The nicotine brain buzz can create stinking thinking

EVERYONE knows smoking is not good for your lungs – but people still smoke, because it definitely helps out your brain.

First off – it makes you feel good in the moment.

The feel good comes from the squirts of dopamine, released in response to nicotine’s neurotransmitter trickery, you feel alive and relaxed, all at the same time – taking the edge off. Leaving you able to think – a lot better too.

BUT……… the dirty cloud, accompanying the nicotine fix, impacts the brain.

So this week’s Neurotechnology Tip, reminds you to avoid hanging around puffing billies, they can stink up your thinking. And if you’re a puffing billy – today’s tip, gives you yet another reason, to quit.

Blowing smoke in your face

A research team from Northumbria University opted to focus on brain performance, in the presence of smoke, specifically second hand smoke.

To kick off their quest, they enrolled non-smokers who

Were “smoking” through exposure to other people’s smoking habits

Were not exposed to other people’s smoke on a regular basis

They also included some official smokers in their study, so they had something to compare the two groups to.

NOTE : To qualify as a “SMOKING” non-smoker, the participants had to be exposed to someone else’s smoke for at least 25 hours a week, for a period of at least 4½ years.

A smoking ability to remember

The research team then put the participants through a series of memory exercises, the kind of memory tasks you have to do every day.

The first test was designed to see how well their time-based memory was functioning i.e. the participants had to REMEMBER to carry out an activity, after some time.

The second test was an event-based memory i.e. the participant had to remember something they intended to do in the future.

Memory in the clouds

The “smoking” non-smokers memory, was definitely being burned by the exposure to smoke. On average, these non-smokers forget 20 % more, than the genuine non-smokers. Ouch !

But the “smoking” non-smokers were still a whole lot better off, than the genuine smokers. The smokers forget 30 % more than the genuine non-smokers. Bigger Ouch !

Protect your brain from smoke

Being exposed to smoke – first hand, second hand, third hand – is never a health move.

But it is not just your lungs that can get all clogged up, your brain also gets buried in the cloud of smoke, impacting your ability to remember.

Avoiding the smoke cloud will help your REMEMBER MORE.

PS. If you feel you need a little nicotine for better thinking – explore non-smoking options like the patch or chewing gum.

Exposure to second-hand smoke damages everyday prospective memory. Addiction (2013) 108(2):420-426. T.M. Heffernan, T.S. O’Neill.

To wire up your brain a little each week ………………..

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Further reading

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Did you learn something new or do you have a different perspective ? I’d love to hear from you so post me a comment below

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