Giving up smoking boosts your memory

A person's memory can be boosted when he or she successfully gives up smoking, new research has suggested. Published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, the study found kicking the habit can serve to restore everyday memory to levels enjoyed by non-smokers.

Investigators at the Collaboration for Drug and Alcohol Research Group at Northumbria University - located in Newcastle upon Tyne - asked participants to remember pre-determined tasks at a number of specific locations around the institute's campus.

It was demonstrated that while cigarette users could only recall 59 per cent of the incidents, those who had quit tobacco were able to recall 74 per cent of the instances and people who had never taken a drag remembered 81 per cent of the events.

Dr Tom Heffernan from the group, a Chartered Psychologist, said that the prevalence of smoking makes it essential there is a better understanding of the activity's effect on cognitive behaviour.

He added: "We already know that giving up smoking has huge health benefits for the body, but this study also shows how stopping smoking can have knock-on benefits for cognitive function too."

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