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Smokers are still largely in the dark about side effects, new research has found. However after being made aware to the possibility of mouth cancer, the majority of people are willing to quit. Embargoed data by national charity the Oral Health Foundation was conducted to look into the people’s lifestyle, and how lack of awareness about oral health factors into this. The research has found that more than half of Brits consume alcohol at least once a week, however 64% are still unaware that drinking alcohol causes mouth cancer. 6 in 10 of those surveyed are also unaware that drug usage causes mouth cancer.
And when it comes to smoking, almost one in three (30%) people didn’t realise that smoking cigarettes can significantly increase risk of mouth cancer. Occasional smokers admitted that if they knew it would increase the risk of mouth cancer, 63% of them would quit. With the holiday season around the corner, now might be the best time to start change early. More than half of the people surveyed admit that they drink a lot more alcohol more than usual during the festive season. And when under the influence of alcohol, Brits are more likely to eat unhealthy food (18%), skip brushing teeth (9%) and have a cigarette (9%). However, according to the Oral Health Foundation, people who smoke and drink excessively are actually 30 times more likely to get mouth cancer.
But the research, jointly commissioned by Denplan, part of Simplyhealth, also has found that people are willing to change. The research has found that 49% of people would change their diet if they knew it would increase the risks of mouth cancer, and a third would similarly reduce consumption of alcohol.
Aston spoke to Dr Ben Atkins, president-elect and trustee at oral health foundation and Dr Catherine Rutland, Clinical director at Simplyhealth Professionals to discuss the research in further detail and also raise awareness about mouth cancer.