Does Smoking Make You Stupid?

Another reason, apart from the enormous and real cost of smoking to your pocketbook and health: Years of tobacco use may dim one's ability to think and lower his or her IQ.

Scientists from the University of Michigan discovered this unusual connection while studying the long-term effect of alcoholism on the brain and how it functions. Although alcoholism was, no doubt, connected to diminished thinking, smoking exacerbated the problem, particularly among those who had done so for many years.

Across the board, the combination of lifetime alcohol problems severity (LAPS) and pack-years (a measure based on the number of packs of cigarettes a patient smoked each day and for how long they did) were associated with lower IQs and cognitive skills.

Besides connecting alcoholism and smoking to poor neurological functioning, researchers believe the same could be true for those who don't drink alcohol at all.

If you're not at all concerned about your own health, consider the effect smoking has on your kids and how it will make them more prone to pneumonia, bronchitis and other lung diseases.

One of the best ways to quit smoking is through complete abstinence, not gradual reduction. But that can be tough for anyone. There are many effective strategies out there for working with addictions but I find the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), the energy psychology tool I use in my practice, to be most effective.

Drug and Alcohol Dependence September 15, 2005

Science Blog October 11, 2005

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