Smoking has a lot of disadvantages, from damaging your lungs to diabetes, and recently, researchers have discovered another reason smoking is bad for your health.
An Ohio State University study found that those who smoke are highly likely to experience memory issues and cognitive impairment in their middle years. According to the study’s findings, ex-smokers who have successfully kicked the habit have a reduced risk of experiencing brain degeneration.
This study, which was reported in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, confirms prior research’s conclusions between cigarette smoking and various forms of dementia.
With a single question, study participants reported whether or not they had encountered issues like confusion or memory loss. They compared current smokers, recent quitters, and long-term quitters to determine the rate of subjective cognitive decline (SCD) in a sample of approximately 135,000 persons aged 45 and up.
According to Neuroscience News, the rate of subjective cognitive decline was nearly 1.9 times higher in smokers compared to nonsmokers in the study. Compared to nonsmokers, the relapse rate was 1.5 times higher among ex-smokers who quit within the past decade. People who had stopped smoking more than ten years before the survey had a prevalence of SCD slightly higher than that of never smokers.
What Are the Adverse Effects of Smoking?
The following are other harmful effects of smoking.
Researchers in 2017 found that smokers experienced a more rapid decline in brain volume as they grew older.
This was because the structural stability of the subcortical brain regions was discovered to be negatively damaged by smoking. In addition, they discovered that smokers experienced more age-related volume loss in various brain regions than nonsmokers.
Stroke is more common in smokers compared to those who don’t. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that cigarette smoking doubles or quadruples the risk of stroke in both men and women. In other words, the more cigarettes you smoke daily, the bigger your risk.
Smoking introduces toxic chemicals, including some that can cause cancer, into the body and brain.
According to the medical director of Wellbridge Addiction Treatment and Research, genetic abnormalities in the throat, lungs, or brain may raise the risk of cancer with prolonged exposure to tobacco.
Will Quitting Make a Difference?
Long-term ex-smokers have lower rates of dementia, according to research published in 2018. While it may take some time, a separate study indicated that quitting tobacco consumption leads to good structural reforms to the brain’s cortex.
Giving up smoking has numerous favorable effects on your health, including improvements to your brain. For instance, it can lower carbon monoxide levels in your blood to normal within 12 hours of smoking your last cigarette and slow down your heart rate.