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Ads highlight smoking and stroke link

Ads highlight smoking and stroke link

New Zealand smokers are about to get a graphic reminder of the link between smoking and stroke. A Quitline television commercial to be run from this week shows the brain of a deceased 38-year old smoker being dissected – to show a large blood clot.

The Quit Group Medical Advisor, Dr Peter Martin, says that while most people are well aware that smoking can cause lung cancer, the smoking-stroke link is less well known.

“Smoking damages blood vessel walls, speeds up the clogging of arteries with deposits, raises blood pressure and makes the heart work harder. It can create blood clots which lead to strokes.”

He says that strokes are caused by the rupture of a blood vessel in the brain, or a clot in the blood vessel. Strokes can kill, paralyse or affect speech.

“The link between smoking and strokes is yet another reason why we urge smokers to call the Quitline on 0800 778 778 for quit support and advice. The Quitline can also offer smokers low cost nicotine patches or gum – to help with those cravings that many people trying to quit experience.”

The ‘stroke’ commercial is one of five commercials in the Every cigarette is doing you damage media campaign, which first went to air nationally in 1999. The other commercials highlight the links between smoking and emphysema, lung cancer, heart damage and blindness.

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