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In today’s comics section of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Dilbert had something to say about smoking during a technical interview:
Well, I didn’t know about this 2010 Israeli study either and I found it surprising. In part, that was because my former next door neighbor in Harlow, England, who had a Ph.D. in Chemistry, was a bright guy working for 3M and also an addicted smoker. (He finally quit, thanks to pressure from family members, including his asthmatic son.)
Dr. Evarts Graham, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, was a long-time cigarette smoker who, together with Ernst Wynder, was the first to report a definitive link between smoking and lung cancer. Dr. Graham later died of lung cancer in 1957 at age 73.
So, back to Dilbert’s reference to a 2010 Israeli study that smokers have a lower IQ than nonsmokers. It turns out that there IS such a study, and you can find it reported here:
But it’s not that smoking LOWERS your IQ. It’s that those with LOWER IQ’s are more likely to smoke. As reported in the article, Dr. Mark Weiser from the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer Hospital in Israel said:
“It’s very clear that people with low IQs are the ones who choose to smoke. It’s not just a matter of socioeconomic status – if they are poor or have less education – and because of that do less well on IQ tests. And that’s really the story,” he says.