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Sussex smokers urged to quit in New Year call
Smokers across Sussex are being urged to kick the habit in the New Year.
Public Health England’s Sussex and Surrey branch is backing the organisation's launch of the Smokefree Health Harms campaign.
The drive will highlight the impact and serious damage smoking causes the body.
Around one in five people across the county smoke but the number signing up to stop smoking courses is falling.
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Latest figures show about 14% of adults in Brighton and Hove smoke every day and 9% smoke occasionally.
A total of 3,529 in the city signed up to a course between April 2012 and the end of March compared to 4,129 over the same period the year before.
The city council recently announced it would be implementing the Local Government Declaration on Tobacco Control, which commits it to tackle the harm smoking causes to communities.
The Public Health England campaign highlights how there is a 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.
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 shows smokers are twice as likely to die from a stroke than non-smokers as it causes the arteries to narrow which, in turn, increases the likelihood of blood |clots.
Studies also suggest that smoking speeds 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 pressure.
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.”
For more details, visit www.nhs.uk/smokefree.
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