You’ve heard it all: Smoking can cause lung cancer, blah blah… Or have you?
Moving beyond the gruesome pictures of ulcerated tongue cancer on cigarette packs (that will never happen to me, right?), did you know that smoking is a surefire way to make yourself look older, grow fatter and worsen your acne?
So if the threats of cancer and cardiovascular disease ain’t enough to convince you to toss the pack, perhaps these lesser known facts will give you fabulous reasons to stick to your quit date.
DID YOU KNOW?: Every Puff You Take Induces….
With more than 4000 chemicals in tobacco smoke – many of which trigger the breakdown of collagen and elastin that give skin its strength and crease-resisting elasticity – it’s no wonder smoking or even being clouded in secondhand smoke leaches away your youth. Since the 1970’s, studies have shown that smoking results in more premature wrinkles than sun exposure.To be exact, those who smoked one pack for 25 years have 5 times more wrinkles than non-smokers, according to research!
Lids and lips, in particular, take a double hit from cigarette smoking. Besides degrading the springy collagen in the skin, the heat from burning cigarettes and squinting to keep fumes out of the eyes cause crow’s feet to develop much earlier and deeper. Pursing your lips around the cigarette also creases the delicate perioral skin, etching in vertical “smoker’s lines” which tend to be difficult to erase.
Read More: How to Protect Your Skin from Pollution
As the collagen-elastin “building blocks” of skin get eroded away faster than usual while new collagen regeneration is impaired in smokers, the skin loses its firmness and succumbs to gravity, i.e. your face sags prematurely. And the damage is, as expected, not limited to your face. Tobacco also takes its toll on your body too: Think bingo wings, knobbly knees and saggy breasts. Scientists have identified smoking as the most important preventable cause of the boob droop.
Read More: Youth Revival – 5 Years Off Your Face in 60 Minutes
DULLNESS & UNEVEN SKIN TONE
Skin that is chronically deprived of oxygen and vital nutrients as a result of smoking may appear pale or develop uneven pigmentation and broken capillaries. That will, in turn, suck away your glow and pile on years to your appearance.
Read More: Your Kick-Ass Pigmentation Guide
Who is the Smoker?: While anyone can develop spots and wrinkly leather of a skin from bad UV damage, research suggests smokers are much more susceptible. Twin studies allow doctors to examine the effects of lifestyle more closely as identical twins are genetically programmed to age in the same way. And the difference is striking – at 61 yrs old, this pair of twins no longer look identical. The twin on the right who spent decades smoking and sun basking look easily a decade older, as compared to her sister who did not.
By reducing healthy blood microcirculation in your skin, tobacco predisposes you to more infections and zits. Impairing wound healing also means smoker’s acne is more pesky than usual.
Read More: Secret Spot Saboteurs – Acne Culprits You Never Suspected
Smoking attracts additional abdominal mass, expanding your waistline even without actual weight gain. But research has also revealed that out of the 16 to 24-year-old girls, those who puffed cigarettes are the most overweight.
Think you look sexy with a cigarette perched between your fingers? Yellowish nicotine stain due to the deposition of tar on nails is definitely not this season’s trendiest colour. Similarly, these unsightly stubborn stains are notorious for marring pearly whites as well.
A yellow smile gives the smoker away. But that’s not as repulsive as persistent foul breath and greenish sputum. Bad breath plagues smokers and is one of the major reasons why relationships have ended in 20 percent of people. In interviews by Burn Magazine, many celebrities have indicated that they prefer to kiss non-smokers. Moreover, smokers are predisposed to gum disease and are twice as likely to lose their teeth.
Read More: Banish Bad Breath
It is common to see hair thinning and greys with age in both men and women, but smoking can accelerate this process. Toxins in the tobacco accumulate in strands, causing brittleness and increased hair breakage. Taiwanese researchers have identified smoking as a risk factor for male-pattern baldness in Asian men as well. Instead, tobacco may promote hair in the least attractive places for ladies. Chemicals inhaled with the nicotine can induce a ‘wo’-ustache to sprout by increasing the male hormones in women.
Read More: Genius Hair Loss Solutions
Another secret reason why smokers appear less happy and radiant might lie in their bedrooms. Smoking weakens blood circulation, accounting for the fact that male tobacco users are twice as likely to experience erectile dysfunction compared to their non-smoking counterparts. The damage doesn’t stop there. Substances in tobacco can poison your family jewels to drop sperm counts and mobility.
Women aren’t spared. Cigarette smoking induces more rapid breakdown of oestrogen (the female hormone) by the liver, thus reducing sexual interest. Tobacco also makes the girls more liable to vaginal infection and foul-smelling discharge by disrupting the good bacterial flora.
Read More: The Perks of Getting Physical
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– By Claudia Lin