During a recent trip to Mexico, I noticed that in a lot of the stores, the cigarettes had graphic pictures on the boxes. There were pictures of diseased lungs, dead fetuses and babies with cigarettes in their mouth just to name a few. I remember thinking how effective that may be to someone who is on the fence about their usage of smoking.
So, it was to my surprise when I heard that they were going to do a similar campaign in the states. The Food and Drug Administration announced that the addition of these graphic warning labels will take effect in September 2012. Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Smoking causes heart disease, stroke, and lung diseases (including emphysema, bronchitis, and chronic airway obstruction).
- For every person who dies from a smoking- related disease, 20 more people suffer with at least one serious illness from smoking.
- Worldwide, tobacco use causes more than 5 million deaths per year, and current trends show that tobacco use will cause more than 8 million deaths annually by 2030.
- In the Unites States, tobacco use is responsible for about one in five deaths annually( i.e. about 443,000 deaths per year, and an estimated 49,000 of these tobacco-related deaths are the result of secondhand smoke exposure).
- On average, smokers die 13 to 14 years earlier than nonsmokers.
There is also a growing body of evidence which suggests smoking and periodontal disease is closely linked. Smokers have more of the harmful bacteria that cause periodontal disease, and they are four times more likely to have advanced periodontal disease.
Another good reason to see your dentist on a regular basis!