Updated: Tue, 31 May 2022 07:20 AM IST
New Delhi | Jagran Lifestyle Desk: Each year, on May 31st, World No Tobacco Day is observed to create awareness in the public about the dangers of using tobacco and the business practices of tobacco companies. According to World Health Organization (WHO), over 8 million people die due to tobacco consumption every year. The theme of this year's World No Tobacco Day is 'Tobacco’s threat to our environment'. Moreover, tobacco consumption can cause cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and much more dangerous disease. But people are not well aware that consumption of tobacco can also cause dementia.
According to WHO, dementia is a syndrome that worsens cognitive function, which is the ability to process thought, beyond what might be expected from the usual consequences of biological ageing. It affects the thinking, memory, learning capacity, language, and judgement of the person suffering from it. Tobacco smoking can increase the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's disease. WHO estimates that 14 per cent of cases of Alzheimer's disease worldwide could be caused by smoking.
According to Alzheimer's Research UK, people who smoke are 30 per cent more likely to develop dementia in general and 40 per cent more likely to develop Alzheimer’s diseases as compared to non-smokers. Moreover, consuming tobacco smoke is linked to oxidative stress, which is an imbalance between toxic molecules inside our cells and the antioxidants we need to remove. Oxidative stress is related to the start of dementia and this imbalance damages the cells in our body. According to WHO, smokers with dementia are more likely to die earlier than non-smokers with dementia.
On the occasion of World Tobacco Day, Dr. Praveen Gupta, Principal Director & Head, Department of Neurology, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram told Jagran English, "Smoking is a major risk factor for atherosclerosis, which damages the brain arteries, giving rise to large and small infarcts in the brain, which leads to damage or brain matter or loss of transmitters in the brain. Smoking is a very potent risk factor for blood vessel damage which can lead to brain damage. So, basically, smoking is an important preventable risk factor for dementia, which can be controlled, and preventive and our risk for dementia can be ameliorated."
Stopping tobacco consumption can reduce the risk of dementia. According to the Alzheimers' society, second-hand smoking can increase a person’s risk of developing dementia later in life. Stopping smoking reduces the risk of not just dementia, but also the risk of cardiovascular disease or cancer.