The Public Health England (PHE) “Smokefree Health Harms” campaign highlights the damage to health which can be caused by smoking. The inhalation of dangerous chemicals from cigarettes (such as arsenic and cyanide) can damage the vascular system and major organs, including the brain.
Read more: Smokers twice as likely to die of stroke.
Smokers twice as likely to die of stroke. London: Public Health England (PHE), December 29th 2013.
The main evidence sources cited in this briefing are summarised below:
Smokers are twice as likely to die from a stroke than non-smokers. Smoking can cause the arteries to narrow, increasing the likelihood of blood clots leading to stroke.
Thun, MJ. Carter, BD. [and] Feskanich, D. [et al] (2013). 50-year trends in smoking-related mortality in the United States. The New England Journal of Medicine, January 24th 2013, Vol.368(4), pp.351-64. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).
Smoking accelerates cognitive decline in men and women:
Sabia, S. Elbaz, A. [and] Dugravot, A. [et al] (2012). Impact of smoking on cognitive decline in early old age: the Whitehall II cohort study. Archives of General Psychiatry, June 2012, Vol.69(6), pp.627-35. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).
Park, B. Park, J. [and] Jun, JK. [et al] (2013). Gender differences in the association of smoking and drinking with the development of cognitive impairment. PloS One, October 4th 2013, Vol.8(10), pp.e75095. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).
The risk of dementia, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer increase when smoking is combined with heavy drinking, poor diet, lack of exercise and / or high blood pressure:
Full Text Link (Note: This article requires a suitable Athens password, a journal subscription or payment for access).
Hagger-Johnson, G. Sabia, S. [and] Brunner, EJ. [et al] (2013). Combined impact of smoking and heavy alcohol use on cognitive decline in early old age: Whitehall II prospective cohort study. The British Journal of Psychiatry, August 2013, Vol.203(2), pp.120-5. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).
Elwood, P. Galante, J. [and] Pickering, J. [et al] (2013). Healthy lifestyles reduce the incidence of chronic diseases and dementia: evidence from the caerphilly cohort study. PloS One, December 9th 2013, Vol.8(12), pp.e81877. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).
Possibly of interest:
Triggle, N. (2014). Is a complete ban on smoking next? London: BBC Health News, February 11th 2014.
Ministers urged to speed up plain cigarettes plans. London: BBC Health News, June 11th 2014.
Ruling on E-Cigarettes in Wales
E-cigarette ban in enclosed spaces in Wales pushes ahead. London: BBC Health News / BBC News (Wales), June 9th 2015.
Pym, H. (2015). E-cigarettes: The debate gets cloudier. London: BBC Health News, June 9th 2015.