New evidence suggests that smoking isn't only bad for the body but can also take a toll on the mind.
A study published today in the Archives of General Psychiatry linked smoking to faster, more dramatic age-related mental decline in men. Researchers from University College in London studied more than 5,000 men and 2,000 women from Britain's long-running Whitehall II study, which has surveyed the health of thousands of British civil service employees.
The researchers studied each participant's performance on tests of memory, verbal skills and reasoning over a period of 10 years, beginning when the participants were about 56 years old. They found that men who smoked showed a greater decline in these mental functions than those who had never smoked.