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  • Hollie Young

Stop smoking & Save your health!

Most people are aware that smoking is bad for their general health.  However, many people do not realise the damage that smoking does to their mouths, gums, and teeth. 

Smoking can cause gum disease, oral cancer, staining of the teeth and bad breath.

When you stop smoking, good things start to happen — you can begin to see almost immediate improvements to your health.

What happens when you quit?

The sooner you quit, the sooner you'll notice changes to your body and health. Look at what happens when you quit for good.

After 20 minutes

  • Check your pulse rate, it will already be starting to return to normal.

After 8 hours

  • Your oxygen levels are recovering, and the harmful carbon monoxide level in your blood will have reduced by half.

After 48 hours

  • All carbon monoxide is flushed out. Your lungs are clearing out mucus and your senses of taste and smell are improving.

After 72 hours

  • If you notice that breathing feels easier, it's because your bronchial tubes have started to relax. Also your energy will be increasing.

After 2 to 12 weeks

  • Blood will be pumping through to your heart and muscles much better because your circulation will have improved.

After 3 to 9 months

  • Any coughs, wheezing or breathing problems will be improving as your lung function increases by up to 10%.

After 1 year

  • Great news! Your risk of heart attack will have halved compared with a smoker's.

After 10 years

  • More great news! Your risk of death from lung cancer will have halved compared with a smoker's.

Smoking weakens your body’s infection fighters (your immune system). This makes it harder to fight off a gum infection. Once you have gum damage, smoking also makes it harder for your gums to heal.

What does this mean for me if I am a smoker?

  • You have twice the risk for gum disease compared with a nonsmoker.

  • The more cigarettes you smoke, the greater your risk for gum disease.

  • The longer you smoke, the greater your risk for gum disease.

  • Treatments for gum disease may not work as well for people who smoke.

Tobacco use in any form—cigarettes, pipes, and smokeless (spit) tobacco—raises your risk for gum disease.

Getting help

In the UK, you can get help to quit smoking from an NHS Stop Smoking Service.

Local stop-smoking services are free, friendly and can massively boost your chances of quitting for good.

These services staffed by expert advisers provide a range of proven methods to help you quit.

They'll give you accurate information and advice, as well as professional support, during the first few months you stop smoking. 

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