Smoking Rewires Teenagers’ Brains


Not my usual beat but two important health finding. From New Scientist magazine – 5 Jan/08

PARENTS may now have another reason to worry about their children smoking. Nicotine may cause the teenage brain to develop abnormally, resulting in changes to the structure of white matter – the neural tissue through which signals are relayed.

Leslie Jacobsen of Yale University School of Medicine has found that teenagers who smoke, or whose mothers smoked during pregnancy, are also more likely to suffer from auditory attention deficits, meaning they find it harder to concentrate on what is being said when other things are happening at the same time.

In another health story in the same issue reveals new findings that show children living polluted cites have a lower IQ. Tiny soot particles from the engines of cars and especially diesel trucks/buses are inhaled into the brain through the nose where they damage cells.

It’s one of the best magazines around – I used to write for them 😉

Related stories:

Junk Food and Smoking to Kill 100s of Millions in Poor Countries

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