New research has found that children who have been exposed to parents’ smoking have a poorer cognitive function in later life…

There has never been a better time to quit smoking – especially if you are a parent.

A new Finnish study shows that exposure to parental smoking in childhood and adolescence is associated with poorer learning ability and memory in midlife.

The study showed that the harmful effects of childhood secondhand smoking exposure may carry over to midlife learning ability and memory function.

In addition to protecting children and adolescents from starting active smoking, attention should be paid to their secondhand smoking exposure at home and elsewhere.

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Over 2 000 people studied

For the study, the cognitive performance of over 2 000 participants was measured at the age of 34-49 years.

Participants who had been exposed to parental smoking in childhood had worse learning ability and poorer memory than those participants whose parents did not smoke in their presence. This association was present regardless of the participants’ own smoking either in adolescence or adulthood.

The difference in cognitive performance between those participants who had been exposed to parental smoking and those with non-smoking parents was equivalent to the difference caused by up to five years of ageing.

Source: University of Turku via www.sciencedaily.com

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