Next month is Stoptober – the national annual campaign run by Public Health England to support smokers who want to stub out cigarettes for good.
The campaign promotes the message that if you avoid smoking for 28 days, you’re five times more likely to give up smoking for good.
Since 2012, Stoptober has supported more than 1.7 million people to give up smoking. The campaign offers free support and resources including apps, social media groups, and personal support from local health services.
As dentists, we know that smoking can lead to an increased risk of oral cancer. According to statistics from the British Dental Association (BDA), oral cancers are some of the most preventable types of cancer, and over 90% of all oral cancer cases could be avoided.
We always thoroughly check for any signs of oral cancer during our dental health assessments with our patients.
From a point of view of your oral health, if you give up smoking:
- Your risk of developing oral cancer will decrease
- Your risk of gum disease (leading to tooth loss) will decrease
- You will have less staining on your teeth
- You will have fresher breath
Beyond these benefits, if you give up smoking you’ll feel healthier, save money (up to £250 per month if you smoke a packet of cigarettes per day), and protect your loved ones from harmful second hand smoke.
Stoptober is the ideal time to try to kick the habit, and you can find lots of free support and tips through the Stoptober website.
The British Heart Foundation recommends picking a firm ‘stopping smoking’ date, making a list of reasons to give up smoking, and building a support network to assist in giving up smoking.
You can also ask for help from your GP – and we can help you with advice to protect your mouth and take steps to a healthier you.
Giving up smoking is the best thing you can do for your health – and the health of those around you. Visit the Stoptober website to find the right support for you.