Smoking and cancer statistics

LungsThe Canadian Cancer Society has published recent statistics concerning this disease. Although these statistics follow studies on the Canadian population, they can also portrait the situation in other countries as well. Here are those statistics:

  • Smoking is responsible for 30% of all deaths related to any cancer.
  • Smoking is responsible for 85% of all deaths related to lung cancer.
  • Cases of death related to cancer have decreased of 2.2% each year (from 1997 to 2006) because Canadians are smoking less.
  • Lung cancer remains the type of cancer that has the least survival rates, 16% of affected patients are still alive after 5 years, whereas 62 % of patients of other cancers survive after 5 years.
  • Lung cancer is the second most common cancer for both men and women; the first most common cancer is prostate cancer for men and breast cancer for women.

I know all humans beings are destined to die one day, but why not stop smoking and live a longer and healthier life!

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Smoking related to birth defects

I would like to address the tobacco subject again in this blog in hope to convince more people to stop smoking. This week I read that British doctors have determined that if a woman smoked while she was pregnant, the risk for her baby having missing or deformed limbs, or a cleft lip increases by 25%!

Some would think that the risk remains low, and others would argue that their own mother smoked while she was pregnant. But it’s up to each woman to decide whether to take that chance or not.

A baby born with missing limbs would have life long challenges to adapt with society and live a normal life. But being a dentist myself who normally notices oral problems, the cleft lip defect related to smoking caught my attention immediately.

Cleft lip

A cleft lip looks like a fissure of the upper lip near the centre of the face. It can reach the nose or even affect part of the palate. Those defects can lead to other problems such as ear infections, speech and feeding problems, and having trouble maintaining a normal social life.

A baby born with a cleft lip can have aesthetic surgery as soon as 10 weeks after birth to correct the defect. Orthodontic treatment might also be required later on in life with cases of cleft palate if the jaws and teeth are affected are misaligned.

Other smoking impacts

Other than cleft lips and missing limbs, it is important to address all the problems related to smoking during pregnancy. Many chemicals in tobacco smoke, such as nicotine and carbon monoxide, are passed on to the baby through the placenta.

Here are some bad impacts on babies if their mother smoked while pregnant:

  • Nicotine increases a baby’s heart rate and breathing movements.
  • During pregnancy, mothers who smoke have a greater risk of miscarriages.
  • During the birth, smoking mothers are more likely to have complications.
  • The chances of a baby’s dying at birth or shortly thereafter are increased if the mother has smoked during pregnancy.
  • Some of the chemicals passed on through the mother’s blood are known to cause cancer.
  • Babies of women who smoked or were exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke during pregnancy are, on average, smaller at birth than babies of non-smoking mothers. Smoking mothers give birth to infants who weigh less than babies from non-smoking mothers. Newborns with a lower-than-average birth weight are more likely to get infections and have other health problems.
  • There is a clear relationship between the number of cigarettes smoked during pregnancy and a slowdown in the growth of the foetus. These babies are also more prone to perinatal complications, illnesses and death.

My own mother smoked while she was pregnant with me and I turned out fine. Unfortunately she passed away from lung cancer. But when she was young, like all people of her generation, she didn’t know all the health hazards caused by smoking that we know today.

I hope this article will convince some women not to smoke when they are pregnant, or even better, to quit completely.

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Why is it bad to smoke after tooth extraction?

Man in Pain, Wanting to SmokeSmoking is very bad for your health, and especially after your dentist has removed a tooth. Ideally, if you need to smoke, you must wait 48 to 72 hours after the surgery. If someone tells you to wait only 4 hours, do it at your own risk!

The reason you must wait is that smoking can slow down the healing process in your mouth, and even cause serious complications. The smoke has chemical toxins that not only harm your lungs but also your surgery site. Also, the suction done when smoking can dislodge the blood cloth from the socket it is in.

One major complication is called dry socket. It is a very painful condition around the tooth extraction site, which can cause bad smell and limit how big your open your mouth. It usually happens 3-4 days after the surgery. If you do nothing, it will eventually go away, but if you see a dentist, he can put a desensitizing drug to make it go faster.

Full Article: When Can Someone Smoke after a Tooth Extraction?
In French: Pourquoi est-ce qu’il ne faut pas fumer après avoir enlevé une dent?

When can someone smoke after tooth extraction?

Following dental extraction, which includes the removal of wisdom teeth, a lot of people who are smokers may ask themselves when can they start smoking again.

After tooth extraction, a blood clot slowly forms in the hole left in the bone by the removed tooth. This blood cloth is the initial phase of the healing process. The blood cloth’s formation can be slowed down when a person smokes, either from the suction done during the smoking action, or from the chemical toxins that come from a cigarette. This can lead to complications such as a dry socket, which is a temporary and very painful condition that occurs when the blood cloth forms slowly.

It is therefore recommended to wait at least 48 to 72 hours before smoking after a dental extraction. Smoking is very bad for someone’s health and stopping completely is mostly recommended.


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