Smokers in West Lancashire twice as likely to die of stroke

Smokers in West Lancashire twice as likely to die of stroke

New campaign highlights the toxic effect of smoking on the heart, brain and lungs

Public Health England has launched a new Smokefree Health Harms campaign highlighting the impact and serious damage that smoking causes the body.

The new campaign, supported by TV advertising, brings to life the toxic cycle of dirty blood caused by inhaling the dangerous chemicals in cigarettes, including arsenic and cyanide flowing through the body and damaging major organs. The chemicals move through the heart, the lungs and into the bloodstream, finally damaging cells in the brain.

Along with the heart and lungs, the brain is particularly vulnerable to these toxins, leading to a faster decline in functionality and an increased risk of stroke and dementia.

Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that smokers are twice as likely to die from a stroke than non-smokers1. Smoking can cause the arteries to narrow which, in turn, increases the likelihood of blood clots that can lead to a stroke.

Studies also suggest that smoking accelerates cognitive decline in men2 and women3 leading smokers to experience poorer memory and a greater decline in reasoning in later life.

The risk of dementia, along with cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer are further increased when smoking is combined with any or all of heavy drinking, poor diet, lack of exercise and high blood pressure45.

The new campaign promotes the support, advice and a range of tools available for anyone looking to stop smoking.

Anyone looking to quit in West Lancashire can contact the Stop Smoking service on:

There is also a stop smoking drop in session being run throughout January and February at The Concourse in Skelmersdale. It’s being run by the Stop Smoking Service and takes place every Monday between 1pm and 3pm. Anyone is welcome to drop in.


1 50-Year Trends in Smoking-Related Mortality in the United States (2013) – Michael J. Thun, M.D., Brian D. Carter,

M.P.H., Diane Feskanich, Sc.D., Neal D. Freedman, Ph.D., M.P.H., Ross Prentice, Ph.D., Alan D. Lopez, Ph.D., Patricia

Hartge, Sc.D., and Susan M. Gapstur, Ph.D., M.P.H.

2 Impact of smoking on cognitive decline in early old age: the Whitehall II cohort study. Arch Gen Psychiatry 69: 627–

635. doi:10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2011.2016. – Sabia S, Elbaz A, Dugravot A, Head J, Shipley M, et al. (2012)

3 Gender differences in the association of smoking and drinking with the development of cognitive impairment.

(2013) PLoS One 8: e75095. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0075095. – Park B, Park J, Jun JK, Choi KS, Suh M –

4 Combined impact of smoking and heavy alcohol use on cognitive decline in early old age: Whitehall II prospective

cohort study. (2013) Br J Psychiatry 203: 120–125. doi:10.1192/bjp.bp.112.122960. Hagger-Johnson G, Sabia S,

Brunner EJ, Shipley M, Bobak M, et al.


5 Healthy Lifestyles Reduce the Incidence of Chronic Diseases and Dementia: Evidence from the Caerphilly Cohort

Study. PLoS One 8: e81877 (2013) doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0081877. Elwood P, Galante J, Pickering J, Palmer S,

Bayer A, et al.