Does Smoking Lower IQ?
Smoking does not necessarily lower IQ, but IQ scores drop proportionally amongst heavier smokers.
At least that is the result of extensive tests compiled by Dr. Mark Weiser and his colleagues of Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer, Israel. They found that young men who smoked a pack of cigarettes a day or more had IQ scores 7.5 points lower than non-smokers,.
Reuters reported that to better understand the smoking-IQ relationship, the researchers looked at 20,211 18-year-old men recruited into the Israeli military. The group did not include anyone with major mental health problems, because these individuals are disqualified from military service.
The smokers had significantly lower intelligence test scores than non-smokers, and this remained true even after the researchers accounted for socioeconomic status as measured by how many years of formal education a recruit’s father had completed, according to Reuters.
The findings suggest that lower IQ individuals are more likely to choose to smoke, rather than that smoking makes people less intelligent, Weiser and his team conclude.