It is our pleasure to serve you and we are thankful that you have chosen our office. In an effort to help establish your overall, not only oral, health, we are happy that you have expressed interest in quitting smoking.
There are far reaching implications from smoking that put you at significant risk for some serious problems. Although many know the risks associated with lung problems(emphysema, etc.), you may not be aware that the Amercain Heart Association deems smoking as the single most preventable cause of premature death in the US. It significantly increases your risk for peripheral artery and coronary heart disease which could lead to heart attack and stroke. Orally, it is nearly impossible to establish healthy gums and bone while smoking. This is a chronic infection that has been linked to poor control of diabetes and heart disease as well. You may have seen in the news that Maryland has one of the highest incidences of cancer, specifically oral cancer in the country.
The latest statistics from the Maryland Family Health Administration include:
- Over 500 people are diagnosed with oral cancer in Maryland each year.
- 65% of the oral cancer diagnosed in Maryland is diagnosed at late stage.
- Maryland ranks 8th in the nation in the number of deaths from oral cancers.
- 25% of the oral cancer in Maryland is found in African American men.
We know that all of this is very intimidating, but there is a lot of good news too. Taking the initiative to quit is the first step to eliminating this risk factor and becoming a healthier you!! We are most excited about a new medication that helps to control cravings. This medication, Chantix, has had great success, even in people who have tried before with gums and patches and not been successful. It most often involves twelve weeks on the medication. We encourage you to ask your doctor about this great new advance in helping people quit.
It will definitely be difficult, especially at first. That is why it is important to enlist support and people to encourage you as you progress. First, we are definitely here for you. If you would like more information or to talk about your plan for quitting, let us know. Additionally, there are several hospitals in the area who have programs and/or support groups. Each one has its own benefits and some even offer free gum and patches. From downtown to Union Memorial to CCBC Dundalk, we can find one that is convenient for you.