8 March 2016

Leading UK health charity, the British Dental Health Foundation is calling on smokers to use No Smoking Day 2016 as an opportunity to quit smoking and help save their children's teeth.

After a recent study highlighted a significant link between second hand smoke and tooth decay in children, the charity is calling for smokers to be aware of the devastating effects smoking has on those around them.

The six year-long survey of almost 80,000 children found that exposure to second hand smoke increased the instances of dental caries by one and a half times1.

Many smokers are aware of the serious health consequences of smoking on themselves, but far too many remain oblivious to the full effect that it can have on their oral health and that of those closest to them.

Dr Nigel Carter OBE, Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, said: "Smoking is one of the worse things you can do to your own mouth, but you also have to be aware of the terrible effects it can have on those around you.

"Smoking can lead to tooth staining, gum disease, increased risk of tooth loss, and even in severe cases mouth cancer. This study demonstrates the serious health effects smoking has on some of the most vulnerable people around you.

"More than 33,000 children were admitted to hospital for tooth extractions under general anaesthetic in the last year, with tooth decay being the biggest reason for this. If reducing the risk of second hand smoke can make even a small impact on these horrendous figures, then it will be a hugely positive thing.

"We are calling for you to use No Smoking Day as a springboard to fully understand the effects smoking has on yourself and people around you, and the huge benefits quitting can have. 

The British Dental Health Foundation is supporting the British Heart Foundation's annual No Smoking Day campaign and is encouraging people to quit on Wednesday March 9, 2016.

The theme of this year's campaign is 'Proud to be a quitter'. This presents quitting smoking as something to be proud of, and 'quitters' as people to be admired. 

The campaign showcases a selection of Proud Quitters - each highlighting a key motivation for quitting. These range from concerns about health and appearance; through to worries about the impact smoking might have on their loved ones.  

The charity is urging people to speak to their GP, local smoking cessation services or simply tell family and friends about their ambitions to quit; ensuring they are surrounded by encouragement and support to help maintain motivation.

Last year the campaign helped to inspire thousands of people to embark on their quitting journey and we hope this year's No Smoking Day will see many more proud quitters come out the other side.

For more information about how smoking can specifically affect your own oral health, visit the British Dental Health Foundation's website.

To get involved in No Smoking Day 2016, Wednesday March 9 or to receive information and support on stopping smoking visit nosmokingday.org.uk.

  1. Secondhand smoke and incidence of dental caries in deciduous teeth among children in Japan: population based retrospective cohort study, British Medical Journal, 2005