How Cigarette Destroys Your Life and What You Can Do to Save Yourself
Aside from alcohol, nicotine is the most mainstream drug that is out there right now. You can’t leave the house without seeing someone with a cigarette in hand. You may not even be able to leave your room without seeing it.
One of the main problems with smoking is how easily young people can be influenced to start. Smoking is very much a social ‘activity’ at best. It only takes one or two people in a friendship group to start before you have everyone hooked.
We’ve all seen the images on the fronts and backs of the cigarette packets, if you cut them out you could probably use them as trading cards. I’ll trade you one necrotic lung for a bulging tumour? Side effects trading game anyone? No… Well, those side effects are obviously the more extreme side of things. But what about the smaller side effects? Namely, the side effects that smoking has on our looks and beauty.
Here are 10 things that cigarettes do that can ruin the way you look.
Panda Eyes – Black under eye bags are the bane of anyone’s life at the best of times. If you don’t get a good night’s sleep then it shows the next day, maybe even the day after that too. The last thing you need, the morning after a night with no sleep, is to be gruelling over concealing those pesky black bags with as many skin tone cosmetics you can lay your hands on. Trust me, no amount of concealer and foundation combination can cover those dark circles to the extent you want…
How does smoking cause the under eye bags though? Well, put it this way, if you find yourself needing a cigarette during the day what do you do? You go and have a cigarette. Unlike the basic bodily reactions and urges, like needing the toilet or sneezing, your body won’t wake you up when you start craving a cigarette in your sleep. You will, however, become a lot more restless. The subconscious distraction of craving the nicotine prevents you from REM sleep, resulting in only achieving a very light sleep for the duration of the night.
Yucky Teeth – Do you dream of that perfect white smile that just looks so good to everyone? Yeah… About that. Unless you’re prepared to pay the earth, that’s not going to happen while you’re still puffing away. You’re looking at around £300 – £1,500 to achieve that Hollywood smile you’re after – And that’s not a one off cost either. Ever noticed how, when you smoke a cigarette, the filter turns that rather horrid yellow/brown colour? Yeah, that’s the colour your teeth are heading. So, pearly whites really aren’t much of an option.
The stains from nicotine don’t just go away. But there are products out there that can help once you’ve quit. Smokers toothpaste is available, stain removing night paste works that little bit quicker in the long run but isn’t available in most general stores. Removing the stains that are already there will be an ongoing process that may take a few months, but putting a stop to the smoking will put a stop to anymore damage to your teeth.
20 going on 30 – So, you’re a young person. You’re healthy, you keep up with all the trends, you look good. Those lines appearing on your face though? They’re not great for the overall ‘Young’ look you’re pulling off otherwise so well. No, they’re not worry lines… They’re not laughter lines either. They’re wrinkles. If you don’t have them already, you’re among the lucky ones… But they will find you and they will catch you. It’s considered a known fact that smoking ages your body prematurely, and that’s just what it’s doing.
Smoking reduces the blood supply to parts of the body. Not so drastically that your foot is going to fall off, but to the point where your skin stops looking all that supple, toned and healthy. Without the adequate blood flow, your skin loses the elasticity that comes with being young. Thus resulting in the wrinkles that will start to form around your face. And, trust me, they will form.
Yellow fingers?! – Similar to how the nicotine will stain your teeth, your fingers and fingernails will be heading the same way. The excess nicotine that gets trapped in the cigarette filter during smoking is notorious for leaving its mark on fingers and nails. Obviously it’s not going to be as blatant as getting covered in marker pen ink… But after time, you’ll start to notice that signature yellow tinge that everyone associates with smoking. That’s just the skin on your fingers, your nails are another matter entirely.
The staining on your fingers is essentially just on the top few layers of skin, enough to stay there for a while though. Your nails, however, they’re going to start growing that colour from the nail bed. As the nicotine gets into the nail bed, the nail becomes stained as it grows. There are ways to get rid of this, none of which are good for your nails. Being stained in the first place, your nails become a lot more brittle than what they would usually be. Buffing your nails does reduce the yellow colouring, but weakens your nails much more than what they already are from smoking; resulting in breakages and nails becoming ridged and difficult to maintain.
Scarface – That’s right, scarring. Smoking results in you being a lot more susceptible to scarring than you would be otherwise. Nicotine causes something called vasoconstriction. Essentially, this is when your blood vessels begin to narrow and reduce the flow of oxygenated blood to your skin – mostly around the facial area.
With the reduced blood flow, wounds take a lot longer to heal. More often than not, they don’t heal well either. This is why scars will appear much bigger and redder than they should do. The likelihood is that they won’t be easy to get rid of either. Due to how the scars form, it won’t be a quick fix with a splash of Bio-Oil. Getting rid of scars like that will be a much bigger work in progress.
A Visit from the Tooth Fairy – Remember how we said earlier about how your teeth will start to stain? Well, if you carry on smoking that won’t be a problem so much. Mainly because your teeth are much more likely to fall out anyway. Smoking drastically increases the risk of gum disease. In fact, smokers have been proven to be up to 6 times more likely to develop gum disease at some point… Which will eventually lead to tooth loss.
As the gums become weaker, they stop being able to hold your teeth in place; resulting in them feeling like they’re wobbling around somewhat. This is because they are wobbling around. Probably not to the extent that you can see them or move them yourself, but to the extent that issues may start to arise.
Stretch marks too? – Everyone has the issue of stretch marks. Maybe due to a pregnancy or just from gaining and losing weight quickly. The menace that is stretch marks isn’t going away anytime soon. While smoking isn’t the cause of stretch marks, it does increase the likelihood of getting them.
Your skin is full of fibres and connective tissues that keeps it toned and supple. The nicotine and carbon monoxide in cigarettes damages and breaks down those fibres, resulting in the skin losing its strength and elasticity. And cue the stretch marks. As your weight fluctuates, even ever so slightly, the deeper layers of skin break under the surface due to the strain of the change.
Jelly Belly – Many people use cigarettes as an appetite suppressant, which does tend to work. Smokers do tend to have lower body weight than those who don’t smoke. However, weighing less and having less body fat are two very different things. A man who can lift 50kg with one hand isn’t going to weigh the same as a 20 year old woman on a diet, even if they do have exactly the same level of body fat.
Smokers tend to have a lot more deep fat on them that surrounds their internal organs. This tends to lead to more problems down the line, such as diabetes and heart problems. In the short term, you could weigh as little as 116lbs and still not be able to get rid of that belly that won’t stop wobbling when you move.
Zombie Skin – There’s a lot that smoking can do to how your face looks overall. None of which are particularly pleasant. I must say, this has to be the worst. No one wants ‘Smokers Face’. Wrinkles, sagging and scarring are one thing; your skinning taking on that dull grey tint is another. No amount of detoxing juice will bring back that healthy glow while you’re still smoking, trust me.
The carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke reduces the oxygen in your blood, therefore displacing the oxygen in your skin, and the nicotine reduces the general blood flow around your face and body, resulting in dry and discoloured skin. This is what causes the grey tint. Along with turning you into a zombie skin pigment wise, smoking causes a drop in the nutrients which protect and repair your skin after its been damaged. The worst part about that? Breakouts occur more often and take twice as long to disappear.
The Big C – We all knew it was coming. It’s common knowledge that smoking leads to cancer. No one is going to pretend that it doesn’t. This point really doesn’t require much explaining. Every cigarette you smoke causes a cell mutation within your body, which has nearly every potential to lead into some form of cancer.
While quitting smoking altogether at the snap of a finger isn’t possible for most people, there are plenty of ways to power through giving up the addiction. A combination of willpower and determination goes a long way for some people. While giving up off your own back is the best way forward, there are other options to help you stop all together. Purchasing something as simple as a patch or gum can be all that some people need in terms of a push in the right direction.
These methods are often successful but they do still contain nicotine, so may also become addictive themselves. Newer items on the market are now available that do not contain nicotine. There are the standard patches and gums available and now there are even pills available that inhibit the cravings. These pills, such as Champix, have made their way into the market big time. With the most success that any ‘quit smoking’ aid has had, these seem to be the best way forward in terms of quitting.
All of the mainstream aids that are on the market are relatively easy to come by, gum can be bought from stores, patches can be bought from drug stores and pills can be bought from places like this. The resources are available; it’s just a case of making use of them.
About the Author: Emma white likes to consider herself a social media-obsessed Blogess. The way she works results in her always learning new things and being inspired to seek out new adventures. She describes herself as a sucker for a good cause, especially one supporting academia. The way Emma sees life, everything is a subject to blog about. Someone, somewhere, wants to read about what you’re doing. She can be reached at [email protected]
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