Do you want to quit smoking but don’t know how? There are tools available to help. Keep reading for smoking cessation tips that can help put you on a path to success.
You Can Quit Smoking
Giving up smoking isn’t easy, but you can do it. In fact, current smokers make up only 21 percent of the adult population. It’s best to put a plan in place and use the tools available to quit smoking.
What happens when you quit?
In as little as one hour after your last cigarette, your blood pressure and heart rate return to a normal, healthy rate.
12 hours after quitting, your body purifies itself of carbon monoxide. After 24 hours, your risk of heart attack decreases. In the next week, your sense of smell and taste will return.
For the next few months, the body and mouth continue to heal and repair. In addition to fewer instances of coughing and shortness of breath, you may have better breath and your dry mouth may improve.
One year after quitting smoking, a person’s risk for coronary heart disease decreases by half. And after one year, it continues to drop.
Nicotine-Replacement Therapy (NRT)
NRT provides nicotine without the other harmful components of tobacco smoke. Because nicotine is the addictive substance in tobacco, NRT allows you to focus on quitting the habit. Once you’ve had a chance to change your behavior, you can wean your body off the nicotine.
Five types of NRT products have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Nicotine gums, patches and lozenges can be bought over the counter. Nicotine sprays and inhalers are available by prescription. Two non-nicotine medications have also been shown to help smokers quit. Talk to your primary care physician about which is right for you. If you’re pregnant or have heart or circulatory disease, talk with your doctor before using one of these products.
Counseling and Contact Information for Smoking Cessation
Counseling and support programs can help connect you with a motivating support system. These programs are available to help you find the best method to quit.
Aside from your doctor, other sources for referrals include your local hospital, health department or American Cancer Society chapter (800-ACS-2345 or 800-227-2345).
Another resource is the National Network of Tobacco Cessation Quit Lines (800-QUIT-NOW or 800-784-8669). A recent study of 837 daily smokers found that telephone counseling increased the use of other quit-smoking aids and improved the chance of success compared to routine health care alone.
Take the journey to quit smoking one step at a time and don’t forget these smoking cessation tips. Quitting smoking will help you keep your mouth and your entire body healthy.
How Smoking Impacts You
When we smoke, toxins enter our bloodstream and every organ in our bodies. At the same time, the carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke depletes oxygen levels in our blood. The cells throughout our bodies get less oxygen than they need to work correctly.
When we inhale from an e-cigarette or vaporizer, the battery heats up nicotine, which is the active ingredient in tobacco. Chemicals like formaldehyde and heavy metals are also reportedly inhaled. Inhaling these chemicals creates a mix of particles that invade our lungs and cause inflammation. Inflammation in the lungs is linked to cardiovascular disease, among other conditions.
How Nicotine and Tobacco Impact Your Mouth
In addition to damaging our overall health, nicotine can also cause gum disease, leading to tooth loss.
Nicotine, an active ingredient in tobacco, is a significant contributor to gum or periodontal disease. That’s because it ruins our mouth’s ability to be healthy.
Available literature suggests that nicotine affects:
- Blood flow and circulation in the gums.
- Cytokine production, slowing the regulation of swelling and immune defense.
- Neutrophils, which kill invading microorganisms.
- The rate of tissue healing.
- Other immune responses and cell functions.
Consuming nicotine stops your mouth from being able to fight for its health. Once you’re ready to quit smoking, there are resources available to help. Some of the most proven techniques include nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), medication and counseling.
If your oral health has been impacted by nicotine, click here to find a dentist near you who can help you get your oral health back on track.