The theme for anti tobacco day 2022 is, “Tobacco – Threat to our Environment.”
Every year anti tobacco day is celebrated on the 31st of May to spread an awareness on the harmful effects of tobacco on our health and the harmful effects of tobacco industry on our environment.
WHO has mentioned in their official website that 6000,000,000 trees are chopped off to make cigarettes. this is a huge number and if we start planting today also, it will take years, to get back the lost trees.
Tobacco not only effects our over all health but also effects the dental health tremendously. It is harmful in ways you can not imagine or think of. Quitting tobacco is the only solution to avoid any health related problems which has been caused by it.
There are various forms of tobacco and all of them are harmful.
Dental Health Issues
Smoking and using tobacco can cause staining of teeth due to the nicotine. Slowly the stains will start changing from yellow to dark brown or black in color. A professional scaling and cleaning is what is required to clean the teeth. And to keep it clean after that, quitting smoking and tobacco is the best option.
Nicotine in the tobacco is the main indirect reason for the cavities in a user. Nicotine causes dry mouth, which is due to the reduction in the salivary flow. If there is no salivary flow, the food particles will be sticking to the surface of the teeth. These food particles will in turn cause cavities.
Foul Breath (Halitosis)
Halitosis is one of the main problems found especially in smokers, and the best solution to this is to quit. Mouthwash helps in reliving the halitosis for a short period of time, and smokers prefer using it before a meeting or an outing with family or friends.
Periodontal Disease (Gum Disease)
Smoking increases the production of plaque which sticks to the surface of the teeth and causes periodontal disease. There is a narrowing of the blood vessels in smokers which again causes gum disease, which is caused by less nutrition reaching the gums due to the reduced blood supply.
Impaired Sense of Taste
Smoking can kill the taste buds, due to the reduced blood supply. So, you might have a loss of taste if you are smoker, and can regain it back slowly if you quit smoking.
One of the most serious consequences of using tobacco is Oral Cancer. There is only one solution to prevent it and that is quitting.
How to Quit Tobacco
1. Stay determined
Decide on a date you want to quit and stick to it.
Make a list of all the reasons you wanted to quit for, and in case you feel like going back check the list and stay determined.
Throw all the cigarettes, tobacco, ash trays and anything that tempts you to smoke or use tobacco again.
Make a plan. Plan how you would want to proceed. If you want to take a professional health fix your appointment first and stick and listen to what your doctor advises you.
2. Avoid places and people that trigger you to use tobacco
Stay away from friends and family members who smoke or use any kind of tobacco you are tempted to. If you visit the places you use to smoke or be with the people it will trigger you to use again, and this is what we need to avoid.
3. Distract yourself
Distractions help. involve yourself in a sport or activity you like, e.g. cycling, music, dance, cooking etc. This will help you keeping calm and relaxed and will let you quit a little easily. Shift your focus to a different thing the moment you feel like smoking or using tobacco. Stay strong.
4. Take the help of your loved ones
Take help of your family and friends who support you in quitting. They will be your pillar of support in the tough times and help you stay strong and committed. Listen to them and don’t fight them back. They are there for you for your good and will always have your back.
5. Replacement Therapy
There are nicotine replacement therapies available like nicotine gums which help in quitting. You can try, and it is effective in most of the cases if you stay determined. These are over the counter medications which are available.
6. Take Professional Help
If you feel it would be difficult to quit on your own, you can take therapy. In therapy your councilor will guide you with all the steps you need to take and help you quit in a more congenial manner. you can ask your doubts, take help, reason out things, and work together. Your pyscologist will identify your trigger for the use of tobacco and help you overcome it.
Benefits of Quitting Tobacco
Quitting tobacco can be of great benefit to your oral health especially on the long run. Immediately after quitting tobacco you will feel your breath feels better. Long term reduction in the gum disease is seen according to many studies when you quit smoking. There is less staining of teeth, less cavities and less chances of periodontal diseases. the chances for oral cancer start to reduce. And also the overall health improves with time when you stop using tobacco .
Is Smokeless Tobacco Harmful Too?
YES! Smokeless tobacco is as harmful as smoking cigarettes or bidis. It releases toxic products which are carcinogenic. Smokeless tobacco like gutka, supari and pan masala are kept in a specific region of the mouth, say in the lower front tooth region between the gums and the teeth. When the habits prolongs and persists, the tobacco will slowly start causing changes in that particular region causing serious pre- malignant (cancerous) lesions and if still the habit does not stop it can lead to oral cancer. All types of cancers can be seen when using smokeless tobacco like mouth, throat & esophagus.
Tobacco in any form is dangerous to both oral as well as overall health, so this Anti tobacco day we should take the pledge that we will quit tobacco (if we are a user our self) and help others in our family and friend circle to quit as well.