Chronic tobacco smoking and neurocognitive impairments in adolescents and young adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Ahmed Elatfy, Sebastian Vrahimis*, Aldo Alberto Conti, Alexander Mario Baldacchino

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is a lack of robust research investigating the association between neurocognitive impairments and chronic tobacco smoking in adolescents/ young adults. Therefore, a systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted to examine this association by pooling cross-sectional studies published from 1980 to 2023. The systematic review assessed the neurocognitive performances between chronic tobacco smokers and non- smokers in each study. The meta-analysis included six studies that compared chronic tobacco smokers against non-smokers using neuropsychological tests covering three neurocognitive domains. The results showed a cross-sectional association between impairpments in motor impulsivity across two aspects: reaction delay and incongruent errors, with the effect size being (SDM = 0.615, p = 0.000) and (SDM = 0.593, p = 0.000) respectively. However, no significant associations were found for intelligence (SDM = 0.221, p = 0.425) or working memory (SDM = 0.150, p = 0.581). This study highlights the need for further research to explore a greater number of neurocognitive domains in the context of chronic smoking in adolescents/young adults, particularly motor impulsivity, intelligence and working memory, as well as the socioeconomic factors involved. There is also a need to further study the effects of emerging alternative nicotine administration methods in this age group.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1384408
Number of pages14
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2024


  • Nicotine
  • Chronic smoking
  • Tobacco
  • Neuropsychology
  • Neurocognitive impairment
  • Adolescents
  • Young adults
  • Systematic review


Dive into the research topics of 'Chronic tobacco smoking and neurocognitive impairments in adolescents and young adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this