Council urge smokers to quit to reduce dementia risk

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On National No Smoking Day (8 March), the council is encouraging smokers to pledge to quit and help reduce the risk of developing dementia.

No Smoking Day aims to raise awareness of the dangers of smoking and offers guidance and support to those who may want to quit. 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. Yet only 18% of smokers know that smoking causes dementia, compared to over 70% who are aware that by smoking they are at risk of developing lung diseases and cancers. Smoking raises the risk of developing dementia as it harms the vascular system (heart and blood vessels) and the brain.

Ahead of No Smoking Day, Council Leader, Cllr Hazel Simmons MBE, Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Cllr Khtija Malik, Chief Executive Robin Porter and Director of Public Health, Sally Cartwright re-signed the Local Government Declaration on Tobacco Control (6 March) to re-establish the council’s commitment to tackling tobacco use.

The declaration commits the council to:

  • reduce the number of smokers and the negative impact on health
  • work with local partners and communities to address the causes and impact of tobacco use
  • support government action on smoking at national level
  • protect tobacco control work from the commercial interests of the tobacco industry

To achieve these aims, the council recently developed a Luton Tobacco Control Strategy for 2023-2028. The aim of the strategy is to reduce tobacco use within the town which currently stands at 14.1% of the adult population and limit the harm tobacco use has on our community’s health and wellbeing. It is estimated that 191 people in Luton die each year due to smoking.

Cllr Hazel Simmons MBE, Leader of the Council, said: “Tobacco use is one of the biggest challenges facing Luton’s health. Our new strategy aims to prevent the next generation of smokers, support smokers to quit, and tackle illegal tobacco products in our town. By re-signing the Local Government Declaration, we are reaffirming our commitment to making tobacco control a priority.”

Cllr Khtija Malik, Portfolio Holder for Public Health, said: “No smoking Day is the perfect time to get the help you need to stop smoking and by doing so you will protect your brain health and reduce your chance of dementia.

“If you live, work or study in Luton, Total Wellbeing Luton can help you choose the treatment that’s right for you and support you in achieving a smoke-free life. With expert help and advice you are three times more likely to quit for good.”

Stop smoking with support of Total Wellbeing Luton before 31 March and you could win a £50 love2shop vouchers, email info@totalwellbeingluton.org for more details.

Total Wellbeing are showcasing some top tips on how to look after your health – especially if you’re a smoker.  Sign up at https://www.totalwellbeingluton.org/talking-therapies/wellbeing-webinars

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