Second-hand smoke tied to memory problems, study suggests
|Date: Friday, September 21st, 2012||Return to Archive|
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.
- All Categories
- Academic Outreach
- Continuing & Professional Development
- Distance Learning
- Summer Sessions
- Winter Term
- Career & Workforce Development
- Lifelong Learning
- Society for Lifelong Learning
- WKU On Demand
- Study Away
- Faculty-Led Study Abroad
- Center for Faculty Development
- Cohort Programs
- Dual Credit
- Conferencing & Catering
- All Categories
- March 2016 ICYMI
- CHHS October 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS January 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS March 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS April 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS June 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS October 2012 E-Newsletter
- April 2016 ICYMI
- CHHS November 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS January 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS March 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS April 2013 E-Newsletter
- JUNE 2016 ICYMI
- CHHS May/June 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2013 E-Newsletter
- Archived CHHS News
- CHHS October 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS April 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS June 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS October 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS January 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS October 2015 E-Newsletter
- December 2015 ICYMI
- January 2016 ICYMI
- MAY 2016 ICYMI
- February 2016 ICYMI
- CHHS July 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS October 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS January 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS March 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS June 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2011 E-Newsletter
Friday, March 24th
WKU graduate Adam Edge is the lead author of a new publication in the journal Human Dimensions of Wildlife.
WKU will celebrate the second annual Fulbright Week April 3-7 with events for prospective students and faculty.
The Learn and Earn program at WKU partners with area companies and businesses to employ both traditional and non-traditional college students thus helping meet their company production goals. For more information, visit https://www.wku.edu/learnandearn/
Construction webcams are now in place so you can watch the progress of Hilltopper Hall and the Southwest and Northeast Hall connectors online: wku.edu/webcams - images are uploaded from 5 am-5 pm.
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,
Note: documents in Word format (DOC) require Microsoft Viewer,
Note: documents in Powerpoint format (PPT) require Microsoft Viewer,
Note: documents in Quicktime Movie format [MOV] require Apple Quicktime,