Posted by Joanne Mellor
Moves to ban the sale of tobacco through vending machines in Northern Ireland have been welcomed by the British Dental Health Foundation (BDHF).
The organisation noted smoking is one of the main causes of mouth cancer in the UK and stated the restriction – set to come into force from March 1st – is a welcome measure that will stop young people obtaining tobacco from unsupervised sources.
Chief executive of the BDHF Dr Nigel Carter said the ban, which is already in force in England and Wales, will make it more difficult for this age group to engage in smoking.
“It will also protect them from the long-term ill-effects of tobacco use, including the risk of mouth cancer,” he said.
Key warning signs for the disease include mouth ulcers that do not heal within three weeks, red and white patches inside the mouth and unusual lumps or swelling.
Dr Carter had previously noted those who beat the disease may be left with scarring that can make it difficult to eat or speak.
Other risk factors for mouth cancer include excessive alcohol consumption, poor diet and some sexually-transmitted infections such as the HPV virus.