Dementia is a health condition that affects the brain and causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior.
It is a progressive disease that gets worse over time and can lead to a loss of independence and difficulty with daily activities.
There are different types of dementia, but Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia are two of the most common.
Research shows that smoking can increase the risk of developing dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.
Smoking harms the vascular system (heart and blood vessels) and the brain, which can lead to changes in the brain that contribute to the development of dementia.
However, quitting smoking can substantially reduce this risk.
Ahead of No Smoking Day on March 8, smokers are being encouraged to quit smoking as research shows that smoking increases the risk of developing dementia.
The annual awareness day aims to encourage smokers to quit and this year’s theme is “stopping smoking protects your brain health.”
Studies show that smoking harms the vascular system and the brain, raising the risk of developing dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.
Quitting smoking has been identified as one of twelve risk factors that, if eliminated, could prevent or delay up to 40% of dementia cases.
However, only 18% of smokers know that smoking increases the risk of dementia, compared to over 70% who know that smoking causes lung diseases or cancers.
Recent data shows that only a third of UK adults know that there are things they can do to help reduce their risk of dementia, and stopping smoking is one of them.
Quitting smoking is one of the best ways to improve your health, reducing the risk of developing dementia, heart disease, cancer, and stroke.
No Smoking Day is the perfect time to quit smoking, as thousands of other people are stopping too.
There are many ways to quit, including nicotine replacement therapy, vaping, and free local support to stop smoking.
Smokers are three times more likely to succeed in quitting with help from a trained professional than with willpower alone.
Brain health is the theme of No Smoking Day 2023, and initiatives like this are important in raising awareness of the steps people can take to keep their brains healthy.
Dr. Chi Udeh-Momoh, a neuroscientist and dementia prevention expert based at Imperial College London suggests that if you smoke, quitting is perhaps the most important step you can take to protect both your heart and your brain. It really can be life-changing.
If you care about brain health, please read studies about possible way to delay or reverse Alzheimer’s disease, and scientists find old drugs that may help people quit smoking.
For more information on brain health, please see recent studies about Vitamin D deficiency linked to higher dementia risk, and these antioxidants could help reduce dementia risk.
From Alzheimer’s Research UK