Smoking and stroke


Smoking and stroke - What you need to know

  • Tobacco in every form is very harmful to your health
  • Smokers have twice the risk of having a stroke than non-smokers.
  • The risk of stroke and heart attack starts to drop immediately after a person stops using tobacco products
  • If you have had a stroke or TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack) you need to stop smoking immediately
  • There is plenty of support available to help you quit smoking. Seek advice on how you can quit smoking as soon as possible by calling the QUIT line on 13 18 48.

Mandy's Story - "I treated smoking like a best friend"

Smokes can cause strokes

  • Smoking cigarettes is known to contribute to the development of atherosclerosis, which is a narrowing of the arteries that reduces blood supply, and amount of oxygen available, throughout the body, increasing your risk of having a stroke.[1]
  • Tobacco in every form is very harmful to health. Exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke is also dangerous.[2]
  • Smokers are four times more likely to have a stroke compared with non-smokers. This risk is particularly elevated in younger people. 6>
  • Non-smokers living with smokers are also more likely to suffer a stroke.
  • The more cigarettes you smoke the greater the development of carotid artery atherosclerosis
  • People with stroke or TIA who smoke should be advised to stop and assisted to quit in line with existing guidelines. [3]
  • 14% of Australians aged 15 years and older are daily smokers. This percentage is higher in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population (in 2012-13, 40% of those aged 15 years and older were daily smokers).[4]
  • There are immediate health benefits from quitting smoking. They include:
    • Within a month after a person stops smoking, blood pressure returns to its normal range.
    • The risk of heart attack and stroke starts to drop immediately after a person stops using tobacco products, and can drop by as much as half after one year.
    • After fifteen years your risk of stroke and heart attack is almost the same as that of a person who has never smoked.[5]


How to QUIT

It is never too late to stop smoking. Talk to your doctor about quitting.

There are programs to help you quit smoking:



[1]Australian Government Quitnow 2018.

[2] World Health Organisation 2015.

[3] Stroke Foundation 2017. Clinical Guidelines for Stroke Management 2017

[4] Heart Foundation 2016. Guideline for the diagnosis and management of hypertension in adults

[5] Australian Government Quitnow 2018.

[6] Australian Government Quitnow 2018.