Joe Korner, Director of Communications at The Stroke Association commented: "This is interesting research which highlights what we have known for some time that passive smokers are nearly twice as likely to have a stroke than those who don't live (or work) in a smoky atmosphere.

"Smoking is a significant risk factor for stroke with a quarter of all strokes being linked to smoking and it can also contribute to high blood pressure which is the single biggest risk factor for stroke.

"We urge people to consider the effects that smoking has on their health and others around them and do all they can to reduce their risk of stroke, the UK's third biggest killer."

Notes

1. The Stroke Association is the only UK charity solely concerned with combating stroke in people of all ages. The charity funds research into prevention, treatment, better methods of rehabilitation and helps stroke patients and their families directly through its community services which include communications support, family and carer support, information services, welfare grants, publications and leaflets. The Stroke Association also campaigns, educates and informs to increase knowledge of stroke at all levels of society acting as a voice for everyone affected by stroke.

2. A stroke is a brain attack which causes brain damage. A stroke can be diagnosed by using FAST - Facial weakness, Arm weakness, Speech problems, Test all three. If any of these symptoms are present call an ambulance straight away.

3. The Stroke Helpline provides information on stroke to the general public and is open from 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday on 0845 3033 100.

The Stroke Association

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