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New stop smoking campaign highlights effect of smoking on body organs to North West smokers

  • >Smokers twice as likely to die of stroke
  • >Range of free resources available to people in North West

Today (30 December 2013) Public Health England launches a new Smokefree Health Harms campaign highlighting the impact and serious damage that smoking causes the hear, brain and lungs.

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.

Watch the video here.

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-smokers. 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 men and women 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 pressureThe new campaign will be live from 30 December with support, advice and a range of tools available for anyone looking to stop smoking.

Anyone looking to quit can visit to receive free support tools and find details of where they can get professional advice through their local NHS stop smoking service.

Andrea Crossfield, Chief Executive of Tobacco Free Futures, a social enterprise responsible for tackling tobacco in the North West said:

“Addiction to tobacco is still the North West’s biggest killer, with half of all long term smokers dying in the region from their dependence. People still underestimate the serious damage to health caused by smoking with the heart, lungs and brains affected.

“Smokers who stop this January will notice immediate health improvements including a better sense of smell and taste and more energy. Longer term, ex-smokers reduce their risk of stroke, heart disease and lung cancer, as well as protecting others from secondhand smoke. If you have been thinking about quitting now is the time to do it.”

Professor Kevin Fenton, Director of Health and Wellbeing for Public Health England, said:

“More than eight million people smoke in England, and with half of long-term smokers dying prematurely from a smoking-related disease, highlighting the unseen damaging effect smoking has on the body’s major organs provides a real motivation for people to stop.

“As well as the impact smoking has on the brain, smokers are also more likely to have a stroke, so this hard-hitting campaign will, I hope, help smokers consider quitting. There is a wealth of health and personal benefits available to those who successfully stop and help can be sought through the full range of Smokefree support, which includes face-to-face advice, Smokefree app, Quit Kit, plus email and text programmes.”

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