Smoking Impacts "Decision-Making" Part of Teens' Brains

Jim Liebelt | Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University | Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Smoking Impacts "Decision-Making" Part of Teens' Brains

Teenagers are known to be impulsive, but a new study suggests that if they smoke cigarettes, they might become even more reckless and less adept at making decisions.

Researchers at the UCLA found that teens who were the most addicted to nicotine had the least active prefrontal cortex regions of the brain, which control decision-making.

The lack of activity in the prefrontal cortex among the heaviest smoking teens was particularly alarming, since adolescents' delayed development in that area of the brain has been blamed for their poor decision-making abilities and weak cognitive control.

Source: AOL Health