Smokers are not as smart as nonsmokers. Considering the addictive nature of nicotine and the deliberate manipulation of nicotine levels by tobacco companies. this was an assumption that never seemed fair to me. Though I never tried smoking, I know how easily a person can become addicted to smoking if they decide to experiment with it at a young age.
Nevertheless, I’ve always thought that smokers weren’t as smart as nonsmokers.
It turns out my assumption might not be so unfair after all.
Researchers have found that smokers have lower IQs than those who abstain, with intelligence decreasing the more one smokes.
A study of 18 to 21-year-old men revealed that the IQs of smokers averaged 94 – seven points lower than non-smokers on 101.
The study also measured effects in twin brothers – and in the case where one twin smoked, the non-smoking twin registered a higher IQ on average.
This study was first published in 2010, and it has been repeated multiple times since then with similar findings.
This does not mean, of course, that all smokers are less intelligent than nonsmokers. This is the part of my assumption that remains unfair. There are some highly intelligent people in the world who smoke.
But it’s apparently not as unfair as I once thought to assume that in general, smokers are a less intelligent group of people as a whole.
What I would like to see next is research on the intelligence of people who have quit smoking versus those who continue to smoke. I assume, perhaps unfairly, that the smokers who eventually quit are more intelligent than the smokers who do not, but I’m not sure if a person’s ability to overcome addiction is related to IQ.
But I think it might be.