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Filter cigarettes ‘do not reduce oral cancer risk’

Posted by Allie Wright

The British Dental Health Foundation has highlighted the fact that switching from regular cigarettes to filter products does not reduce the harmful effects of smoking on oral health.

It was pointed out by the body that smokers still face an increased risk of oral cancers, as well as other health issues, if they continue to smoke filter cigarettes.

The Department of Health has recently launched a new campaign to encourage smokers to quit in the New Year and with No Smoking Day approaching, chief executive of the foundation Dr Nigel Carter stated it is “unnerving” and “predictable” that many members of the general public believe they are cutting their chances of developing mouth cancer by moving to filter cigarettes.

Published in the journal Oral Diseases, results of a new piece of research showed for those who smoked filtered cigarettes and for those who smoked normal cigarettes, the numbers of cases of mouth cancer remained at the same level.

“This piece of research shows they do anything but, and the chance of developing mouth cancer remains,” said Dr Carter, who added: “There is no shortage of information available on what smoking does to you and why you should quit, yet one in five people will continue with the habit.”

The foundation’s chief executive cited statistics showing mouth cancer kills a person in the UK every five hours, while the number of people being diagnosed with the condition is expected to grow in the coming years.

He said: “That is why the Foundation has lobbied for plain packaging on tobacco packs, and continually raises awareness of the disease through our annual mouth cancer campaign.”

Dr Carter noted other risk factors involved in the development of mouth cancer include drinking alcohol to excess, poor diet and exposure to the human papilloma virus.

One way to cut the chances of being diagnosed with mouth cancer could be to drink coffee, as a recent study showed those who consume the beverage are less likely to develop the disease.

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