There’s no doubt about it, quitting smoking is hard. I know this first hand. Before I quit, I was smoking a lot; even more on the evenings, I would enjoy a drink with friends. However, this all stopped when I decided it was about time I tried my hand at running a marathon.
Fortunately for me, the process of running a marathon was much more mentally trying than quitting smoking and so the process was a little lost on me. Nights out were replaced with early nights in with a book to read; foods that would be enjoyable with a cigarette were replaced with high protein diets and carbohydrate loading. For me, smoking was phased out in the most natural way possible. For my Mum, however, the struggle through the quitting process has been a little different and has taught me a thing or two about how to motivate yourself to quit. One of the best ways to do this is reminding ourselves about how it will affect our bodies.
I’m 25, so obviously my Mum is a bit older – I’ll spare her by leaving out her age – so let’s say that her worry about aging is bigger than mine. But that isn’t to say that it shouldn’t be a worry to everyone. Smoking narrows the blood vessels in the outermost layers of your skin, therefore impairing the blood flow there. Without blood flow, your skin doesn’t receive as much oxygen and other really great nutrients. This, paired with the thousands of nasty chemicals found in tobacco that damage elastin and collagen, means that there’s no doubt about it: smoking will give you wrinkles.
This happens no matter what your age is and really – sorry Mum – this means that the later you decide to quit, the worse the wrinkles could be.
Whether you agree or not, your smile is one of the best, most candid things about you. Smiling is an important part of daily interaction and so taking good care of your teeth is something never to be taken lightly. Smoking can, of course, ruin this. Tobacco tar and nicotine are proven to yellow your teeth even a very short period of time, destroying a pearly white smile.
One of the best ways to cut out nicotine considerably is by switching to e-cigarettes, you’ll find doing the switch will make cutting down easier while meaning the tar yellowing your teeth is lessened. My Mum has been trialling these and tells me that the V2 Pro Vaporizer is the best vaporizer around.
As if the first two reasons weren’t enough, smoking actually makes your hair thinner. Experts have found – in most cases of long-term smokers – that the chemicals and toxins in cigarettes damage the DNA in hair follicles. This means not only thinner and lank hair, but also premature greying too. Bad hair isn’t just an issue for females either, as a male, you are more likely to experience boldness than men that don’t smoke. With horrid teeth and thinning hair, that action of smoking isn’t looking quite so cool now is it?
I’ve mentioned premature aging and since many young readers won’t worry about this too much, it’s probably a good time to mention the other effects smoking has on skin. If you’re a smoker, of any age, you may have noticed your skin get gradually worse. I definitely did. In fact, when I quit smoking I found my skin clearing was what gave me the biggest confidence boost. The number of blackheads decreased on my nose, I had fewer blemishes and believe it or not, the bags under my eyes disappeared.
When we smoke, the molecule hemoglobin does not carry as much oxygen throughout the body than if it weren’t inhaling harmful chemicals. Tiny blood vessels in the body become a lot smaller, meaning it’s a lot more difficult for hemoglobin and oxygen to get to the tissues where they are needed. In layman’s terms; smokers don’t heal very well. If you’re considering any sort of cosmetic surgery to improve your look, you’ll often hear from your surgeon that you need to quit before the procedure takes place. There really is no upside to smoking.
Featured photo credit: No Camels via nocamels.com