Despite the absolute flood of information out there about how bad smoking is for you, it’s estimated that there are still 9.4 million smokers in the UK, an amount which represents almost one fifth of the population. The risks associated with smoking are numerous, including cancers of the lungs, throat and mouth, not to mention the detrimental effects it has on your skin, and now has never been a better time to quit. If the list of diseases isn’t enough to convince you, here are five other effects of smoking that you may not even have considered
Constant exposure to tar and other chemicals through cigarettes is well-known for staining your fingers, but did you know that it could be staining your lips, too? Many smokers report areas of hyperpigmentation around the mouth which is literally caused by tar seeping into your skin and dying it brown, something which can be reversed once you quit by hitting a regimen of anti-pigmentation products.
Researchers have discovered that adults who suffer with acne are more likely to be smokers, and it’s all to do with the fact that your skin doesn’t like nicotine. Smokers are also far more likely to suffer with blackheads and blemishes, which is likely a cause of the pollutants in the smoke which swirls around your face when you smoke a cigarette. If this is you and you’ve recently quit, opt for an acne-busting facial routine to get your skin back to being flawless.
If you’re approaching the end of your reproductive years and you’re a smoker, there’s a high likelihood that your menopause will come earlier than you think. Studies have shown that heavy smokers are likely to experience menopause two years earlier than non-smokers, and can also make symptoms such as hot flushes significantly worse. Quit while you’re ahead to stave off the dreaded night sweats!
Most of us are aware that smoking can affect our sense of taste (how many times have you heard a recent quitter saying how everything suddenly tastes better?!) but did you know it can also affect your sense of smell and even your eyesight? Smokers are up to three times more likely to develop cataracts and two times more likely to suffer macular degeneration than non-smokers, and it’s the nasties in the tobacco which block your taste and smell receptors over the years.
Hair loss and greying
It’s long been discussed whether smoking contributes to hair loss and premature greying of the hair, and while in many people genetics play the biggest part, smoking has also been proved to make both things worse. The toxins in cigarette smoke effectively poison the hair follicles, affecting their ability to produce new hairs or affecting the body’s ability to produce melanin. Use a clarifying shampoo to rid your hair of any toxins which may be clinging on.