National No Smoking Day is taking place on Wednesday 8 March and Somerset County Council’s Smokefreelife Somerset team are encouraging smokers to give quitting a go with a new, free, interactive app for smartphones.
Smoking is linked to numerous health problems such as heart disease, cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), but its links to dementia are less well-publicised. Data from Alzheimer’s Research UK shows only a third of UK adults are aware that there are things they can do to help reduce their risk of developing dementia, and stopping smoking is one of them.
Smoking increases a person’s likelihood of developing dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia. Studies suggest that quitting smoking reduces this risk substantially, being one of twelve risk factors that, if eliminated entirely, could collectively prevent – or delay – up to 40% of dementia cases. Giving up has numerous health benefits, not only reducing a person’s risk of developing dementia, but also heart disease, cancer and strokes.
Despite being notoriously difficult for some people, quitting smoking for at least six weeks is also proven to boost mental health and wellbeing by relieving stress, anxiety and depression.
To support people in Somerset to quit, the Council’s stop smoking service, Smokefreelife Somerset, is available to provide free, expert support and guidance and has launched a free, interactive smartphone app – the My Quit Route app, a fully personalised, non-judgmental programme, accessible 24/7.
Councillor Adam Dance, Lead Member for Public Health, Equalities and Diversity at Somerset County Council, said: “Smoking is one of the biggest causes of ill health and premature deaths. So, to quit is one of the best things you can do to protect your health and live longer.
“You are far more likely to quit with expert support from our stop smoking services, who are on hand to support and empower you to quit and have helped thousands of people across Somerset to kick their habit over the years.
“I would like to encourage all smokers to get in touch with Smokefreelife Somerset and make this No Smoking Day their time to quit.
It’s easy to sign up – to book an appointment, just call 01823 356222 or fill your details via the Smoke Free Life Somerset website.
“The My Quit Route app makes it even easier to make that first step to quitting today. You can download it free to get started at Smoke Free Life website.”