October is the month of Stoptober, the NHS campaign to encourage smokers to kick the habit for good.
Short-term effects of smoking include stained teeth, gum disease (which can lead to loss of teeth), shortness of breath and a reduced sense of smell. Long-term effects include an increased risk of heart disease, chronic lung disease and many cancers. In fact, someone who begins smoking at the age of 15 is three times more likely to die of a smoking related illness than someone who begins in their mid-20s. The younger you are when you begin smoking, the worse the damage caused in later life.
England saw a significant rise in young adults taking up smoking during the 1st lockdown, which, according to experts, was due largely to stress. To try and raise awareness of the dangers of smoking the NHS dedicates the whole month of October each year to its Stoptober challenge – a 28-day challenge to encourage people to quit smoking.
Smoking and stress
Many think that smoking helps to deal with stress, but according to the charity, Change Grow Live it’s the opposite; the momentary feeling of relief comes from that first hit of nicotine but this doesn’t last and before long you feel stressed again and want another cigarette.
In fact, cigarettes cause all the normal signs of stress in your body; your heart beats faster, your muscles tense up, blood pressure goes up, your blood vessels get narrower and less oxygen goes to your brain.
Add to that the persistent craving for your next cigarette and your stress levels can really feel out of control.
Giving up an addictive habit is a big challenge, but many people say they feel relieved and free when they quit.
As well as the Stoptober challenge, there is help available here in Hull which offers support and advice for people who are looking to quit smoking. SmokeFree Hull is a 12-week programme run by Change Grow Live which provides advisors and free products to help motivate you and curb your nicotine cravings.
It offers its services to adults and young people aged 12 and above and living in Hull and its mentoring service is designed to make quitting smoking as stress free as possible by giving you access to regular support.
There are also a number of apps that can be accessed totally free of charge, including a new NHS Quit Smoking App that can help track your progress, see how much money you’re saving and get daily support and motivation! And the good news is, if you are able to make it through a month smoke free, you are five times more likely to quit for good!
According to the Oral Health Foundation, around two in every three (more than 60%) mouth cancers are linked to smoking. If you have an ulcer, white or red patches or lumps in your mouth that last for longer than 3 weeks, make sure you come and see us so we can check it out.
To book an appointment with us, call 01482 565488 or send us a message.