Strokes are more likely to occur if you smoke, the director of external affairs at Stroke Association has said, as Public Health England launches a new stop-smoking campaign to highlight the unseen harms on smokers' bodies.
Joe Korner added: "Stroke is a major cause of death and adult disability in the UK and you are twice as likely to have a stroke if you smoke. The more you smoke, the more your risk increases."
Accelerated decline in cognitive reasoning and memory is more advanced in smokers, according to researchers and University College London (UCL).
Dr Gareth Hagger-Johnson, research associate at UCL, said:
[One] of our studies at UCL show [decline] to be nearly 38% faster in persistent male smokers compared to non-smokers.
The decline in the brain's cognitive powers is naturally seen with ageing but there are a number of identifiable risk factors, including smoking and heavy alcohol consumption, which can be associated with an accelerated rate of decline.
Smokers double the risk of dying from a stroke, researchers have found. The warning comes as public health authorities begin a new campaign highlighting the harms of smoking to the brain.Professor Kevin Fenton, director of health and well-being for Public Health England, said:
More than eight million people smoke in England. With half of long-term smokers dying prematurely from a smoking-related disease, highlighting the unseen damaging effect smoking has on the body's major organs provides a real motivation for people to stop.
Smokers should be aware of the potential damage done to the brain and other vital organs through toxins in cigarettes entering the blood, England's chief medical officer said, as Public Health England launches a new stop-smoking campaign. Professor Dame Sally Davies added:
Smoking is the major cause of premature death, with one in two smokers dying prematurely from smoking-related diseases, and it is extremely worrying that people still underestimate the health harms associated with it.
However, it is not all doom and gloom for smokers looking to quit this New Year. Within five years of stopping smoking, your risk of stroke can be reduced to the same as a lifetime non-smoker.