Skip to main content
Western Kentucky University

Human Resources News

Second-hand smoke tied to memory problems, study suggests

Smokers and people who regularly breathe others' cigarette fumes are worse at  remembering things on their to-do lists than are people with no tobacco  exposure, a small study says.

Problems with so-called prospective memory may not only lead to embarrassment  if a person forgets to meet with their friends, British researchers write in the  journal Addiction. It can also have more-serious consequences such as forgetting  to take your medication.

The study doesn't prove that smoke damages memory, but is nonetheless a cause  for concern, the researchers say.

"This research extends what is already known about the effects of smoking and  second-hand smoke, suggesting there is not only health effects from it, but  cognitive consequences too," said Tom Heffernan, the study's lead author from  Northumbria University at Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Heffernan and his colleague recruited 27 current smokers, 24 people who  reported regular exposure to second-hand smoke and 28 people who said they were  never exposed to smoke, whether first- or secondhand. All were between 18 years  old and 30 years old.

The researchers had each person complete the Cambridge Prospective Memory Test, which included time-based tasks, such as returning a key to the researchers when seven minutes were left on the clock, and event-based tasks such as handing over the key when a certain word was said.

Each person received points for the tasks they completed depending on how  many prompts the researchers had to give them. Total scores ranged from zero to  18 points for each test, with higher scores meaning better memory.

For the time-based activities, there was a statistically reliable difference  between the scores of each group.

People without any exposure to tobacco smoke scored 16.3 points on average,  while those who breathed second-hand smoke scored 13.7 points and smokers scored  11.6 points.

For event-based activities, the smoke-free students again did better than  smokers, but only marginally better than those exposed regularly to second-hand  smoke.

Exactly what the findings mean in real life, and what's responsible for them,  is unclear. And while the study suggests there is a link between smoking and  memory problems, Heffernan warns that these are results from just one study.

"I think we need to confirm these findings using other methods," he told  Reuters Health.

Source: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/09/21/second-hand-smoke-tied-to-memory-problems-study-suggests/#ixzz2AKhOA3BM

Categories
Latest Headlines
Football Event Parking

WKU football takes on UAB at home on Saturday, October 4, 2014.

Parking and Transit During Fall Break

Thursday, October 2nd - Sunday, October 5th

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra Performance on Tuesday, September 30th

Parking and Shuttle Information for Event

Featured Articles
5 Ways to Drop Your Soda Habit

How does one ditch a dependence on soda? Here are five tips for kicking your soda habit for good.

Real or fake sugar: Does it matter?

Are artificial sweeteners used in soft drinks and foods safe? Will they make us fat? How much is too much? Science doesn't have all the answers yet, but researchers have some clues.

Speed Limit Changes

Speed Limit Reduced on Normal and State Streets

Note: documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view,
download Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Note: documents in Excel format (XLS) require Microsoft Viewer,
download excel.

Note: documents in Word format (DOC) require Microsoft Viewer,
download word.

Note: documents in Powerpoint format (PPT) require Microsoft Viewer,
download powerpoint.

Note: documents in Quicktime Movie format [MOV] require Apple Quicktime,
download quicktime.

 
 Last Modified 9/25/14