Latest News » Secondhand smoke may affect brain health

Cigarette smoke could affect your memory.

At this point, most people are familiar with the health hazards related to smoking. As a result, smoking bans are cropping up in cities all around the world in order to keep public spaces nicotine-free.

A look at the list of medical issues attributed to secondhand smoke makes it clear why lawmakers and medical professionals are concerned. Prolonged exposure to secondhand smoke has been linked to severe conditions such as heart disease, lung cancer and even SIDS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states.

For the most part, though, these illnesses develop over time. However, a new study has revealed that secondhand smoke may have more immediate effects.

Now, academics from the Collaboration for Drug and Alcohol Research Group at Northumbria University in the United Kingdom have discovered that secondhand smoke can also cause memory loss, according to the university website.

In order to establish this, researchers asked three sets of individuals to take various memory-related exams. The people in the first division were smokers, while the remaining two were made up of nonsmokers. However, members from one nonsmoking section were reportedly exposed to secondhand smoke on a regular basis – at least 25 hours a week – in their everyday lives.

Based on their testing, the scientists found that smokers were unable to remember 30 percent more than people who weren't regularly exposed to cigarette smoke. Meanwhile, the nonsmokers who were exposed forgot 20 percent more.

"Our findings suggest that the deficits associated with secondhand smoke exposure extend to everyday cognitive function," explains Dr. Tom Heffernan, one of the lead authors of the study.

In addition to giving up smoking and avoiding cigarette smoke in general, individuals may also help keep their memory sharp by investing in proper nutrition for the brain. To see our brain support supplements, click here.