Despite the fact that smoking is a major risk factor for the development of dementia, many smokers are unaware that quitting smoking can assist in lowering the risk of dementia.
The theme for this year’s awareness day is “stopping smoking protects your brain health,” which encourages smokers to try to quit.
Alzheimer’s Research UK says that dementia is the health condition that people over 55 most fear, more so than any other life-threatening disease like diabetes or cancer.
However, according to data commissioned by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) from YouGov, only 18% of smokers are aware that smoking increases the risk of dementia, whereas over 70% are aware that smoking causes lung diseases or cancers.
Because smoking damages the vascular system—the heart and blood vessels—and the brain, it increases the risk of dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. Smoking has been identified as one of twelve risk factors that, if eliminated completely, could collectively prevent or delay up to 40% of dementia cases. Additionally, studies suggest that quitting smoking significantly reduces this risk.
However, according to recent data from Alzheimer’s Research UK, only a third of adults in the UK are aware that quitting smoking is one of the things they can do to lower their risk of dementia.
According to Imperial College London neuroscientist and expert on dementia prevention Dr. Chi Udeh-Momoh, quitting smoking “is perhaps the most important step you can take to protect both your heart and your brain.” It can truly alter a person’s life.”
“Most people are aware that smoking has an effect on the heart and blood vessels, raising the risk of stroke and high blood pressure. However, fewer people are aware that these conditions, in turn, raise the risk of dementia and that cigarette smoke’s chemicals can accelerate brain aging.
“It’s awesome that cerebrum wellbeing is the subject of No Smoking Day 2023. This kind of initiative is so important for making people aware of the things we can do to keep the brain healthy.
“Quitting smoking is one of the best ways to improve your health,” stated Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of Action on Smoking and Health, who is helping to coordinate this year’s No Smoking Day. It has been demonstrated to lower dementia, heart disease, cancer, and stroke risk. Within weeks of quitting, you notice improvements in your health, including easier breathing and improved fitness.
“With thousands of other people quitting, No Smoking Day is the ideal time to quit. There are numerous methods for quitting, including vaping, nicotine replacement therapy, and free local support. With the assistance of a trained professional, smokers are three times more likely to succeed in quitting than with willpower alone.
“Just a third of people realize that we can take steps to help reduce our risk of developing dementia in later life,” stated Hilary Evans, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK. This must change, which is why Alzheimer’s Research UK places a high priority on increasing people’s awareness of the actions they can take to influence their brain health.
We are delighted to collaborate with ASH to highlight the connection between brain health and smoking. We hope that people who smoke will be inspired to quit this No Smoking Day by the encouraging message that quitting smoking at any time can lower your risk of dementia.
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