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Make No Smoking Day 2023 the day you quit for good

01 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 Alzheimers.

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 stroke.

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.

Jyoti Atri, Director of Public Health for Peterborough City 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.”

“Improvements to your health can happen after just 20 minutes of stopping smoking. After 48 hours your sense of smell and taste is already improving and after one year, your risk of heart attack has halved compared to that of other smokers. But our services are here to help you. People who use our services are much more likely to have a successful quit.”

“Getting support really boosts your chances of quitting - you’re up to three times as likely to succeed. For those wishing to start their quit journey, support from local stop smoking services can give you a better chance of success, and GPs and pharmacists can also give advice and tips to help you quit.”

There is a range of free quitting support to help you on No Smoking Day including:

  • Talking to specialists at Healthy You, local stop smoking service. Visit healthyyou.org.uk or call 0333 005 0093. You will receive 12 weeks of support from your own stop smoking specialist who will work with you to design your own personalised quit plan. This includes advice on choosing a suitable stop smoking medication and information on how to manage cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
  • Visit www.nhs.uk/better-health/quit-smoking and sign up to daily emails and SMS support, information and advice on stop smoking aids, including how vaping can help you quit, and an online Personal Quit Plan tool that helps you find a combination of support that’s right for you.
  • Download the NHS Quit Smoking app from Google Playstore or App Store.