Give up smoking and reduce your risk of dementia

There are many good health reasons for not smoking and evidence now shows that we can include reducing our risk of dementia amongst them.  
Research has shown that smokers are 30 per cent more likely to develop dementia and that this risk increases for people who smoke heavily.
The two most common forms of dementia – Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia - are both linked to problems with the heart and blood vessels, or the vascular system.
Smoking increases risk of vascular problems including cardiovascular disease, stroke, high blood pressure and damage to and narrowing of blood vessels. 
Even second-hand smoke appears to be associated with increased risk of cognitive memory deterioration.  
If you give up smoking, even in older age, not only will you reduce your risk of developing vascular problems and dementia but also lung disease, cancer and stroke. 
There is further good news in that stopping smoking can reduce your dementia risk to the level of a non-smoker.  
The Lancet Commission, a leading independent medical journal of the world’s best research, includes smoking amongst nine modifiable risk factors for dementia.
Stopping smoking and managing other modifiable risk factors, especially from middle age onwards, can help reduce risk of dementia later in life.  
It’s never too late to give up smoking – giving up has many positive benefits for your health and you might save some money too!
Quit Tasmania has several great online resources to help and support you to give up smoking.  
If you’re thinking about quitting, that’s a great first step.
The next step is to think about why you smoke, because when you better understand your reasons for smoking, you’ll be better prepared to quit smoking.
There are three main reasons for smoking – addiction, habits and emotions.
Take the one-minute quiz on the Quit Tasmania website to find out what your reasons are.

To find out more about the dementia risk factors and make a contribution to dementia prevention research, consider joining the ISLAND project or enrol in a free course. For more information, visit
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