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8 October 2018

Just 4 days in, we look at why you should keep going with your quit smoking campaign.

Stoptober is a yearly initiative by Public Health England, to encourage people to stop smoking, or at the very least, to significantly cut down the amount of cigarettes that they smoke.

During this month, you are likely to see more anti smoking promotions in the media, and an increased awareness of where to access help and information for those who want to quit.

Like many things that we are determined to do, we often start out with an unbridled enthusiasm, only to find that reality hits us as we get a few days into it. The addictive nature of nicotine means that many people who try to stop smoking, will find it difficult to stop after the initial enthusiasm has waned. Our advice is not to let your addiction beat you! Remember, millions of people have already succeeded in giving up, and there is no reason why you should not be successful in doing so too.

Why stop smoking?

We can probably keep this section short as most of the health issues associated with smoking are fairly well known. From a dentist’s view point though, some patients may still not be aware of the link between smoking and gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis. These, in turn, have been linked with other medical issues such as heart disease and an increased risk of a stroke.

One of the most serious oral health issues that is strongly linked to smoking is mouth cancer. This can be very serious and can even prove to be fatal, especially if it remains undetected for too long. We check for signs of this during your regular check ups at our Surbiton practice, so please make sure that you have one at least every six months.

From a purely cosmetic viewpoint, smoking will also stain your teeth, often quite badly.

Anti smoking resources

As anyone who has been a regular smoker for a number of years will be aware, stopping smoking can be very challenging. The fact that Stoptober is designed to encourage a lot of people to stop, during the month, means that you may find it easier to link up with others in your area, perhaps a friend or work colleague, to encourage each other when the going gets tough.

There are also many resources available to help and support you during this time. You can download some of these from the official Stoptober Campaign Resource Centre.

Don’t give up

If you have started your campaign with the best of intentions, but have already weakened and had a cigarette or two, don’t be disheartened. Stoptober is not a competition to see who is the ‘best quitter’. The aim is for you to have stopped smoking by the end of the month. Even if you give in to your cravings a few times during the month, don’t beat yourself up for it. If you finally manage to stop, or even significantly reduce your intake, by the 31st October, you will have won. Of course, there may be challenges ahead, but once you have managed to kick the habit, you should find it easier to maintain that.

Is vaping the answer?

A number of patients at the Confidental Clinic in Surbiton have asked us our opinion about vaping, and whether it is safe. There is no ‘official’ opinion on this and each dentist may have their own views. By and large though, it is generally believed that vaping is less harmful than tobacco, and many patients have found this to be the most effective way to stop smoking. Given the fact that we don’t yet know what the potential long term harm, if any, may be from vaping, it is perhaps best to use it as a stepping stone, with the aim of eventually stopping the use of this too.

Treat yourself

Stopping smoking should not just be about depriving yourself and struggling of course. There are a huge number of benefits to stopping. In addition to the oral health problems mentioned earlier, you will have nicer smelling breath, your clothes won’t smell and you will save yourself a small fortune (currently somewhere in the region of just over £3000 per year if you smoke 20 a day).

As an incentive, why not consider what you could buy with this money. You may, for example, wish to consider restoring your teeth, following the heavy discolouration caused by your smoking habit. Our Surbiton cosmetic dental team are pleased to offer both teeth whitening and porcelain dental veneers for anyone wishing to restore the whiteness of their teeth after they have stopped smoking. A no obligation consultation can be arranged to determine the best approach.

Finally, we wish all of you who are trying to stop smoking, the best of luck and we appreciate that it may be very hard for some people. The results are well worth it though, and, hopefully, you will never look back.

Good luck everybody!

Cosmetic and general dental appointments at our Surbiton practice can be made by calling us on 020 8399 1291.

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