Smoking is a leading cause of preventable sickness and fatalities, with more than 76,000 people in the UK dying every year from smoking.

In 2019, Ealing Council stopped funding smoking cessation services. This means that the Dementia Link Worker role has become increasingly important for providing information and signposting to the relevant agencies.

It's essential that people living with dementia and their carers have accurate advice about the dangers of smoking, as well as the best information for quitting. Armed with this information, people are empowered to make decisions about their physical and mental health, and overall well-being.

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Smoking and Dementia Risk

Research shows that smoking cigarettes increases your risk of dementia. That's not to say that all smokers will be diagnosed with dementia, but that those who do are increasing their chances.

If you are currently a smoker and manage to completely quit, then research shows that you can bring your risk level down over time to that of a non-smoker.

It's important to be aware that exposure to second-hand smoke can also increase your dementia risk. So, if you share your home with a smoker, but do not smoke yourself, then your chance of developing dementia is still heightened.

When it comes to second-hand smoke, it's not only dementia that's concerning. Your risk of the the following health conditions is also increased:

  • Lung cancer
  • Other cancers
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Asthma
  • Pneumonia
  • Bronchitis

With so much harm to health caused by smoking, it's imperative that education on the issue is improved for all, and people with dementia are no exception.

Click here for the most up-to-date NHS guidance on quitting smoking.