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Smokers warned over stroke risk

Thursday January 2nd 2014

A new anti-smoking campaign backed by TV adverts highlights the grave damage of smoking to the human body.

The Smokefree Health Harms campaign from Public Health England spotlights the toxic cycle of dirty blood from inhalation of cigarettes' dangerous chemicals which can damage major organs.

The toxins can also damage the brain, prompting a more rapid fall in functions and there is a higher risk of stroke and dementia.

A study indicated twice the likelihood of smokers dying from a stroke than non-smokers, as the habit can bring a narrowing of the arteries and this raises the chances of blood clots which can mean a stroke.

Studies suggested an increase in cognitive decline in men and women and weaker memory and a bigger fall in reasoning in later years.

A mixture of smoking and other factors like heavy drinking, poor diet, too little exercise and high blood pressure boosts the chances of dementia, as well as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular risk.

Smoking was the main cause of premature death with half of smokers dying prematurely from diseases linked to the habit, said Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies, although she added risks can be cut to that of a lifetime non-smoker within five years of kicking the habit.

Copyright Press Association 2013

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