This one should get some blood boiling: a study out of Israel suggests that smokers have lower IQs (intelligence quotient) than do non-smokers. However, they say that it is the lower IQ that gets them smoking, not that smoking lowers the IQ.
Let’s see what the researchers did and how they came to that conclusion.
The study, published in the February issue of the journal Addiction, found that non-smokers scored seven points higher on IQ tests than did smokers and, as a result, no-smoking campaigns to teens should be geared towards kids with poorer IQ scores.
To come to this conclusion, the researchers reviewed the files of 20,211 18-year-old healthy men who were in the Israeli military. None of the men had a history of major mental illness. They found tht:
- 28% of the men smoked at least once per day
- 3% used to smoke (were ex-smokers)
- 68% had never smoked
The researchers then reviewed the IQ test results and they found that the smokers who began smoking before entering the military had “significantly lower test scores” (average of 94) than did the non-smokers (average of 101). Men who began smoking after entering the military scored on average 98. Not only were the differences significant, the more cigarettes smoked per day, the lower the IQ score. The average dropped to 90 for men who smoked a pack of cigarettes per day. IQ tests can sometimes be affected by socioeconomic status, so this was taken into account when tallying up the outcomes.
For a point of reference, have a look at this standard chart:
|140 and over||Genius or near genius|
|120-140||Very superior intelligence|
|90-110||Normal or average intelligence|
|Below 70||Definite feeble-mindedness|
So, what do you say?