Hugh Pickens writes: "Science Daily Headlines reports that a study has determined that young men who smoke are likely to have lower IQs than their non-smoking peers. In the study, 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. "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." 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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