Surgeon General Links Smoking And Health Problems

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SmokingFifty years after the first report  by the surgeon general, Boris Lushniak spoke at a White House event giving the public an update. The new report expands the list of illnesses caused by smoking to include orofacial clefts in infants. These clefts can be caused when a woman smokes during early pregnancy. This report also looked deeper into the link between smoking tobacco use and other health problems like oral cancer, gum disease, and dental decay.

In 1964, Surgeon General Dr. Luther Terry first looked into the effects of smoking on oral health. Since then, the ADA  and its members have worked to advance public policies that would decrease public tobacco and smoking use.  These policies include;

  1. empowering the Food and Drug Administration to regulate smoking tobacco products
  2. classifying nicotine as an addictive substance
  3. mandating warning labels on tobacco products
  4. significant taxes on smoking tobacco products
  5. setting age restrictions for the purchase of smoking tobacco products
  6. banning the sale of smoking tobacco products in vending machines

In fifty years, scientists have learned a lot about how tobacco can effect oral health. This includes issues for people who smoke as well as people who are exposed to tobacco smoke. These fifty years have been very beneficial in giving people a lot of information to make the best health decisions for themselves and their families.

Smoking can effect all aspects of a persons’ life, including their dental health. If you are a smoker, please inform your dentist so that they can be aware and treat your dental issues as effectively as possible. When doing dental surgeries, people who smoke often have a longer healing time than people who do not smoke. And people may heal differently than people who do not smoke. So, if you are getting a dental implant, gum surgery, or another similar procedure, please let your dentist know if you are a smoker.