Smoking : “The Benefits of Quitting” & The Support to Make it Happen

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Giving up smoking is an important part of being able to live well for as long as possible. So it’s vital for smokers who have dementia to be supported in quitting the habit.

It’s also something for carers who smoke to think about. That’s because second-hand tobacco smoke is harmful to those around a smoker, even more so if they have underlying health conditions. Second-hand smoke can linger and spread invisibly indoors so smokers who aren’t ready quit can protect non-smokers by going right outside to light up.

Quitting immediately helps lower heart rate and blood pressure and, over the following weeks and months, circulation improves, lung function gets better and coughing and shortness of breath decrease.  In the first few years after stopping, the added risk of coronary heart disease halves and the chances of getting various cancers or having a stroke drop dramatically.

The sooner someone stops smoking the better, but it’s never too late and it will have immediate health benefits. We also know people who smoke have a much better chance of giving up smoking if they get support to do so and there are lots of different ways to find support:

Support to Stop Smoking

  • When attempting to give up smoking or helping someone to quit, it’s best to get professional advice and support, as this increases your chance of success;
  • Stopping may cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms and perhaps interfere with medication. Stop-smoking aids such as nicotine replacement therapy can ease withdrawal problems;
  • Most pharmacies or local chemists are able to provide stop-smoking advice and support. The pharmacist can often identify the most suitable form of nicotine replacement therapy, which is available on prescription, and some pharmacies run NHS stop-smoking services;
  • You can also get advice from your GP or phone free to Smokeline on 0800 84 84 84, which has advisers to give free advice and information;
  • There are free NHS stop-smoking services throughout Scotland. The website lets you enter your postcode to find the nearest stop-smoking service or use web chat support (9am to 9pm) at

So it’s never too late to experience the immediate health benefits of quitting smoking.

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If you would like to find out more, we have 2 dementia and tobacco, Fast Facts  available at:

We would welcome any comments on this blog post and if you have stopped smoking recently, what have you found helpful?

Sheila Duffy.

Sheila Duffy

Chief Executive of ASH Scotland


Sheila Duffy MA, Cert.Ed, DipLIS, became Chief Executive of ASH Scotland in January 2008. As such Sheila is responsible for the organisation’s strategic and operational direction. Sheila is the primary spokesperson for the organisation. She regularly provides radio interviews, briefings, and presentations on all issues connected with tobacco and smoking


One thought on “Smoking : “The Benefits of Quitting” & The Support to Make it Happen

  1. Good post, but put simply, giving up smoking decreases your chance of getting multi-infarct-dementia… ! It’s not just the cancers to be concerned about or ‘stroke’ in the sense of perhaps losing some physical abilities and sensory impairment. Smoking can cause dementia… !

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