It seems that smokers have impaired short term memory - or at least that's what Dr Tom Heffernan, who leads Northumbria University’s Collaboration for Drug and Alcohol Research Group, said! It is reported that a major piece of research has shown this to be so - research like this:
The study involved more than seventy 18 to 25-year-olds and included a tour of the university’s campus.
Now that's what I call science! But maybe the Daily Mail (for it is then reporting) are wrong - it is not unheard of. But no the "scientists" did this:
Research conducted by scientists from the Collaboration for Drug and Alcohol Research group at Northumbria University in England tested 27 current smokers, 18 previous smokers and 24 who had never smoked on a real-world prospective memory task – which refers to one's capacity to store and retrieve intentions for future actions.
And claim to have found this:
Apparently having applied lots of statistical tests to this tiny sample the authors conclude:
After screening out heavy drinkers or those who had used alcohol recently and controlling for differences in other drug use, mood and IQ, smokers performed worse on the real-world prospective memory task than previous smokers and the never smoked group. The previous smokers performed at similar levels to the never-smoked group – suggesting some recovery in function associated with smoking cessation.
These revealed no significant between-group differences on self-reported PM; however smokers recalled significantly fewer action-location combinations than the never smoked and previous smoker groups on the objective RWPMT (Real World Prospective Memory Task)
I may not be a scientist but even I can see that this is nonsense. But then these are the guys who are planning more research:
The research will now investigate the effects of of passive smoking on memory, while Dr Heffernan and Dr Terence O’Neill will look into the effects of 'third-hand smoking' - toxins left on curtains and furniture.
I rest my case.