Life

Ask the Dentist: The benefits of changing to e-cigs

Dentist Lucy Stock of Gentle Dental Care in Belfast looks at the role of e-cigarettes in cutting smoking rates

'Any way in which smoking numbers can be cut, and therefore lives saved, is positive'

A RECENT review has found that e-cigarettes are 95 per cent less harmful to health than tobacco and a major influence in helping people quit smoking. The British Dental Health Foundation wants to help work towards the proposed tobacco-free generation by 2025, saving countless lives.

The expert independent evidence published in the report found that e-cigarettes are significantly less harmful than tobacco and have real potential in helping smokers quit smoking.

"We are very happy that smoking rates in the UK are in a steady decline but more attention is needed to bring a stop to this deadly habit," Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, says.

"This report has shown conclusively that use of e-cigarettes has the potential to further reduce levels of smoking and save people from the many deadly diseases which are caused by tobacco, such as mouth cancer.

"Smoking is the cause of many serious oral health problems including worsening gum disease. It is also responsible for the majority of mouth cancers and is the direct cause of thousands of deaths every year.

"Every year almost 7,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with mouth cancer and it leads to more deaths than testicular and cervical cancer combined.

"There has been a major trend recently towards the use of e-cigarettes, and they are now the number one quitting aid used by smokers. Getting smokers to use safer forms of nicotine such as these can be highly effective in helping people to quit and something which we fully support. We need to spread the message that e-cigarettes, while not risk free, are much less harmful than smoking, as currently nearly half the population are not aware of this.

"The review also highlighted that there is no evidence that e-cigarettes are a pathway for people to start smoking. This is an accusation which has been levelled on the industry and one now which is likely to be incorrect."

The British Dental Health Foundation believe that there is a long way to go to before we get to a smoke-free lifestyle but any way in which smoking numbers can be cut, and therefore lives saved, is positive and one which we will support.

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