October 1st 2017 marked the first day of Public Health England’s Stoptober campaign. Evidence shows that after 28 days without a cigarette, smokers are as much as five times more likely to give up smoking for good.
Why should you quit?
Smoking causes a wealth of health problems. It has a negative impact on your heart, lungs, stomach, skin, fertility and circulation, to name a few. On top of all of this, some of the most smoke-damaged areas of your body will be your mouth, gums and throat.
The risks of not quitting
Lung cancer is widely discussed and associated with smoking; however the increased risk of cancer in the mouth can sometimes be overlooked.
Mouth cancers are the most common cancers of the head and neck area. More than 93% of oropharyngeal cancers (cancer in a part of the throat) are caused by smoking.
Cancer can begin in any part of the mouth. According to the Oral Health Foundation, mouth cancer claims more lives than testicular cancer and cervical cancer combined, and the number of cases is increasing each year.
As with all cancers, early detection is key. If spotted early, the chances of a complete cure of cancer are good. However, too many people come forward too late because they do not have regular mouth examinations.
You don’t have to go it alone
Quitting smoking isn’t easy. Why not set up a ‘Stoptober Support Group’ in your workplace? You could all meet at lunch, before or after work to discuss any tricks or tips you have found which helps with the cravings – or get support from others if you’re struggling. To be extra healthy, you could team up to go for 10 minute walks instead of having a smoking break during your working day.
Reversing the damage
Quitting smoking is the single most effective action you can take to reduce your risk of bad oral health and developing more serious conditions.
Research has shown that ex-smokers reduce their risk of mouth cancer by more than a third, and with two thirds of smokers admitting they want to quit, Stoptober is the perfect time to do just that.