By now, it’s abundantly clear that quitting smoking can help save your life. The facts don’t lie: 80 to 90 percent of lung cancer deaths are due to smoking, and smokers are six times more likely to suffer heart attacks than nonsmokers. Every year, smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths in the United States alone.
But if good health isn’t enough to entice you to quit smoking, then think about the cosmetic risks of smoking. Smoking negatively affects your skin, your eyes, and your teeth. The good news? Quitting smoking can help you look more vibrant and healthy â€” which is exactly how you’ll feel, too.
1. Brighten Your Eyes
One side effect of smoking is skin damage all over your body, and one area where you will definitely see the damage is around your eyes. The skin under the eyes is very delicate, and smoking damages this delicate tissue. Quitting smoking may have restorative benefits.
2. Put the Brakes on Wrinkles
Smoking can cause wrinkles all over your body. The thousands of chemicals in cigarette smoke cause a breakdown in the major structural components of the skin â€” elastin and collagen. When these components are damaged, your skin loses its firmness, elasticity, and strength.
Another side effect of smoking is premature ageing of the skin from the nicotine, which causes blood vessels to narrow, decreasing blood flow to the skin and resulting in a decrease in the amount of oxygen and nutrients available to skin cells.
3. Perk Up Your Breasts
Smoking doesn’t just cause surface wrinkles. Damage to skin cells can cause skin on certain areas of the body to sag. The chemicals in cigarettes cause skin to sag and lose elasticity and tone, and this can cause sagging of the upper arms and breasts. In addition, studies have linked breast cancer to smoking and secondhand smoke exposure.
4. Reverse Tooth Staining
Not surprisingly, the tar and nicotine passing through your lips and into your lungs have a big impact on the health of your mouth as well. In fact, one of the first easily visible side effects of smoking is yellow teeth. Luckily, quitting smoking can reverse this effect. Most changes in the mouth due to smoking are reversible, including bad breath and yellowed teeth. Unfortunately, oral cancers can develop that are not as easily reversible.
5. Save Your Lips and Gums
Your teeth aren’t the only part of your mouth negatively affected by smoking. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, the risks from smoking and other tobacco products can also lead to oral cancer, bad breath, discoloration of gums, tooth loss, lost sense of taste, gum recession, and mouth sores. Smokers usually get burns on their lips or the inside of their cheeks, which can resolve when they quit. People who quit smoking will see an improvement in their breath and sense of taste.
6. Rid Your Nails of Stains
Here’s a side effect of smoking that some smokers aren’t even aware of: ugly stains on hands and fingers, particularly the fingers that hold all those cigarettes. After you quit smoking, you will notice a line on your fingernail between the new-growth nail (non-stained) and the stained nail. Eventually, the new nail will replace the stained nail. In many people, the stains on their fingers will eventually fade.
7. Put a Shine on Your Hair
Even your hair will show more shine and lustre, and possibly stay in place longer, when you finally get around to quitting smoking. The 7,000 chemicals in cigarettes affect every cell in the body, including hair follicles. Smoking has been associated with hair loss. Quitting smoking makes your hair look and smell better as the lingering “ashtray” odour is gone.MYNEWSHUB