. Stop smoking and enhance memory.
A recent study to be published in the journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence showed that individuals who had quit smoking for two and a half years performed 25% better on a test of recollection ability than did individuals currently smoking. And, people who had never smoked performed 37% than smokers.
This study assessed prospective memory as opposed to retrospective memory. Prospective memory is the ability to remember to perform a task sometime in the future – like remembering to make a phone call tomorrow at a certain time. Whereas, retrospective memory is the ability to learn a new piece of information and retrieve it later; the ability to remember the phone number of the person you were to call.
Smokers and Smaller Brains
It is not entirely clear why smoking interferes with memory, but we do know that smoking causes parts of the brain to shrink, or atrophy. Reduce blood flow to brain is probably a factor and there are several toxins in tobacco that can potentially be injurious to the brain as they are to the lungs and heart.
So, remember not to smoke, and if you already smoke, quit – before you forget where that pack of cigarettes went. Take that important step to enhance memory.
See related articles.