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Make No Smoking Day 2023 the day you quit for good

03 March 2023

Ahead of National No Smoking Day on 8 March we are raising awareness that if you stop smoking it will help protect you from an increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Smoking increases the risk of vascular problems, including strokes or smaller bleeds in the brain, which are also risk factors for dementia. In addition, toxins in cigarette smoke cause inflammation and stress to cells, which have both been linked to the development of Alzheimer's disease.

Quitting smoking can substantially decrease the risk, in some cases to that of someone who has never smoked. A study of 50,000 men aged over 60 found that those who quit smoking were substantially less likely to develop dementia. The benefits improve the younger you choose to quit, with those quitting aged 30 gaining up to 10 years of life expectancy.

There has never been a more important time look after your mental and physical health. Smoking can cause 16 types of cancer, heart disease, COPD and strokes.

It’s not just your health that could benefit if you quit; on average smokers spend £47 a week on tobacco, that’s nearly £2,500 a year to spend on other things once you quit.

Cllr Richard Howitt, chair of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Adults and Health Committee, said: “My own mother died of emphysema, but we all know people who find it very difficult to give up and it is important to stress that it is never too late to try.

"Our local public health services are here to help, understand the challenges and will help you through the process. Every day matters and every person helped is important. Please try."

Jyoti Atri, director of public health at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “There is no doubt that giving up cigarettes is hard and a quit journey may not be successful on the first attempt. It is important to keep in mind the tremendous health benefits quitting smoking brings and to seek support when trying to give up smoking. But our services are here to help you. People who use our services are much more likely to have a successful quit."