Smoking not 100% horrible July 19, 2008 by John Di Bartolo in None Just 99.9% horrible. The remaining 0.1% is a surprising benefit. According to recent findings, the nicotine in cigarettes may help boost memory and concentration. The effect is strong enough that it is being studied further in the hopes of finding a better treatment for Alzheimer’s patients. Is having a sharper brain a good enough reason to take up the habit? Only if cancer and heart disease don’t bother you.