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New Year’s Resolutions – Smoking

For those of you who made a New Year’s Resolution on January 1, 2011 to stop smoking and you kept it as of today, congratulations! You have a million and one reasons to celebrate. In the United States, tobacco remains the single largest cause of preventable deaths and diseases.

The nicotine present in tobacco causes decreased oxygen to the heart, increased blood pressure and heart rate, increased blood clotting, and damage to the cells that line the coronary arteries and other blood vessels. This means that if you smoke it increases your risk of having coronary heart disease and/or a stroke by 2 to 4 times. It also means that if you are a man who smokes it increases your risk of being diagnosed with lung cancer by 23 times. And even if you don’t smoke a lot, you are still causing damage to your body. People who smoke just one pack of cigarettes per day have more than twice the risk of heart attack than non-smokers.

From a dental perspective, Dr. Jason McCargar, a general and cosmetic dentist in Scottsdale Arizona, says cigarette smoking leads to almost 5,000 deaths per year that are caused by forms of lip, oral, and pharynx cancers. Smoking can be attributed to causing almost 8,500 deaths from esophageal cancer, and also causing nearly 125,500 deaths from trachea, lung, & bronchial cancer.

If you are not convinced to quit smoking yet, then here are a few more statistics to help convince you:
-In the United States, tobacco use is responsible for about one in five deaths annually
-Cigarette smoke contains at least 250 chemicals known to be toxic or carcinogenic
-Worldwide, tobacco use causes more than 5 million deaths per year, and current trends show that tobacco use will cause more than 8 million deaths annually by 2030
-Smokers die on average 13 to 14 years earlier than nonsmokers
-Cigarette smoking results in 5.1 million years of potential life lost in the U.S. annually
-People who stop smoking greatly reduce their risk for disease and premature death
-Smoking cessation lowers the risk for lung and other types of cancer
-Smoking cessation reduces the risk of coronary heart disease within 1 to 2 years of stopping.
-Smoking cessation in patients with heart disease lowers their risk of death by 36% over 3 to 7 years
-Smoking cessation reduces the risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD – one of the leading causes of death in the United States)
-Smoking cessation by women during their reproductive years reduces the risk for infertility
-Smoking cessation reduces respiratory symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath

Each year more than two-thirds of smokers want to quit. About one-half try, but fewer than one in 20 are successful without formal help. Studies show that a smoker will be more successful if they set an ideal quit date 2 weeks in the future, then remove all tobacco products from their environment. A smoker trying to quit is more successful with a support group, so get friends, family and coworkers on board. Call the national access number for State-based quitline services (1-800-QUIT-NOW). There’s also great medical options to help prevent the nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Ask your pharmacist about the differences between the smoking cessation products Chantix, Nicotine replacement patches plus gum, or bupriopion. Then, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss the best option for you.

At Scottsdale Dental Arts we want you to prolong your life, reduce your risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, lung cancer, throat cancer, emphysema, and other smoking-related diseases. We want to see you feeling healthier, and saving money. We also want you to look better. If you made a New Year’s Resolution to quit smoking and as of today you are still successful. Tell us how you did it! Quitting smoking can help prevent wrinkles in the face, and we can help you get rid of your stained teeth. If you are on the right path to a healthier you, we want to make sure your smile reflects that! Print off this blog article and bring it in for your next cleaning, exam and xrays. Then, ask us how you can get a discount on a take-home whitening kit!