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Medicine Science

Young Men Who Smoke Have Lower IQs 561

Hugh Pickens writes "Science Daily reports on a study that has determined that young men who smoke are likely to have lower IQs than their non-smoking peers. In the study, conducted with 20,000 Israeli Army recruits and veterans, the average IQ for a non-smoker was about 101, while the smokers' average was more than seven IQ points lower at about 94, and the IQs of young men who smoked more than a pack a day were lower still, at about 90. (These IQs all fall within the normal range.) 'In the health profession, we've generally thought that smokers are most likely the kind of people to have grown up in difficult neighborhoods, or who've been given less education at good schools,' says Prof. Mark Weiser of Tel Aviv University's Department of Psychiatry, whose study was reported in a recent version of the journal Addiction. 'Because our study included subjects with diverse socio-economic backgrounds, we've been able to rule out socio-economics as a major factor. The government might want to rethink how it allocates its educational resources on smoking.' Prof. Weiser says that the study illuminates a general trend in epidemiological studies. 'People on the lower end of the average IQ tend to display poorer overall decision-making skills when it comes to their health,' says Weiser. 'Schoolchildren who have been found to have a lower IQ can be considered at risk to begin the habit, and can be targeted with special education and therapy to prevent them from starting or to break the habit after it sets in.'"
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Young Men Who Smoke Have Lower IQs

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  • by Steauengeglase ( 512315 ) on Monday April 05, 2010 @08:52AM (#31732554)

    They are one step ahead of you: []

  • Re:I smoke... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 05, 2010 @09:02AM (#31732644)

    Well, where I work it's considered ok to go out for five minutes to have a smoke, but if you just went out for five minutes it's highly likely some PHB would consider that "goofing off" since you're just going outside without doing anything (this is similar to why it's easier to gain favor with management by doing something, anything even if it's a bad thing to do instead of taking some extra time to figure out the cause of a problem).

  • by Civil_Disobedient ( 261825 ) on Monday April 05, 2010 @09:08AM (#31732702)

    Lower [] IQ [] huh []? Isn't [] that [] interesting [].

  • by chrb ( 1083577 ) on Monday April 05, 2010 @09:12AM (#31732742)

    Several years of military service in the IDF [] is mandatory for young Israelis. After that they are considered lifetime reservists, can be called up for a months service every year, and for an unlimited duration when national security is threatened. This is one of the reasons some Palestinian groups give for targeting Israeli civilians - since every Israeli civilian is also a military reservist, these groups state that there is no such thing as an Israeli civilian in the traditional sense.

  • by beakerMeep ( 716990 ) on Monday April 05, 2010 @09:15AM (#31732774)
    As a dumb smoker, I'm skeptical of the study, but I'm pretty sure military service is required of all citizens in Israel.
  • Re:Duh (Score:5, Informative)

    by brian_tanner ( 1022773 ) on Monday April 05, 2010 @09:23AM (#31732858)
    I used to think that too. I suggest you read Allen Carr's book. It's an easy read: []

    The book has helped myself and several others in our Ph.D program quit smoking. I think you may find that you don't enjoy smoking, but rather you enjoy relieving the physical and psychological symptoms of Nicotine withdrawal. Each cigarette returns you to neutral, and after about an hour your Nicotine levels have dropped and your addicted body makes you uncomfortable so you enjoy having another cigarette and returning back to neutral. The truth is you like having an absence of withdrawal symptoms, ie, of being a nonsmoker.

    Probably. So far everyone I know that has read the book has easily quit and has come to understand this perspective. We're not exactly a low IQ bunch. But I could be wrong of course. Couldn't hurt to find out though: at least you'd have a reason to ditch the stink and health problems...
  • by Zerth ( 26112 ) on Monday April 05, 2010 @10:04AM (#31733306)

    You do know that the Israelis have mandatory military service? Everybody fit to serve joins.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 05, 2010 @10:59AM (#31733954)

    Females who are married or pregnant before the age of enlistment (18) skip IDF service altogether. Most Orthodox Jews aren't required to enlist. Some males are found unfit for service on physical or mental grounds, they never enlist. Able males who are unwilling to enlist on moral grounds trade IDF service for community service in schools, hospitals and rural communities. There are plenty of Israelis who never have and never will wear an IDF uniform.

    This is one of the reasons some Palestinian groups give for targeting Israeli civilians...

    When you quote bullshit excuses, please be a dear and call bullshit on it right away.

  • Re:Also... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 05, 2010 @11:14AM (#31734172)
    Since you were never taught, here's a quick lesson: when pluralizing symbols or initialisms, use the apostrophe only to resolve ambiguity. Ex: "As" Is this the preposition "as" or the plural of the letter "A"? Write A's and it's clear. "Bs," there is no ambiguity. In short, with vowels, the numbers 1 and 0, and the letter M: use an apostrophe (as, is, etc.; 1 and 0 look like letters; and Ms. is a title).

    Treat initialisms as nouns. Plural of PC is PCs. Now you can still use the apostrophe for the possessive ("My PC's power supply") or the contraction with "is" ("My PC's brand new") without ambiguity with the plural.

    As for your model number example, that's fine for speech where you might ask your coworker to "take the 1650's out of the rack." In writing, you should probably just add a disambiguating word like "PC" or "server" (i.e. "Dell GX280 workstations" or "Dell 1650 servers"). Not only does this avoid improper and potentially misleading usage of the apostrophe, it may aid the reader who knows the difference between a server and a workstation, but not Dell model numbers.
  • by swb ( 14022 ) on Monday April 05, 2010 @11:14AM (#31734176)

    I guy I used to work for who smoked told me that he started smoking because it got him out of work.

    He was working at a machine shop and found that if he took a break with the smokers, his foreman made him go back to to work while the smokers got to keep on smoking. Apparently not working but smoking was "doing something" and not working without smoking was "standing around." He basically started smoking to keep from working.

    I'm guessing its like that in the military, too. A guy smoking is on a smoke break, a guy not smoking is just standing around.

  • Re:Duh (Score:3, Informative)

    by jim_v2000 ( 818799 ) on Monday April 05, 2010 @12:09PM (#31734970)
    You could know a million "very smart" people who smoke. It doesn't change the fact that ON AVERAGE, more stupid people are smoking than smart people. God damn...learn something about statistics. Nothing in the article said "ALL SMOKERS ARE STUPID, LOL". It simply said that smokers tend to be less intelligent than non-smokers, on average.
  • Re:Duh (Score:3, Informative)

    by Red Flayer ( 890720 ) on Monday April 05, 2010 @03:42PM (#31739398) Journal

    or you're doing the exact same thing you're accusing me of.

    No, it's not the same thing. You posted a false deduction as fact without regard to veracity. I knew the *facts* before I posted, whether I gave a citation or not. What you thought to be an obvious fact (that the pancreas is not part of the respiratory system, therefore smoking cannot cause pancreatic cancer) is false, and you posted without bothering to check whether your deduction was, in fact, true. Not only is your deduction false, but it demonstrates your lack of knowledge about physiology -- otherwise you would have known that inhaled substances get into the bloodstream and can affect other systems. You are in no position to be making the kind of ridiculous scathing posts you made.

    Since you're too fucking lazy to bother with a quick googling when called out on your ignorance and misplaced cavalierness,

    here you go [].

    Seriously, it's been fairly common knowledge among everyone who is mildly interested in pancreatic cancer for at least ten years that cigarette smoking increases incidence of pancreatic cancer.

Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.