Cigarette smoke has negative impacts on the whole human body and is known for being the reason for a long list of diseases and health problems. Especially the chemicals which are inhaled with cigarette smoke represent a health hazard. One of the most dangerous substances is tar which stays long in the lungs where it triggers permanent cough, or even worse emphysema and cancer.
The second most dangerous chemical is carbon monoxide which increases one’s blood pressure, and therefore, is a major cause of cardiovascular diseases. Above that, cigarette smoke also contains nicotine, formaldehyde, benzene, and hydrogen cyanide which all impact negatively on a smoker’s health.
As a result of smoking, 100 million deaths could be recorded worldwide in the 20th century, with 443,000 Americans and 102,000 British smokers dying every year. However, next to serious health problems, smoking also harms the beauty, with the skin being mostly affected.
Effects of Smoking on your Skin
Dermatologists warn that the free radicals in cigarette smoke age the skin significantly. Studies showed that the risk for facial wrinkles for male smokers is twice as high and for female smokers were even three times as high as for men and women who do not smoke.
Moreover, smoking and even second-hand smoking may create a typical smoker’s face. It is believed that this is caused by cigarette smoke and its toxic components which damage the small blood vessels and protein architecture in the skin tissue. According to the National Archives, the smoker’s face is pale and shows a yellow-grey skin complexion with no ability to blush, as the blood supply is damaged. Other sources state that the facial skin of smokers tends to look shiny, highly peeled, congested, and sensitive.
Above that, the smoker’s skin is more likely to show facial wrinkling and less elasticity – a status that directly relates to the quantity smoked and the smoking duration. The loss of elasticity may be caused by smoking triggered a higher concentration of the enzyme ‘matrix metalloproteinase-1’, which is said to reduce the skin’s collagen.
Why is quitting so difficult and what are the alternatives?
Although smoking is harming one’s body and skin appearance, many smokers are unable to quit it for good. The success rate is markedly low, with only 7% being able to stop the smoking cold turkey in their first attempt. Here, even nicotine replacement (nicotine patch, gums) medication and alternative therapies such as acupuncture sometimes do not help. The problem is that Nicotine is seen as one of the most addictive substances, causing a stronger subjection than alcohol, cocaine, or heroin.
Therefore, some believe that smokers who fail to quit may be helped by e-cigarettes to decrease at least their health risks. Although researchers found that e-cigarettes do not support the quitting process as they still deliver nicotine, they have an advantage. The electronic gasper is less toxic than a traditional cigarette, as the nicotine is delivered through a vapor, as opposed to smoke. Smoking an e-cigarette does not burn tobacco which prevents the development of tar and carbon monoxide – the two most hazardous elements putting a smoker at a higher risk of heart attacks, strokes, and cancer.
Furthermore, e-cigarettes contain slightly lower levels of nicotine which makes them less dangerous. Finally, as they create an illusion of real smoking experience, they may be more effective than chewing gums or patches. Click here to read more about this product. Consequently, e-cigarettes may be a temporary alternative to decrease the health risks for smokers and second-hand smokers alike. However, smokers should aim for quitting smoking in the long term, as there is no substantial proof that e-cigarettes are completely harmless.