Smoking is associated with a lot of negative health problems. As a social smoker, you might feel like you’re exempted from it all, but unfortunately, you’re just as vulnerable to smoking’s ill effects as a person who smokes daily. In a new study published in the journal Open Addiction, researchers are saying that smokers and social smokers alike both suffer the same degree of memory damage.

Researchers from Northumbria University recruited 84 students for the study. One third of the participants were social smokers who consumed around 20 cigarettes per week. Another third of them were regular smokers who smoked around 10 to 15 cigarettes daily. The remaining group members were completely non-smokers.

They participated in a video-based memory test in which they watched a short clip of a bustling shopping area and were asked to recall a series of predetermined actions at specific points in the video. Results? Both the smokers and social smokers did significantly worse than the non-smokers. As a matter of fact, there was no performance difference between the two smoking groups.

To put it simply, smoking can damage your memory. As a social smoker, you’re probably not that worried about smoking’s effects on your health, but after reading all these facts, you might want to start cutting back on your cigarettes.

(Photo by fotoizm via Flickr Creative Commons)

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