As another year is winding down, many Americans are already contemplating their 2016 New Year’s resolutions. For those who are cigarette smokers, kicking the habit is a common resolution, for many reasons.
Tobacco contains chemicals that are known to be harmful to the body. Smokers decrease life expectancy by 10–15 years, on average. Smoking is responsible for an estimated 30% of all cancer diseases and deaths.
Ninety percent of lung cancer is attributable to smoking, which also increases the risk of pancreatic cancer, cancer of the kidneys, liver cancer, cervical cancer, bladder cancer, stomach cancer and leukemia.
Smoking (as well as smokeless tobacco) is responsible for nearly 90% of oral cancers (lips, mouth and throat). Smoking is a known cause for emphysema and other respiratory diseases as well as heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
Pregnant women who smoke have a greater risk for first-trimester spontaneous abortion, preterm births, low birth weight babies and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Women who smoke are at risk for early menopause while men who smoke have an increased risk for impotency.
Smokers also have an increased risk of periodontal (gum) disease, bad breath, an increase in plaque, stained teeth, and slower healing following extractions, gum treatment and oral surgery.
Smoking is drying to oral tissues, which creates an environment where oral bacteria are able to actively thrive and reproduce. Gum disease begins with persistent bad breath, tender gums and gums that bleed easily when brushing. As it progresses, pus pockets form at the base of teeth. Teeth loosen as oral bacteria attack the bone and tissues that support tooth roots. Eventually, these teeth will require removal. Losing natural teeth and having to wear dentures or partials is not uncommon for long-time smokers.
For those who are age 40 or under, quitting can reduce excess mortality that’s attributed to smoking by 90%. Quit before the age of 30 and you’ll reduce this by 97%. But if you another reason to quit, look at the loved ones around you who breathe in the poisonous smoke you exhale. Second-hand smoke contains at least 50 known carcinogens and other harmful chemicals. It is not uncommon for children of smoking parents to wake up with ‘smoker’s cough.’
There are a number of online support sources for those who wish to quit. And, there are hundreds of reasons to quit, which can help you be more committed to keeping this resolution. Your smile, your overall health, your family and your life depend on it.
Get support on kicking the tobacco habit at: http://smokefree.gov/
They even have a stop-smoking app for added support.