You probably don’t associate smoking cigarettes with cognitive impairment, but new research has shown a direct link.

A large study conducted by an international research team from the Montreal Neurological Institute at McGill University and the University of Edinburgh showed that long term smoking causes thinning of the brain's cortex. The cortex is the outer layer of the brain where important cognitive functions including language, memory and perception take place. It’s interesting to note that the researchers found quitting smoking helps to restore at least part of the cortex's thickness.

Cigarettes impair circulation and reduce blood flow to the brain. They are also extremely high in chemicals, heavy metals and free radicals, which cause oxidative damage to the delicate structure of the brain.

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