Don’t give up giving up
Nicotine is highly addictive, but many of the side effects of smoking come from the chemicals and toxins in tobacco.
Doctors warn about lung cancer, but cigar and cigarette smoking also increase the risk of cancers within the mouth. In addition, the effect of smoking on blood vessels which is responsible for heart disease and strokes, also causes gum disease. Known as periodontitis, gum disease causes the early loss of teeth due to gradual deterioration of gum tissue.
Undo the effects of smoking . . .
Smoking is a leading cause of preventable death in Australia. However, many of its effects are reversed in five to ten years after giving up. Studies suggest the rate of cancer drops by 80-90%.
What about e-cigarettes?
E-cigarettes are marketed much as tobacco used to be –‘linked’ with celebrity, sexy confidence and independence. As well as the highly addictive nicotine, these alternatives also contain an array of chemicals and toxins including formaldehyde.
Interestingly, they are available in a huge range of flavours which appeal to young users. Already the exposure to chemicals from vaping is being linked with sensitivity, gum recession and allergic reactions. It is too early for science to prove anything about the effects of vaping these chemical cocktails – but doesn’t it seem just a return to the beginning of a familiar cycle?
So, it’s not ‘new’ or news, but giving up smoking (anything)still remains one of the best steps to take for long term health. GPs now have support programs and alternatives for managing nicotine cravings. So, if you’re yet to try, contact your doctor about giving up – and make a habit of it!