How does smoking impact your body?

Guest Post.

When it comes to smoking, it can affect your body in many different ways. Increasing your risk of cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease and many other illnesses, perhaps the time to quit is now.

Although the effects of smoking may take time to develop, it can begin to have a drastic impact on your health in later life. However, smoking also has detrimental effects on your appearance — issues that will be clear for you and others to see.

Your stop smoking journey will not be easy, but it’s well worth it; here’s some of the ways that smoking will affect your appearance and why it may be time to kick the habit for good:

Your skin

When you smoke, your skin will start to age prematurely – making your skin appear dull and grey. Premature aging of your skin by between 10 and 20 years will also occur from smoking.

Nicotine also causes vasoconstriction, a condition that sees blood vessels being narrowed; oxygen-rich blood flow to the tiny vessels found around your face is also affected, as well as blood flow to other parts of your body being limited. The problem of this condition will be seen if you suffer a wound, as vasoconstriction will take it longer to heal and result in scars appearing bigger and redder than those who aren’t affected by the condition.

The chemicals in tobacco smoke, 4,000 in total, will also destroy the collagen and elastin within your skin. These are fibres required to give skin its strength and elasticity — lose them and sagging skin and deeper wrinkles will be the consequence, which will be seen especially around the inner arms, breasts and face.

If you regularly smoke, then ‘smoker’s pucker’ will begin to occur around your mouth, as the muscles you use to smoke will produce wrinkles around the mouth. Combined with a loss of elasticity to the skin, the result in regards to appearance will be deep lines around the lips.

Your eyes

Although everyone will start to notice wrinkles around the eyes at some point in their lives, smoking the chance of producing ‘crow’s feet’ wrinkles around the eyes prematurely. However, they develop earlier and go deeper when you smoke due to the heat from lit cigarettes and also as a result of a smoker squinting in an attempt to keep smoke out of their eyes.

A study by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have previously suggested that those who smoke cigarettes are four times more likely to report feeling unrested after a night’s sleep than non-smokers, as well as bags under the eyes. The study, which involved the analysis of the sleep architecture of 40 smokers and a matched group of 40 nonsmokers who all undertook home polysomnography, also suggested that smokers spend less time in a deep sleep than non-smokers.

Author of the study, Naresh M. Punjabi, MD, PhD, FCCP, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, has commented: “It is possible that smoking has time-dependent effects across the sleep period. Smokers commonly experience difficulty falling asleep due to the stimulating effects of nicotine. As night evolves, withdrawal from nicotine may further contribute to sleep disturbance.”




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