Secondhand smoke linked to memory problems

Even passive smoke can hurt your memoryPassive smoke exposure may increase a person’s risk of developing dementia, according to the findings of a new study.

Researchers at Peninsula Medical School, the University of Cambridge and the University of Michigan say their study is the first to suggest secondhand smoke may lead to cognitive problems in non-smoking adults.

The scientists used the cotinine level in saliva samples to determine smoking exposure, as well as a lifestyle survey. They also administered memory, numeracy and verbal fluency tests.

Researcher Dr. Iain Lang said the results show passive smoke presents a threat to adults’ health, adding, “We hope that our findings will encourage smokers to change their behavior in order to reduce the risk to others.”

The findings, published online by the British Medical Journal, propose that secondhand smoke causes heart disease, which in turn leads to dementia.

Previous research found potential links between secondhand smoke exposure and poor cognitive performance in children.

Many people have turned to nutritional supplements, such as those containing omega-3 fatty acids, to help maintain healthy cognitive function.