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Smoking is now Linked to Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Posted Oct 30 2010 9:21pm

For years, heavy smokers have lived their life with the fear of lung cancer looming in the back of their mind. We’ve all had the family member or friend who smoked and fought the hard battle against lung cancer.  Sure, there are other reasons to get lung cancer, but smoking is the reason we think of most often. It’s a real fear among smokers, young and old alike.

Now, another scourge may haunt those heavy smokers besides lung cancer and heart disease and stroke. Scientists at the University of Eastern Finland at Kuopio University Hospital, analyzed data from 21,123 members of a health care system who took part in a survey between 1978 and 1985, when they were between ages 50 and 60. Diagnoses of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and vascular dementia were tracked from Jan. 1, 1994, when the participants were 71.6 years old, on average, through July 31, 2008.

About one-quarter of the group, or 5,367, had dementia, including 1,136 with Alzheimer’s disease and 416 with vascular dementia. Researchers say that people who smoked more than two packs of cigarettes a day in middle age had an elevated risk of dementia overall and also of each subtype, Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia, compared with nonsmokers.

Researchers concluded that pack-a-day smokers were 37 percent more likely than nonsmokers to develop dementia, and the risks went up sharply with increased smoking; 44 percent for one to two packs a day; and twice the risk for more than two packs.

The researchers say

  • “It is possible that smoking affects the development of dementia via vascular and neurodegenerative pathways. Smoking also contributes to oxidative stress and inflammation, which are believed to be important in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.”
  • “This study shows its impact is likely to become even greater as the population ages and dementia prevalence increases.”

The good news

  • Former smokers or people who smoked less than half a pack per day did not appear to be at increased risk of developing dementia.
  • And associations between dementia and smoking did not vary by race or sex.

An author, Dr. Rachel A. Whitmer, an epidemiologist with the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, Calif., said, “the study offered a silver lining: unlike age and family history, this is one risk factor for dementia that can be changed.”

People can quit smoking. It is difficult, especially if you’re a long-time smoker. But it can be done and there are more tools to assist in your effort to quit smoking than ever before. Besides prescription medication from your family physician, there are Nicotine Patches and Lozenges which can be purchased without a prescription at any local pharmacy. Be sure to check with your family physician or local pharmacist if you intend to combine any of these medications.

Most major hospitals offer meetings for Stop-Smoking Support Groups. Your doctor may have a list also. And there may be such groups online. Before you start to Quit– Have a plan, the American Lung Association also offers free Instruction Kits to help you quit smoking.

The latest tool in the challenge to stop smoking is the Electronic Cigarette. Kits for the Electronic Cigarette begin as low as $24.99. With all the new taxes applied to cigarettes that’s about the price of a couple packs of cigarettes. A small price to pay to see if they can help you Stop Smoking!

What is the electronic cigarette

  • It’s a battery operated cigarette that gives you the feeling of smoking a regular cigarette without all the harmful toxins that are contained in regular cigarette smoke.
  • The electronic cigarette resembles a regular cigarette and has a chamber that turns pure liquid nicotine into a puff of vapor giving you the sense of smoking a regular cigarette without all the chemicals that are present in regular cigarette smoke.
  • The only chemical you are exposed to with the electronic cigarette is nicotine unlike regular cigarettes, which contain thousands of chemicals and tar.

Get electronic cigarettes kits for as low as $24.95

Below are a few reviews for this Electronic Cigarette System:

” I smoke a lot, and I can admit that. I often need to take smoke breaks at work, and lose precious time for work that needs to be done. Now I just use Smokeless Delite electronic cigarettes when ever I feel the need. It’s great!” -
Patricia L. Age 32
Marketing Maneger

” I like smokeless Delite electronic cigarettes because I can use it anywhere! I have even used it on the train. I had to explain to a few people what it was, and how it works. But when they realized what it was, they wanted to know where to get it.” -
Sean P. Age 24
Retail Clerk


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