Smoking is a highly addictive habit which can have serious consequences on your health. Between 2017-2018 smoking contributed to 77,800 deaths and 489,300 hospital admissions, with 14.4% of UK adults reportedly smoking*.
Stoptober is a national campaign which aims to raise awareness of the dangers of smoking. The campaign offers a range of support resources and contacts to guide smokers through their journey to quit, and improve not only their oral health but their overall health and wellbeing.
One of the most concerning health risks linked to smoking is the development of cancer across your body. Smoking can increase your risk of cancers in your mouth, throat, voice box, kidney, liver, bladder, bowel, stomach, pancreas and cervix.
In addition, it can increase your chances of other health risks, including:
If you are able to stop smoking during your pregnancy, this can help your baby significantly. As a result, you will reduce their risk of:
Passive smoking is also a danger to those closest to you also has it associated health risks. Inhaling too much second-hand smoke can lead to breathing problems, such as coughing, wheezing and excessive phlegm. It can also increase others’ risk of strokes, lung cancer, coronary heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease*.
As for your oral health, smoking can cause unpleasant bad breath, tooth discolouration and build-up of tartar and plaque. Your chances of developing oral cancer, gum disease and leucoplakia are increased too. As well as delayed healing after receiving certain dental treatments.
If smokers say no to cigarettes for 28 days, they are five times more likely to quit for good. Therefore, to get you started, here are a few tips for quitting smoking:
Staying on the move with exercise can encourage your brain to release anti-craving chemicals, to make quitting less daunting. Keeping your hands and mouth busy with lozenges, gum or patches can also be a great distraction.
Re-evaluating your diet can also help with your cravings too. For smokers who enjoy a post-dinner cigarette, suitable food replacements can be made to make it less satisfying. Filling your plate with fruit, vegetables and tooth-friendly cheese instead of greasy foods can make your dessert cigarette unpleasant. They are also better for your overall health!
This also counts for drinks too. Fizzy pop, tea, coffee and alcohol have been reported to make smoking more enjoyable. Swapping to water and juice will avoid this and is also beneficial for your oral health.
Finally, connecting with more non-smokers can help remove easy temptations and peer pressure. You may also receive more support from those who are against smoking.
At Marsh House Orthodontics we are passionate about excellent oral health to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy. Without it, it can be harder to receive dental or orthodontic treatments and the healing process can be delayed.
Visit the Stoptober 2019 website for online support groups, personal quit plans, email communications and their very own app. To increase your chances of finally quitting smoking, get involved today.
*Statistics on Smoking, NHS Digital, 2 nd July 2019, https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/statistics-on-smoking/statistics-on-smoking-england-2019
*Second-hand smoke, NHS Inform, https://www.nhsinform.scot/healthy-living/stopping-smoking/reasons-to-stop/second-hand-smoke