As Stoptober draws to a close, we hear from a leading dentist about why he thinks dental professionals are a while away from recommending vapes as an alternative to smoking.
Stoptober is a national campaign designed that encourages and supports smokers in quitting tobacco for good.
The initiative is based on evidence that shows if you make it 28 days smokefree, you are five times more likely to quit for good.
A new survey shows nearly all (95%) ex-smokers see positive changes in their life as early as two weeks after quitting.
Carried out by the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID), some of the top benefits respondents saw included having more energy (45%), feeling healthier (42%) and breathing better (42%).
We hear from Dr Richard Marques about why Stoptober is crucial in dentistry and how teams can make a difference.
Why is Stoptober important in dentistry?
As well as being important in all aspects of health, Stoptober is extremely important in dentistry. The encouragement of smokers to quit for 28 days can help reduce the risk of developing a range of smoking related dental diseases.
Mouth cancer, gum disease, tooth loss and decay are all things people who smoke are at a higher risk of developing. Therefore, if smokers partake in Stoptober and are able to give up smoking for this length of time, they are much more likely to be able to quit all together and their oral health will benefit.
How can dental teams support those giving up smoking?
Dental teams are in a great position to offer brief advice and support at dental check ups on how patients can take part in Stoptober, as well as quitting smoking all together.
Offering encouragement beyond Stoptober stresses the importance of regular check up and appointments with the hygienists. Professionals can also pass on the correct information and contacts of further support networks and professional help.
Giving up smoking is a huge life adjustment. The more support dental practices can offer patients on this, in the kindest way, the better.
Should dentists be suggesting vapes as an alternative?
Vapes are still so new to the industry and, as a result, we are still a while away from being able to safely suggest the use of vapes as an alternative to cigarettes.
However, breaking down what we do know, vapes do not contain tar which is a contributor to smoking related dental diseases.
Find more resources on smoking and vaping this Stoptober below:
- Make vapes prescription-only and limit to over-21s, says dentist
- Flavours and descriptions of vapes could be restricted
- ‘We will not forgive or forget’ – Shadow Health Secretary criticises vape industry
- Vaping – new study to look into long-term impact of e-cigarettes
- Increase smoking age by one year every year, says Rishi Sunak.
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