Good news for oral health as more smokers kick the habit
 

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Good news for oral health as more smokers kick the habit

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Good news for oral health as more smokers kick the habit

 

Good news for oral health as more smokers kick the habit

The number of smokers to successfully quit the habit has increased in the last year, leading the way for a greater level of oral health.

Almost 250,000 people in England quit smoking between April 1 and December 31 2009, a rise of 10% compared to the same period in 2008 – according to the results of a new national survey.

Results from the NHS Stop Smoking Services survey also showed that more than another 375,000 of the country's smokers have decided to kick the habit for good and set a quit date.

Chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter, has welcomed the results but insisted that more needs to be done to educate people on the hazards of smoking.

Dr Carter said: ‘Most people are now aware that smoking is bad for our health. It can cause many different medical problems and in some cases fatal diseases. However, many people do not realise the damage that smoking does to their mouth, gums and teeth.

‘Smoking can lead to tooth staining, gum disease and tooth loss. When people think of the dangers of smoking they instantly think of lung and throat cancer, but many are still unaware that it is one of the main causes of mouth cancer, too.'

Mouth cancer has become one of the UK's fastest growing cancers, diagnosing more than 5,000 people every year.

Without early diagnosis chances of survival could plummet down to 50%.

‘The best chance of beating the cancer comes from early detection, improving survival rates to more than 90%, so it is important to follow the slogan of the Mouth Cancer Action Month campaign: If in doubt, get checked out. Many people with mouth cancer go to their dentist or doctor too late.'

The results of the survey, published at the end of last week, also revealed a dramatic increase in expenditure on NHS Stop Smoking Services.

Figures released showed almost a 20% rise in spending to £60.6 million, almost £9 million more than the same period in 2008.

Of those who set a quit date success at the four week follow-up increased with age, from 32% of those aged under 18, to 56% of those aged 60 and over finally managing to give up the habit for good.

But less than half of the 14,608 pregnant women who set a quit date successfully stopped smoking after the four weeks.

Among strategic health authorities (SHAs), the East Midlands SHA reported the highest proportion of successful quitters with 55%, while North East SHA, North West SHA & London SHA reported the lowest success rate at 44%.

Among primary care trusts (PCTs), Warrington PCT reported the highest proportion of successful quitters with 68%, while City & Hackney Teaching PCT reported the lowest success rate at 29%.

 Posted on : Mon 19th - Apr - 2010

 

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