This October sees the return of Stoptober, a Public Health England (PHE) initiative, to encourage the UK’s 7 million smokers to give up their habit.
According to the government, 15 million people have already quit smoking and last year saw a record breaking number of smokers putting an end to lighting up. Out of the 2.5 million who took part, 500,000 (20%) were successful.
While it is well known that smoking causes lung cancer and a number of other health problems, what is less known is that smoking is one of the leading causes of mouth cancer in the UK and is generally bad for your oral health. Smoking can also contribute to tooth loss, gum disease, stained teeth and halitosis (bad breath). As smoke causes a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream, infected gums don’t get the chance to heal and heavy smoking can lead to irreparable damage. This may then result in the need for a construable amount of dental work, which can be painful and expensive.
According to the latest data from Nielsen, the number of cigarettes sold in England and Wales has dropped by 20% in the last two years. This drop has been partially attributed to the number of affordable quitting aids that are now on the market. Just over a million people used an e-cigarette in a quit attempt in 2015, while around 700,000 used a licensed nicotine replacement product such as patches or gum and 350,000 people used their local stop smoking service in 2015 to 2016.
“While we know that quitting smoking is not easy, this Stoptober is a perfect time to try again,” said Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr. Gina Radford. “The best thing a smoker can do for their health is to stop smoking. There is more help and support available now than ever before. The introduction of standardised packs removes the glamorous branding and brings health warnings to the fore and e-cigarettes, which many smokers find helpful for quitting, are now regulated to assure their safety and quality.”
“We also have a range of free support that can go direct to your phone, laptop or tablet via the Stoptober app. The new Stoptober website also has advice and information on stop smoking services and quitting aids. Stoptober has helped lots of smokers quit for 28 days and beyond. So if you smoke, why not make this Stoptober the time you quit – for good.”
We at Dental Law Partnership are supporting the Stoptober campaign, so if you would like more information on Stoptober, please visit the Stoptober website.