Smokers in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire are being urged to give quitting a go on No Smoking Day (8th March), as research shows those who smoke are more likely to develop dementia.
The annual awareness day encourages smokers to make a quit attempt and this year’s theme is ‘stopping smoking protects your brain health’.
According to Alzheimer’s Research UK, dementia is the most feared health condition for people over the age of 55 – more than any other life-threatening disease including cancer and diabetes.
Yet YouGov data  commissioned by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) revealed that in East Midlands, 18% of people who smoke know that smoking increases the risk of dementia, compared to 75-80% who know that smoking causes lung diseases or cancers.
Smoking raises the risk of developing dementia , particularly Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia, as it harms the vascular system (heart and blood vessels) and the brain. . Studies also suggest that quitting smoking reduces this risk substantially , and smoking has been identified as one of twelve risk factors that if eliminated entirely, could collectively prevent or delay up to 40% of dementia cases.
However, data from Alzheimer’s Research UK show only a third of UK adults know there are things they can do to help reduce their risk of dementia , and stopping smoking is one of them.
Councillor Linda Woodings, Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Health at Nottingham City Council, said: “There are a number of reasons why smokers may decide they want to quit, and we understand how daunting it can be to give up tobacco, but it’s really important to never give up on giving up.
“Non-smoking day is a useful time of year to remember the damage smoking causes and the huge impact it has on health and wellbeing, including that smokers are more likely to get dementia.
“Every time you try to stop smoking, you’re a step closer to success. If you live in Nottingham, smoke and want to or are thinking of quitting, support is available through StubIt!. This stop smoking service is there to help individuals take that initial step towards living a smoke-free life.”
Councillor Matt Barney, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health at Nottinghamshire County Council said: “It’s important as part of No Smoking Day that we raise awareness on the impact that smoking has on the brain as well as other parts of the body.
“We all know that dementia can take away many happy memories we have shared with loved ones, and giving up smoking is one way that can help reduce the risk of this developing.
“Between the months of April and October last year, the council’s Your Health Your Way service helped nearly 2,400 new people on their journey to stop smoking. They offer a variety of free support and resources which can help you kick the habit. If you are thinking of quitting, visit www.yourhealthnotts.co.uk, call 0115 772 2515 or email email@example.com”
The Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Smoking and Tobacco Alliance
Tobacco is a priority for both Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County Health and Wellbeing Boards and aligns with the Integrated Care Systems’ priorities on reducing health inequalities.
The Nottingham and Nottinghamshire’s Smoking and Tobacco Alliance Group provides a collective voice for those partners working across the system on Tobacco control and enables partners to work together towards a shared ambition.
On ‘No Smoking Day’, the Alliance is delighted to announce the ambition and long-term vision agreed by all of those involved – ‘To see smoking amongst adults reduced to 5% or lower by 2035 across Nottinghamshire and Nottingham City. Further to this, we want to make the harms of smoking a thing of the past for our next generation such that all of those born in 2022 are still non-smokers by their 18th birthday in 2040.’
We have also reflected on what we need to do to achieve these ambitions and later in March will publish a delivery plan outlining the actions needed over the next 3 years to start us on our journey.
Nottingham City residents can access support on quitting smoking through Stubit! at www.ncgpa.org.uk/stub-it,
Nottinghamshire residents can access support on quitting smoking through Your Health Your Way at https://yourhealthnotts.co.uk/support/stop-smoking/
 Alzheimer’s Research UK. Public attitudes towards dementia. 2021.
 ASH Smokefree GB Adult Survey. Total sample size was 13,088 respondents. The online survey was undertaken between 16th February – 21st March 2022. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults
 Livingston G, Huntley J, Sommerlad A, Ames D, Ballard C, Banerjee S, Brayne C, Burns A, Cohen-Mansfield J, Cooper C, Costafreda SG. Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of the Lancet Commission. The Lancet. 2020 Aug 8;396(10248):413-46.
 Tobacco use and dementia. WHO tobacco knowledge summaries. 8 July 2014
 “Former smokers did not show an increased risk of all-cause dementia (RR 1.01, 95% CI 0.96-1.06), AD (RR 1.04, 95% CI 0.96-1.13) and VaD (RR 0.97, 95% CI 0.83-1.13).” 2015 meta-analysis – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25763939/