HABITS: Young adults need 'extra support' to quit smoking
YOUNG ADULTS need more information about the benefits of kicking their smoking habit, the results of a recent study revealed.
According to the survey, published in the American Journal of Public Health3, three out of five (60 per cent) of 18-29 year olds made no attempt to quit smoking. It was also found that only one in four (25 per cent) attempted to quit, while one in seven (14 per cent) lasted more than 30 days without lighting up.
The study noted the number of young people smoking was a concern, concluding that enhanced smoking cessation, targeted at this group, has the potential to "significantly improve" the health of the public.
With such a high proportion of young adults making no attempt to stub out smoking, leading oral health charity the British Dental Health Foundation has urged smoking cessation groups across the country to provide clearer, more informed information about the hazards posed by smoking.
Chief Executive of the Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, said: “The results of the study certainly suggest there is plenty of room for improvement when it comes to getting young adults to kick the habit. Factors such as social economic status and peer pressure often mean young adults will be more reluctant to listen to any health information they are given.
“It is here the profession needs to take extra responsibility. Smoking cessation has long been considered a dentist’s responsibility, and clearer advice on why young adults should give up smoking is a must.
“The Foundation’s Tell Me About series has some excellent advice and information on what smoking does to oral health. While many people know it can cause teeth to become stained, many do not know it can lead to gum disease, tooth loss and even mouth cancer.
“If the profession as a whole comes together and reaches out to people of all ages, hopefully we will see the number of mouth cancer cases fall resulting from tobacco use.”
Dr Carter added: “With many so called ‘social smokers’ having a cigarette while they drink the likelihood is that the number of poor dental health and increased cases of illness will continue to rise until people are forced to take notice.
“Encouraging people to quit these habits early could be life-saving. No Smoking Day on 13 March and National Smile Month, which takes place from 20 May to 20 June this year, are great windows of opportunity for those who need motivation to quit.”