UW-CTRI Researcher Presents on Smoking and Dementia

Adrienne Johnson, PhD
Adrienne Johnson, PhD

UW-CTRI Assistant Scientist Dr. Adrienne Johnson presented “Smoking in Relation to Aging and Dementia” as part of the online Geriatrics Interprofessional Conference Series. The audience included clinicians and other healthcare providers and academics.

Johnson shared research showing that smoking is a modifiable risk for dementia. Quitting smoking reduces risk for cognitive decline at any age. Smoking is predictive of dementia, Johnson said, and dementia is better attributed to smoking recency than to lifetime smoking. Together, findings paint a picture that smoking not only results in death, but can also lead to suffering through lost cognitive functioning and independence.

“Quitting smoking is beneficial at any age,” she said.

It’s important to empower smokers with this knowledge, she said, and by telling them they are an expert at quitting because of their experiences. In other words, they know what has or hasn’t worked for them in the past.

“You have the potential to motivate patients to quit,” Johnson said. She advocated for providers connecting patients with the counseling and medicinal treatments we know work. She offered tips for patients who aren’t particularly motivated to quit. “They can quit, they just need our help to do so.”

To listen to the entire presentation, click here. Password: uWuXj5yC