As per the latest study conducted by the World Health Organization, one billion people smoke worldwide, which constitute about 20% of the entire world population. Cigarette smoking has numerous health hazards but lung cancer is the most known to generations. Smoking, at the same time, is also responsible for cardiovascular diseases and heart stroke yet, accelerated aging continues to remain the most ignored and standard consequence of smoking.
Although, aging is an unstoppable natural phenomenon of the human body, which none of us really like, consistent smokers get this damage severed, in a more intense and rapid way.
Let us understand how smoking impacts certain areas under the aging process
- SKIN: Cigarette smoking devolves in us, the key components that maintain a youthful appearance namely – collagen, elastin and tissues.
- Wrinkles: Nicotine, an active constituent of tobacco, causes the blood vessels in the epidermis, outermost layer of the skin, to narrow. As a result, the blood flow to the skin is impeded, cutting off considerable amount of oxygen and nutrient supplies to the skin. Consequently, the skin begins to sag and is deeply wrinkled, prematurely.
- Scars: Lack of oxygen in the skin is one reason why scarring is common to cigarette smokers. Due to their deoxygenated skin tissues, wounds take forever to heal and thus, leave scars behind. Meanwhile, the skin fibres and connecting tissues are also damaged by nicotine, forcing the skin to lose its strength and elasticity.
- Dull appearance: The carbon monoxide in the cigarette smoke leaves the skin dry and bicolored, making its natural glow to recede. It does so by displacing the oxygen content in the skin, which further drains out vital nutrients, such as vitamin A and C, responsible for skin repair. It also leaves the skin unevenly toned.
- Skin cancer: According to an early 21st century study, smokers have three times the ability to develop cancer due to tobacco chemicals. These chemicals contain nearly 4000 carcinogenic ingredients, which have enough potential to cause cancer.
- EYES: it is annoying for a normal person when he doesn’t get to sleep well and dark circles and under eye bags begin to appear. However, the situation gets even worse for you as a smoker, because with consistent smoking, your body develops a habit of nicotine. While you are sleeping, the insufficient supply of nicotine to your body keeps your system at unrest. This leaves you sleep deprived and causes your under eyes to swell. Smoking also causes eye muscles to degenerate swiftly, causing cataract or vision loss.
- TEETH: Would you love a stained-teeth smile? I bet you would not! Wondering why I asked this? Well, this is what smoking does to your teeth, stains them! Smoking has the power to make you face all kind of dental issues including oral cancer. With continuous smoking, smokers expose themselves to a high risk of periodontal disease and tooth loss.
- HAIR: Your toxic smoking habit would leave no stone unturned in catalysing your aging. The hazardous effects of smoking are also visible on your hair. The virulent cigarette smoke is potent in damaging the hair follicle DNA and generates free radicals that vandalize skin cells. It results in comparatively thinner and weaker hair, which eventually turns into massive hair loss and high risk of baldness.
Smoking can potentially age you in 30 years, while the results start appearing in 10 years or so. Therefore, it is just about time you put away that cigarette, once and for all. Yeah, we know it is not a child’s play but you can make it way easier by focussing on the pointers mentioned below.
- Make a secret plan: We know bad habits die hard, therefore smokers can get bull-headed when it comes to quitting cigarettes. Adopting a non-smoking behaviour begins right there, with a smoker’s will. Develop that instinct and design an action plan to give up smoking.
- Keep yourself engaged: Once you make a resolution, ensure to stick by it. Avoid the craving by keeping yourself busy in constructive activities like reading a book, watching a movie, going out on a walk or planning a family outing.
- Avoid smoking stimulators: Stay determined and keep yourself away from anything or anyone that reminds you of your ex buddy, the cigarettes. Surround yourself with non-smokers, visit smoke free restaurants, avoid caffeine, drink lots of water and develop healthy eating habits to stay fresh as a tired body urges to smoke more.
- Positive outlook: An optimist approach is a must if you plan to quit smoking. You may begin with gradually decreasing the number of cigarettes smoked per day, but that’s ok! It demands a lot of determination and positive attitude over a long span of time to be able to become smoke free. After all, it is needless to expect, that this addiction will just magically disappear overnight, although the end result is no less than a magic.
- Seek help: Undoubtedly your will power is the most important aspect of your ‘quit-smoking’ pact. However, it is not wise to solely rely on it. Ask your friends and family for their support whenever you see yourself giving up to that cigarette pack. They will keep you in high spirits and ensure that you make it till the end.
Whatever your excuse may be for adorning this evil habit, this column will make you realise, it is not worth it. No matter at what stage of addiction you are, it is still possible to retreat and fight against rapid aging, which is caused by smoking. Fortunately, you also have great anti-aging cosmetic range, like the life cell anti aging cream, backing you in the process.
Anne Pennington shares diverse perspectives on the health and skincare industry in US. Her life revolves around things that are healthy and natural to keep the sanctity of our skin alive. She uses her passion for writing to share her observation and experience to make lives of her readers better.