Ask The Dentist: Time to kiss smoking goodbye

Smoking is the largest preventable cause of premature death in the world and doubles the risk of your teeth falling out. However, whatever works for you is the right way to quit, writes Lucy Stock, dentist at Gentle Dental Care in Belfast

Smoking has never been more unpopular
Smoking has never been more unpopular Smoking has never been more unpopular

THINKING of smooching a smoker? Well feel the draft at your party, because a survey conducted by new purpose-driven channel Change Incorporated found that out of 2,000 adults surveyed, 10 per cent of the UK were more likely to want to kiss someone who had not brushed their teeth than kiss a smoker.

Indeed, five per cent preferred to lip dance with BoJo, 18 per cent felt garlic breath was more appealing – and hang your heads in shame the seven per cent who deemed puckering up to Trump was more enticing than locking lips with a smoker.

The people quizzed were also more inclined to kiss somebody with a cold sore than someone smoking a cigarette. With smoking being the largest preventable cause of premature death in the world and doubling the risk of teeth falling out before the final curtain, Change Incorporated is pushing for a national effort to encourage the UK to quit smoking for good.

One in 10 of us, in the past, checked if someone smoked before agreeing to meet them for a date, pointing to a bigger shift in society where smoking is losing its appeal due to the growing importance of maintaining wellbeing.

Change Incorporated have discovered some kooky ways smokers have tried to kick the habit. One US woman buried her cigarettes in the garden so that anytime she wanted to smoke she had to dig them up and it actually did the trick. That was 18 years ago.

John (42) works as a truck driver and was smoking up to 40 cigarettes a day before deciding to quit four years ago.

"I downloaded an app which worked out I was spending over £100 a week on fags, which helped motivate me," he explains.

By fining himself £5 every time he lit up, he managed to get the final incentive he needed.

"I promised to give the money to a local children’s hospice and I raised over £300 for a good cause and managed to quit at the same time."

Then there is the back-to-infancy technique which was used by actress Liz Hurley in 2000. She was photographed sunbathing with a dummy in her mouth and, according to her spokesperson at the time, she was using the dummy as an alternative to smoking. She believed this provided the same oral comfort as a cigarette.

It all comes down to whatever floats your boat – anything that helps you to quit is the 'right way'.