A study carried out by King’s College London of 8,800 people aged over 50 years of age showed that smoking can lead to ‘cognitive decline’.

“Cognitive decline becomes more common with ageing and for an increasing number of people interferes with daily functioning and well-being,” Dr Alex Dregan said.

“We have identified a number of risk factors which could be associated with accelerated cognitive decline, all of which could be modifiable.

“We need to make people aware of the need to do some lifestyle changes because of the risk of cognitive decline.”

The results of the investigation were published in the Age and Ageing journal.

Dr Simon Ridley, from Alzheimer’s Research UK, commented of the findings: “Research has repeatedly linked smoking and high blood pressure to a greater risk of cognitive decline and dementia, and this study adds further weight to that evidence.”

In other words, as you get older, brain function will diminish, but smoking and being overweight, which lead to a greater likelihood of stroke or heart attack, are readily associated with a greater decline in brain-function.

So, if you needed another reason not to smoke, then this is it – as well as causing heart attacks, lung cancer, eating up all your money and making you stink, it will make you stupid, quicker, too.