Looks like exposure to cigarette smoke might present more health risks beyond respiratory damage. A small new study published in the journal Addiction has found a correlation between secondhand smoking and memory loss.

The claim comes from researchers at Northumbria University, who conducted a study on young adults ranging from age 18 to 30. Among the participants, 27 were regularly exposed to secondhand smoke, 27 were smokers, and 29 young adults who didn't smoke and weren't regularly exposed to secondhand smoke.

The participants underwent a 'Cambridge Prospective Memory Test' to test prospective memory. The tests were both time-based and event-based, the former being your ability to remember something after time has passed, while the latter is the ability to remember to do something later on.

Researchers found that people who didn't smoke or have exposure to secondhand smoke did better at time-based tests than both the current smokers and those exposed to secondhand smoke. The ones exposed to secondhand smoke only performed slightly better on this test than the current smokers. Non-smokers who weren't exposed to secondhand smoke also did better on the event-based tests than the current smokers, but didn't do any better than those exposed to secondhand smoke.

Based on these findings, the researchers believe that secondhand smoke could have negative effects on memory, specifically 'prospective memory' which is used to remember things you want or need to do in the future.

via Sci-News