On this page:
Why quit? 
What's the damage?
Other forms of tobacco
How do I quit?
Find out more  

You are twice as likely to die from stroke if you smoke. So stopping smoking is one of the most important things you can do to reduce your risk of stroke.

Why quit?

Smoking damages your arteries and makes your blood more likely to clot. Smokers are also more likely to develop high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for stroke.
 
Stopping smoking will reduce your risk of a stroke (and other health conditions) – no matter how old you are or how long you have smoked. 
 
Giving up is not easy, but it is worth the effort to improve your health. 

What's the damage?

Watch this video from Public Health England about the damage smoking does to your body. 

Other forms of tobacco

Some people assume that other ways of using tobacco are healthier than smoking cigarettes. But they are also harmful to your health. 
 
Other products like bidi and shisha also include tobacco, so if you smoke these you are at risk of the same kinds of diseases as cigarette smokers, including stroke. The World Health Organization has shown that in one session of using shisha you can inhale as much smoke as if you smoked 100–200 cigarettes.
 
E-cigarettes contain tobacco, but you don't inhale all of the toxins that come with burning tobacco leaves. Smoking e-cigarettes is not harmless, but they can be used as part of a stop-smoking plan. 
 
The nicotine in tobacco is very addictive so giving up is not always easy, but there is a lot of support out there to help you do it.

How do I quit?

Many smokers want to quit but aren’t sure how or where to start. However, you don’t have to do it alone. 
 
The NHS has Stop Smoking Services all over the country. You should be able to find one in your area. These services can give you advice about:
  • The best way to give up.
  • Aids like nicotine replacement products or medication that could help you.
  • Advice about using e-cigarettes as part of a stop-smoking plan.
  • Getting support, such as support groups that may run in your area.

To find your local Stop Smoking Service call the NHS Smokefree Helpline on 0300 123 1044 or visit NHS Smokefree's website.

The NHS helpline for Scotland is Smokeline. Call them on 0800 84 84 84 or visit Can't Stop Smoking's website. 

Find out more

  • There’s more information about stopping smoking, including tips to help you quit, in our guide Smoking and the risk of stroke.
  • Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) - Campaigns to eliminate the harm caused by tobacco. Provides information on the effects of smoking and on finding support to give up smoking, including the helplines available.

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