Keep Your Brain Healthy

Quit Smoking for a Healthy Brain

Smoking increases your risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.1 Quitting smoking can improve your overall health and reduce your risk of cognitive decline. There are many resources, tips, treatments, and groups that can help you quit. It’s never too late to quit and lower your Alzheimer’s risk.

You Can Take Action

Try these strategies and tips to help yourself or a loved one quit smoking:

Understand the link between smoking and Alzheimer’s.

Smoking damages your brain, lungs, heart, vision, and more. It increases your chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease. But it’s never too late to quit. Even if you quit later in your life, it can still help reduce your Alzheimer’s risk.1

Make a promise and a plan to quit.

Quitting is hard, but you can do it. More than half of Americans who smoked have quit.2 Making a promise to quit can help you get started. Then, make a plan to achieve your goal. Tell people that you are going to quit. This can help you stick to your plan and get support from others.3

Get rid of things or situations that make you want to smoke.

Throw away cigarettes, lighters, matches, and other items that you associate with smoking. Avoid places where people are smoking, or where you usually buy cigarettes.

Focus on something else when you have the urge to smoke.

Step outside for some fresh air or go for a walk. Tune into the sights and sounds around you. Call or text a friend or family member. Think about something interesting or funny. These kinds of activities can help you wait out the urge.

Consider nicotine patches, gum, or other treatments.

Nicotine patches, gums, or lozenges can help you quit. You can also talk to your doctor about getting a prescription for nicotine-replacement treatments.

Keep trying.

If you tried to quit already, don’t give up. For many people, it takes multiple tries to stop smoking. The important thing is to keep going.

Helping someone else quit.

Do you want to help a loved one or friend quit smoking? They might feel that quitting is impossible. You can help them by starting the conversation and suggesting they try finding resources to help them quit.

Get help.

The CDC offers tips and resources to help people who want to quit smoking. For free quit coaching, a quit plan, educational materials, and referrals to local resources, you can visit the CDC’s website, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669), or visit smokefree.gov.4

Understand the link between smoking and Alzheimer’s.

Smoking damages your brain, lungs, heart, vision, and more. It increases your chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease. But it’s never too late to quit. Even if you quit later in your life, it can still help reduce your Alzheimer’s risk.1

Make a promise and a plan to quit.

Quitting is hard, but you can do it. More than half of Americans who smoked have quit.2 Making a promise to quit can help you get started. Then, make a plan to achieve your goal. Tell people that you are going to quit. This can help you stick to your plan and get support from others.3

Get rid of things or situations that make you want to smoke.

Throw away cigarettes, lighters, matches, and other items that you associate with smoking. Avoid places where people are smoking, or where you usually buy cigarettes.

Focus on something else when you have the urge to smoke.

Step outside for some fresh air or go for a walk. Tune into the sights and sounds around you. Call or text a friend or family member. Think about something interesting or funny. These kinds of activities can help you wait out the urge.

Consider nicotine patches, gum, or other treatments.

Nicotine patches, gums, or lozenges can help you quit. You can also talk to your doctor about getting a prescription for nicotine-replacement treatments.

Keep trying.

If you tried to quit already, don’t give up. For many people, it takes multiple tries to stop smoking. The important thing is to keep going.

Helping someone else quit.

Do you want to help a loved one or friend quit smoking? They might feel that quitting is impossible. You can help them by starting the conversation and suggesting they try finding resources to help them quit.

Get help.

The CDC offers tips and resources to help people who want to quit smoking. For free quit coaching, a quit plan, educational materials, and referrals to local resources, you can visit the CDC’s website, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669), or visit smokefree.gov.4