Smoking? Have You Ever Thought About Stopping?

Growing up I was surrounded by people that was smoking. A lot of my friends, my boyfriends, family friends and my mum were all smoking and I never thought anything of it when I was younger. It was "normal" that my mum smoked. My dad had been smoking when he was very young, but had stopped long before I was born. As a teenager I tried smoking, but since I had asthma it made me feel really sick. So I never started smoking. As a grew up and got older I started to worry more and more about my mother especially as she was smoking a lot. I asked her if she had ever thought about stop smoking and she said that she had, but she found it so difficult. I guess it is the same with all addictions, you have to be motivated to stop. You have to go inside yourself and find the will and strength to quit. You have to do it for your sake, or for your future. I would be happy if you took time to read this as my mother died of a big heart attack at the age of 65 partly due to excessive smoking.

Five Reasons Why Your Skin Wants You To Quit Smoking

Amongst anti-smoking activists the month of the October is known as Stoptober month, a month where we are all tasked with the collective task of encouraging the people around us who smoke to quit. As a site that’s concerned with everything beauty-related, we thought it would be good to take part in encouraging smokers to quit by reminding them of the sort of damage cigarettes can do to their skin – sorry, but if we don’t, who will.

In conjunction with The British Skin Foundation, I have gathered the top five reasons why you should give up smoking if you are really want to have healthy skin.

1. Smoking ages the skin

According to Dr Anjali Mahto, British Skin Foundation representative and a consultant dermatologist, our skin, much like any other organ in our body, is susceptible to damage caused by cigarette smoking. If, as a smoker, you want to prevent pre-existing skin conditions from getting worse and wish to age gracefully, then it is about time you started considering stopping – and if you aren’t a smoker, then it’s advisable that you don’t pick up the habit.

The British Skin Foundation further adds that smoking speeds up the skin’s ageing process as it reduces oxygen levels in the blood and promotes the production of an enzyme known as matrix metalloproteinase-1 – two things that considerably degrade elastin collagen. People who smoke develop wrinkles around their mouth, also known as smoker’s lines, and crow’s feet – things that have repeatedly been proven since the first studies were conducted in the 70’s. In some studies, it’s been seen that women are more likely to be affected by smoking than males.

2. Smoking slows wound healing

According to Dr Mahto, smoking also affects our body’s healing process. As such, the healing of a wound after surgery or trauma can take longer than it should in smokers. At the same time, there’s a high risk of failure of skin grafts and wound infection in people who smoke. The habit can also lead to the development of leg ulcers that never heal. The carbon monoxide and nicotine in a cigarette causes vasoconstriction, which in turn affects oxygen supply to the skin, slowing down the production of new collagen.

3. Smoking can cause skin cancer

Compared to a non-smoker, a cigarette smoker has twice the risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma or SCC – a type of cancer that affects the skin. At the same time, a smoker is also at a higher risk of contracting oral cancer – about 75% of all reported cases occur in smokers.

4. Smoking leaves you susceptible to skin disorders

Dr Mahto further explains that some skin disorders like dicoid lupus erythematosus, hidradenitis suppurativa, and psoriasis amongst others, are more likely to happen in smokers than in non-smokers. Exposure to smoke from tobacco leaves increases the likelihood of developing psoriasis. Sadly, smokers that already have psoriasis have lower chances of improving compared to non-smokers. However, the good thing is that if a psoriasis patient quits smoking, then they are more likely to notice positive effects on their condition.

5. Cigarette smoking can cause smoker’s acne

According to the British Skin Foundation, smoking not only causes the skin to age prematurely, but it could also leave smokers, especially female smokers, at risk of developing smoker’s acne. British Journal of Dermatology researchers have noted that this type of acne is characterised by large blackheads and blocked pores; however, the spots themselves are less inflamed compared to regular acne.

To quit smoking is a huge achievement, an achievement that most people should aim for, as it is one of the biggest killers in the UK, there are ways to get help to quit, and at the moment they are running Stoptober which is aimed to help people to quit, there are also other options too like using an e cig, or using nicotine patches.

I wish you a good Stopober and if you have successful or unsuccessful stories of quitting smoking, please feel free to drop them in the comments below.

1 comment

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