Stoptober is a national campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of smoking and providing support for quitting. Cutting out a harmful addiction can be extremely difficult when facing it alone. However, with Stoptober there is support available to everyone.
Online support groups, personal quit plans and advice are just a few of the many resources Stoptober provides. As well as your oral health and wider wellbeing, quitting smoking can protect the health of those closest to you by removing second-hand smoke. It can also benefit you financially, as the price of a packet of cigarettes can be costly.
Health Risks of Smoking
As you inhale a cigarette, smoking can cause harm all over your body:
- Brain: Chances of having a stroke rise by almost 50%
- Throat: Increased risk of cancer in your oesophagus, tongue, throat, mouth and voice box.
- Heart: Twice as likely to have a heart attack.
- Circulation: Heart rate and blood pressure will rise.
- Lungs: Smoking is linked to 84% of lung cancer deaths.
- Stomach: Increased risk of stomach cancer and ulcers.
- Skin: Premature aging of skin by 10-20 years.
- Bones: Weakens your bones, with women having an increased risk of osteoporosis.
- Fertility: Smoking can make it more difficult for women to conceive and can lead to impotence in men.
Pregnancy Risks of Smoking
Smoking is a harmful habit for anybody. However, during pregnancy you are sharing those risks with your baby. Smoking can increase your risk of complications during pregnancy and every year in the UK smoking has reportedly caused:
- 2,200 premature births
- 5,000 miscarriages
- 300 perinatal deaths
In addition, smoking can be consequential for your baby. They may experience premature birth, a low birth weight, diabetes, respiratory conditions, obesity or problems with their throat, ears and nose.*
Second-hand Smoke Risks
Second-hand smoking involves your smoke being inhaled by someone else nearby. Even though they are not directly smoking the cigarette, it can still have an effect on their health.
Frequent exposure to second-hand smoke has been linked to an increased risk of lung cancer, heart disease and heart attacks for non-smokers. It can also cause a series of breathing problems, including shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing and excessive phlegm*.
How Smoking Effects Your Oral Health
Smoking can lead to unpleasant oral health issues, including bad breath, tooth discolouration and plaque and tartar build up. All of which can be difficult to clean away with an ordinary at-home dental routine.
Smoking can also increase your chances of gum disease, leukoplakia and oral cancer. As well as delayed healing following certain dental treatment.
For healthy teeth and gums, capable of undergoing dental and orthodontic treatments, we recommend cutting down on your smoking habit. Take advantage of what Stoptober 2019 has to offer and the support available. For more information, visit their website.
*Heath Matters: Stopping Smoking – What Works? GOV.UK, 25th September 2018, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/health-matters-stopping-smoking-what-works/health-matters-stopping-smoking-what-works#targetText=The%20adult%20smoking%20rate%20in,%25%20and%2011.7%25%20by%202023.
*Secondhand Smoke, smokefree.gov, https://smokefree.gov/quit-smoking/why-you-should-quit/secondhand-smoke