Smoking Cessation – Helping You Quit

Smoking cigarettes is one of the leading causes of multiple diseases and premature deaths in the United States today.   According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 16 million Americans are living with smoking-related diseases and an estimated 480,000 deaths will occur each year as a result of smoking.

Smoking cigarettes affects many aspects of health. Direct association has been established between smoking and cancers of the lung, mouth, nose, throat, larynx, esophagus, colon and rectum, stomach, pancreas, cervix, bladder, kidney and blood.

Many lung conditions are either caused or aggravated by cigarette smoke. It irritates bronchial airways and stimulates mucous production leading to decreased elasticity and functional failure. Patients suffering from COPD, asthma, chronic bronchitis or emphysema have a much higher risk of dying when repeatedly exposed to smoke.

Smokers are also at greater risk for cardiovascular disease. Smoking damages blood vessels, making them stiff and narrow. This can obstruct blood flow which may result in elevated blood pressure, heart attacks or strokes.

Smoking tobacco is an addiction similar to heroin and cocaine. It can be successfully treated, however, majority of cases require three and more attempts.

Studies have shown that these five, common sense steps, provide the best chance for quitting smoking for good:

1. Get ready: set a quit date and throw out all cigarettes and ashtrays from your home.

2. Get support: tell your family, friends and doctor about quitting plans; search the internet for advice.

3.  Learn new behaviors: distract yourself from the urge to smoke; exercise or go for a walk.

4. Get medication: combining medication like nicotine patches with behavioral adaptation and family support quadruples your chances of success.

5. Be prepared for relapse and difficult situations- most people try to quit a few times before succeeding.

Flushing Hospital Medical Center provides extensive assistance for people willing to quit smoking.  We offer a free smoking cessation support group every Wednesday. The hospital also offers one-on-one sessions, both in person or by phone.  For more information please call, 718-206-8494.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

How Smoking Effects Your Oral Health

Teeth bad company.

It is no secret that smoking can have a great number of adverse effects on the health of the smoker. It is only natural that oral health would be one of the areas most negatively affected by oral smoke inhalation. The most ideal option to reverse the damage to your teeth caused by smoking is to quit smoking but, in most cases it is easier said than done.

Smoking can cause many serious problems for teeth and oral structures. Gum disease is among the most common oral problems, putting smokers at an increased risk. Smokers are four times more likely to develop this problem than non-smokers. Gum disease occurs when plaque build-up is present. As a result tooth loss can occur. Due to the harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke, smokers are twice aslikely to suffer tooth loss than non-smokers.

Smokers are at a higher risk for developing leukoplakia, leading to throat, lung, and oral cancers. It can cause the salivary glands to become swollen and contribute to the break-down of bone structure. In addition smokers also have a harder time recovering from dental procedures such as plaque removal treatments, dental implants, and tooth removal.

Due to an increased and steady buildup of plaque and tarter, the teeth of a smoker are less attractive in appearance. Smoking also stains the teeth and can cause bad breath. In some smokers, the tongue can develop a condition known as black hairy tongue, due to a growth that may grow as a result of tobacco use. Smokers may also lose the sensation of taste and smell.

While quitting smoking is the most effective way to ensure better oral health, regular dental visits are a must. Given all of the risks and complications of smoking on oral health it is very important that smokers do not skip regular checkups with their dentists. During these visits, dentists can watch for signs of developing gum disease and oral cancers. Everyone should visit their dentist twice a year, but those who smoke should consider more frequent visits.

The Dental Department at Flushing Hospital Medical Center specializes in a wide selection of dental services. To schedule an appointment, please call 718-670-5521. The journey to quit smoking can be difficult, but you do not have to do it alone. Flushing Hospital’s smoking cessation team wants to help you develop a plan leading to your “quit day”. For more information please call 718-206-8494.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.