Did you know that smoking can increase your risk of developing dementia?
If you weren’t aware, you are not alone. The Action on Smoking and Health survey 2022 identified that adults in Great Britain had relatively low levels of understanding that smoking can cause dementia.
Smoking is linked to multiple medical conditions including dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s disease and Vascular dementia which can be brought on when there are problems in the vascular system (your heart and blood vessels).
Tobacco smoke contains chemicals that are associated with impaired cognition, as well as chemicals that harm the vascular system providing blood to the dementia.
If you smoke, quitting is one of the most significant steps you can take in boosting your heart and brain health.
What does the research say?
The World Alzheimer’s Report 2014 analysed the findings from 7 research papers and conducted their own research. The evidence shows that there is a much higher risk of dementia in smokers compared to non-smokers by between 30-50%.
Will becoming Smokefree reduce the chances of developing dementia?
Current research provides strong evidence that stopping smoking can reduce the chance of developing dementia. This is similar to other findings involving smoking, where becoming smokefree reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease or cancer. Fortunately, becoming smokefree can reduce this risk, so it is never too late to make healthier choices. A study of 50,000 men aged over 60 found that those who quit smoking were substantially less likely to develop dementia.
A Public Health England Report in 2018 suggests that the risks of developing cardiovascular and lung diseases are greatly reduced as well. If this is true, this would also reduce the risk of dementia in turn.
As shown in the research studies, some smoking-related diseases are known causes of the diseases that cause dementia. Some researchers estimate that 14% of dementia cases worldwide may be attributable to smoking.
Getting help from your local stop smoking service can greatly boost your chances of giving up smoking successfully. You are up to three more times more likely to succeed with support.
One You Plymouth have expert NHS Health Improvement Practitioners who will give you the best chance of success.
To book an appointment call 01752 437177 or email oneyou.plymouth.co.uk
You can find out more at www.nhs.uk/better-health/quit-smoking
The NHS Smokefree National Helpline is free to call on 0300 123 1044 or talk to your doctor for advice.
It’s never too late to stop smoking, even in later life, quitting can reduce your risk of disease significantly.
If you enjoyed this blog, you may also like our blog: “Be Smokefree in 2023”