Smoking is bad for your health. Scientists have long proven how cigarette smoking can lead to serious medical conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer. Yet, people still do it.
In Singapore, the number of cigarette smokers has declined over the past decades. From 18.3 percent of the population in 1992, by 2019, only 10.6 percent of all Singaporeans are cigarette smokers. Yet, there are still many cigarette smokers despite legislative efforts and campaigns to educate the public about its dangers.
Smoking does not just affect your health in the future. Its adverse effects have already likely manifested now, starting with your appearance. The very common bad habit is impacting the way you look in many irreversible ways. Here are a few examples.
Smoking and Your Smile
Smokers are at a higher risk of gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss if not immediately addressed by a dentist. People who smoke often have more chances of acquiring bacterial plaque that will lead to gum disease without medical intervention. Because smoking also weakens the immune system, the body is unable to fight off the infection.
In addition, smoking lessens the oxygen in the bloodstream and, as a result, gums do not heal, accelerating the progression of gum disease and ending with tooth loss. To date, gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults.
Once gone, teeth do not regenerate. Therefore, you will need to get a dental implant if you do not want wide gaps in your smile. Without implants, your remaining teeth will also shift from their natural positions and create spaces in between. You will eventually need to wear braces, too, to fix your teeth.
Moreover, smoking turns your teeth yellow. In Asia, as well as in the West, pearly white teeth are considered attractive. However, if you smoke, your teeth will darken in hue, and you will need to bleach them to achieve a brighter smile.
Smoking and Your Skin
One of the worst things that you can do for your skin is to start smoking cigarettes. Unfortunately, no amount of expensive skincare products will save you from the damage it causes.
Smoker’s line is the term used to describe the vertical wrinkles around the mouth formed from the constant pursing of the lips to draw on a cigarette repeatedly.
People who smoke also appear older. They gain wrinkles earlier compared to other people their age. Smoking constricts the blood vessels, slowing blood flow and preventing the blood from delivering oxygen to skin cells. This results in premature ageing.
The toxins in cigarette smoke also damage collagen and elastin, the proteins responsible for keeping the skin firm and supple. Without both, the skin fails to snap back to place.
Moreover, smokers are also more likely to be diagnosed with acne inversa, an inflammatory skin disease where areas of the body grow boil-like nodules that release pus. It can be painful, especially because it grows where skin tends to rub against the skin, such as armpits, the ground, between the thighs, and under the breast.
Smoking and Your Skin Tone
Your skin tone, too, is affected by cigarette smoking. Those who smoke will have uneven and, sometimes, discoloured skin tone. The lack of oxygen that reaches your skin cells because of constricted blood vessels is also causing differences in your skin tone. The many harmful chemicals released when you light a cigarette are also, no doubt, contributing to making your skin tone look off.
In fact, holding a cigarette between your fingers can turn your skin yellow. Nicotine and other ingredients found in cigarettes can leave a stain that is nearly impossible to wash off with soap and water. It is most likely to occur among those who have been smoking cigarettes for years.
Want to Reverse the Damage? Stop Smoking
If you want your appearance to improve, stop smoking, It is easier said than done, but plenty of other people around the world have managed to successfully kick off the habit. It will not restore the damages it has already caused, but your mouth will be healthier, your skin will retain its elasticity and suppleness, and your skin tone will be more even with the stains on your fingers disappearing. You will be amazed by how your appearance will improve by simply quitting your vices.
Smoking is bad for your health, and it impacts your appearance in bad ways. It is not easy to quit, but it is possible. If you need help, contact support services aimed at helping smokers quit, such as I QUIT Club, National Addictions Management Service (NAMS), WE CARE, and many others.