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Smokes can lead to strokes

If you smoke, you’re twice as likely to suffer a stroke. Continuing to smoke after experiencing a stroke increases your risk of another stroke.

"I was 24 years old and thought I was invincible." - Ernesto

Read more about Ernesto's story.


What is a stroke?

A stroke can happen in two ways – either there is a blood clot or plaque that blocks a blood vessel or a blood vessel in the brain breaks or ruptures. 

Smoking doubles your risk of stroke:

  • Smoking increases blood pressure and reduces oxygen in the blood. High blood pressure is a major risk factor. 
  • Tobacco smoke contains over 4000 toxic chemicals which are deposited on lungs or absorbed into the bloodstream damaging blood vessels.
  • Smoking also makes blood stickier, which can lead to blood clots.

For further information about smoking and stroke, download the Smoking and Stroke fact sheet.

What if you've experienced a stroke?

Continuing to smoke after a stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA) more than doubles your risk of having another stroke (compared to a stroke survivor who has never smoked). You're also more likely to die from a stroke. Download the Benefits of stopping smoking pamphlet for people who have experienced stroke or TIA for more information.

Benefits of stopping smoking for people who have experienced stroke pamphlet

Stopping smoking reduces your risk

Stopping smoking significantly reduces your risk of having a stroke. If you've experienced a stroke or TIA, stopping smoking reduces your risk of having another stroke. Studies have shown the risk of stroke in ex-smokers becomes similar to people who have never smoked after five to ten years.

We are here to help

Here are our top tips for quitting success:

  • Make a plan. Your quitting journey will be unique – take some time to reflect on why you smoke, why you want to stop smoking, and figure out the most effective approach for you.
  • Use our online ‘Make a plan’ tool or sign up for QuitCoach.
  • Prepare for withdrawal. Learn about what nicotine addiction does to your body, so you can be prepared for triggers, cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Investigate ways of coping with withdrawal symptoms to have them under control.
  • Call Quitline (13 7848). You’re more than twice as likely to quit if you call Quitline on 13 7848, Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm. Our qualified Quitline counsellors are trained experts. They have lots of tips to help you break the habit. Request a Quitline callback.
  •  Stay motivated. Find ways to keep your motivation high on your quitting journey; set targets and celebrate them, get encouragement from your friends or family, sign up to QuitTxt, or QuitMail to receive regular supportive messages free of charge.

Life after a stroke

"They asked me what my name was and I didn't know." - Bill
"I am living and breathing evidence that smoking can and will cause a stroke." - Jayson
"I used to treat smoking like a best friend." - Mandy

In collaboration with:Stroke Foundation logo

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