- Aging & Longevity
Smoking Accelerates Aging
How Smoking Affects the Body
Smoking not only causes deadly diseases, it has a huge effect on our bodies as well in terms of the aging process. It does affect the skin, teeth, hair, eyes, heart, bones, lungs, and adds years to our appearance.
I remember a very wise woman saying to me as a child, "Susan, you have such pretty skin ... please don't ever smoke or that pretty skin will be no more. You'll end up with alligator skin just like your aunt."
My aunt who not only smoked but also worked for Macdonalds Tobacco Company in Montreal didn't really have alligator skin at all but she did have leathery skin as I recall.
As people age their hair tends to thin and some people may even go bald. This process of aging tends to accelerate for people that smoke.
Smoking can also cause premature graying of the hair.
Smoking and Skin Aging
- When you smoke your skin is deprived of oxygen and nutrients.
- Someone that smokes for ten years is more prone to end up with deep wrinkles and dry leathery skin opposed to someone that has never smoked.
- Crow's feet around the eyes may develop earlier and can be deeper for someone that smokes.
- Lines around the lips (called smokers pucker) will usually been seen on someone that smokes. This is caused from the sucking action needed to take in and inhale a cigarette.
- Smokers tend to develop age spots far quicker than a non-smoker.
- Smokers tend to have a poor tone to their skin and can have uneven coloring. If you are a smoker your skin tone will improve over time once you quit.
- There are thousands of chemicals in tobacco, and a lot of these chemicals have a destructive effect on the collagen and elastin, which in turn causes sagging skin.
How Smoking Accelerates Aging and the Eyes
By the time some people reach the age of 75 they will have developed or started to develop cataracts. This is a film that covers the eye lens. Smoking can accelerate the development of cataracts.
How Smoking Can Affect the Mouth and Teeth
Smoking not only causes bad breath and the yellow staining, but may also do the following:
Gum disease, which in turn can cause the loss of teeth. Studies have shown that smokers are twice as likely to lose their teeth compared to non-smokers.
Reasons not to start smoking or to quit.
Bones can become brittle or weakened, and people that smoke may develop osteoporosis sooner than a non-smoker.
Insomnia can be due to smoking. Sleep is needed to feel and stay young.
Radiation is released from smoking, which in turn causes aging.
For women that smoke menopause can come earlier.
Some men experience erectile dysfunction from smoking.
People that are around smokers can be harmed from secondhand smoke.
Smoking accelerates cell aging.
Energy is highly depleted from smoking.
Smoking and Aging Effects to the Heart
Blood clots are formed easier when you smoke as smoking can cause high blood pressure. When someone smokes their arteries narrow over time making it harder for the blood to get to the heart. When you take both of these and add them together it equals increased odds for a heart attack.
Why Quit Smoking?
Everyone knows that smoking causes lung cancer but if you quit within 72 hours your lung capacity increases and breathing becomes much easier. After 3 months the lungs function will increase by up to thirty percent.
One year after quitting any risk of a heart attack caused by smoking is half of what it was when you smoked.
Quit for ten years and the risk of lung cancer is cut in half.
Fifteen years after quitting and the risk of dying from a heart attack is the same as someone who's never smoked.
Just Ask Susan is not a health care professional in any capacity. Everything in this article was found through researching how smoking can accelerate aging. Please consult a medical professional or your family practitioner for further information.