Today is World No Tobacco Day – a day that encourages people to look at their smoking habits and try to quit.

But why would you want to quit?

For some it can be a very personal choice, it is after all your body and mouth that is being affected. However, your loved ones and others around you will also benefit from you quitting, as they will not be subjected to ‘passive smoking’. So, there are some great motivations to try to stop smoking.

Quitting smoking to improve your oral health

Most people are aware that smoking is bad for their general health.  However, many people do not realise the damage that smoking does to their mouths, gums, and teeth. 

Smoking can cause gum disease, oral cancer, staining of the teeth and bad breath.

It is not just smoking cigarettes which can cause some of these, but also cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco and other smokeless tobacco like Snuff.

Nobody wants bad breath on a date or people avoiding speaking to them face-to-face, at work. Stopping tobacco usage can save your social life and your career.

People who use chewing tobacco especially are far more likely to develop oral cancer. This is due to the carcinogens being so close to the soft tissues in the mouth.

After quitting for about five-to-ten years however the added risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, and voice box drops by half. If you can quit smoking for twenty years, the risk goes back to the levels before you started smoking.

Healing the heart

The heart can be affected by smoking. It can raise blood pressure, and narrow the arteries increasing the risk of stroke, heart attacks and cardiovascular disease.

Inhaling second-hand smoke can also affect those who don’t smoke in a similar fashion.  As we mentioned before, if you can’t quit for yourself alone, having the motivation to do so for family and friends can be the push you need.

The great thing about quitting smoking for your heart is that after only one to two years with tobacco the risk of heart attack drops sharply.

Then after three to six years, the added risk of cardiovascular disease drops by half.

Small changes like quitting smoking can help lead you to a healthier, longer and in many ways richer life.

In 2022, consumer spending was at about 25.1 billion British pounds on tobacco.

Breathing better

It is common that smokers’ lungs are often affected. This has led to the well-known condition of a smoker’s cough.

Tobacco especially smoking can increase the risk of lung cancer as chemicals affect the wide surface area of the lungs.

Smoking can lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which incorporates bronchitis and emphysema, and pneumonia.

After one-to-twelve months of quitting, coughing and shortness of breath decrease. The risk of lung cancer drops by half after ten to fifteen years. 

Getting your breath back can help with being more active and engaged in your life.

Getting help

In the UK, you can get help to quit smoking from an NHS Stop Smoking Service.

Local stop-smoking services are free, friendly and can massively boost your chances of quitting for good.

These services staffed by expert advisers provide a range of proven methods to help you quit.

They'll give you accurate information and advice, as well as professional support, during the first few months you stop smoking. 

This can be found at NHS stop smoking services help you quit - NHS (

More information about smoking and oral health can be found on our website: Smoking and oral health | Smokeless tobacco