Smoking and dementia
Scientific research suggests that smoking can increase your risk of developing dementia.
The facts on smoking and dementia
Lung cancer, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and many other well-known diseases are caused by smoking cigarettes, but few people are aware that smoking cigarettes increases your risk of developing dementia.
Smokers in London are being urged to give quitting a go ahead of No Smoking Day (8th March), as research shows those who smoke are more likely to develop dementia.
According to Alzheimer’s Research UK, dementia is the most feared health condition for people over the age of 55 – more than any other life-threatening disease including cancer and diabetes.
Yet YouGov data commissioned by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) revealed 17% of Londoners who smoke know that smoking increases the risk of dementia, compared to 77% who know that smoking causes lung diseases or cancers.
Smoking raises the risk of developing dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia, as it harms the vascular system (heart and blood vessels) and the brain.
Studies also suggest that quitting smoking reduces this risk substantially, and smoking has been identified as one of twelve risk factors that if eliminated entirely, could collectively prevent or delay up to 40% of dementia cases.
Is dementia caused by smoking cigarettes?
In a recent scientific study conducted by The Lancet in 2020, research showed that smoking raises the risk of people developing dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia, as it harms the vascular system (heart and blood vessels) and the brain.
Other studies suggest that smokers who quit smoking can reduce the risk of developing dementia considerably. Smoking has been identified as one of twelve risk factors that if eliminated entirely, could collectively prevent or delay up to 40% of dementia cases.
People who adopt a healthy lifestyle are less likely to develop dementia.
Does smoking cause vascular dementia?
Vascular dementia is a common type of dementia caused by interrupted blood flow and oxygen supply to the brain that ultimately, damages blood vessels in the brain.
Vascular dementia refers to changes to memory, thinking, and behaviour resulting from conditions that affect the blood vessels in the brain. Cognition and brain function can be significantly affected by the size, location, and number of vascular changes.
Smoking can be associated to increasing your risk of developing vascular dementia. Smoking not only damages your blood vessels, it increases your risk of atherosclerosis and other circulatory diseases.
With the free expert help and ongoing support offered by our telephone helpline advisers or your local Stop Smoking Service, you’re three times as likely to quit successfully in 2023 and reduce your risk of developing dementia.
There are lots of stop smoking support options available. Try a combination that works for you.
Stop Smoking London Helpline: 0300 123 1044
Call our free Stop Smoking London helpline and get started on our telephone stop smoking programme with a trained adviser.
Find support near you
Access free stop smoking support from your local London borough.
Request a callback
Complete our call back form and a Stop Smoking London adviser will contact you.
What happens at a local Stop Smoking Service?
Local stop smoking services are developed by experts and ex-smokers and delivered by professionals. They offer free expert advice, support, and encouragement to help you quit smoking for good.Find your nearest stop smoking service here.
How do Stop Smoking London’s telephone advisers help you to stop smoking?
Trained advisers are on hand to offer you support, either one to one or in a group, along with stop smoking medicines. The sessions can be done via phone or video call if you cannot attend in person.
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