Therapy for Smoking Cessation May Ward Off Dementia

Cognitive decline is a serious mental health issue affecting a large number of aging people, and tends to strike for a variety of reasons, sometimes without much of any warning. As the progress of medical science marches on, the search for effective treatments for dementia continues, though so far no adequate solutions have been developed.

A key focus for interested health professionals, then, is the prevention of dementia, and many studies are being conducted to determine which factors are most likely to play a role in the emergence of this health concern. One such study, carried out in the Netherlands at the National Institute Institute for Public Health and the Environment, has recently published results that represent the culmination of a five year research project into the possibility a link between tobacco smoking and dementia.

The project based its work on nearly two thousand male and female participants, about a tenth of which smoked cigarettes. Initially presenting participants with batteries of cognitive function and other tests, the researchers found that those who smoked performed more poorly than did their non-smoking counterparts. Upon retesting subjects five years later, the team discovered that the rates of mental decline were 1.9 times faster in the smoking group than in the non-smoking group.

This significant increase in the rate of mental decline suggests that smoking may play a key role in the early onset of dementia, and furthermore highlights the need for greater awareness of the risks associated with tobacco use. Through the administration of more competent and more widely-available smoking cessation therapy programs, it is hoped that a growing number of people will be able to kick the habit and preserve the health of their minds well into old age.

© Copyright 2009 by By John Smith. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to

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  • alissa l

    August 11th, 2009 at 8:10 AM

    i have heard of things like hypnosis, acupuncture, and nicotine gum helping with quitting smoking, but I never heard of talk-therapy helping. I wonder if anyone does talk therapy for kicking the nicotine habit… I could imagine some form of somatic or body-mind therapy being helpful. any one do this kind of stuff for smoking? i could use the help :)

  • Steve

    August 12th, 2009 at 9:30 AM

    Well that finally confirms it. Smokers are crazy!

  • bill dubin

    August 12th, 2009 at 10:38 AM

    There certainly are insights that can help an individual quit smoking and prevent relapse.

  • Elizabeth R.

    August 13th, 2009 at 11:18 AM

    It was years ago I gave up and am glad I did now that I read that. If only I could talk my husband into doing the same thing! Thanks for the information.

  • soldy

    August 14th, 2009 at 4:27 PM

    Say you were to quit after reading this research. Would the damage already be done and irreversible or would quitting now mean any type of reversal? There should be a third group followed in further research, drawn from smokers within the original group, of new quitters.

  • Kelly

    August 15th, 2009 at 1:24 PM

    Any bets on how hard the tobacco companies are working to keep this kind of info out of the public eye? But of course all of the other information that we have on how bad smoking is for us does not seem to keep millions from continuing the habit so how would we know if this would either?

  • VictoriaL.

    August 15th, 2009 at 4:49 PM

    I have to let my father see this. He’s in his seventies and refuses to stop smoking. He takes great pride in and always talks about how his mind is as sharp today as it was fifty years ago. This might convince him to quit.

  • Anna

    August 16th, 2009 at 7:25 AM

    Could hypnosis help or does it have to be a specific type of smoking cessation treatment with talk therapy?

  • Gabriel

    August 16th, 2009 at 8:11 PM

    If the phrase “you will die sooner because you smoke” doesn’t make smokers quit, why would a little thing like dementia have an impact on them? Smokers quit when ready and not before.

  • Craig H

    August 16th, 2009 at 9:15 PM

    I’m more addicted to the Internet than I’ve ever been to a cigarette. Studies on how that’s going to affect us in our old age would be interesting.

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