Ok I admit it, as a young woman in my early 20′s I smoked. I started on the weekends in high school rebelling against my parents who were ardent non-smokers. It continued until I was 25 when I finally quit.   There are endless reasons to quit, mainly it can give you cancer and kill you.

Oddly that wasn’t enough of a reason for me. What resonated with me strongest was that I wasn’t a rebel after all but a corporate dupe, even with my organic cigarettes. In additon I saw a documentary on the aging effects of smoking on the skin.  That it would age my skin and age me faster really struck me. I might not die for a while but I would look like crap pretty quickly. So with lots of help from my ex-husband I changed my routine and quit. Best thing I have ever done for myself.

For those of you thinking of quitting, here are some great reasons that are pure vanity. Maybe this will be the trigger for you or someone close to you who smokes, second hand smoking is just as bad for you if not worse.

1. ACNE!Smokers have a higher incidence of acne, some studies have shown up to 43%  of smokers have acne. Smoking introduces toxic chemicals to the body which slow down blood circulation to the cells. 

When smoking you  increase the production of free radicals. These have a direct bearing on the blood circulation to skin cells. The skin’s ability to heal and regenerate is blocked. The toxins released in cigarette smoke results in pores getting clogged, and this promotes bacterial growth in the pores. All of which contribute to growth of skin eruptions in the form of acne, zits and pimples.

2. Wrinkles! Smoking speeds up aging, studies have shown smokers to look 1.4 years older than non-smokers. Again, cigarette smoke contains carbon monoxide, which displaces the oxygen in your skin, and nicotine, which reduces blood flow, leaving skin dry and discolored. Cigarette smoking also depletes many nutrients, including vitamin C, which helps protect and repair skin damage.

Smoking also increases production of an enzyme which breaks down the supply of collagen to the skin’s structure. Collagen supply is vital to the skin’s elasticity. It decreases with age but smoking accelerates the process.

3. Skin Cancer! Most of you are aware that UV contributes to skin cancer, but it turns out that smoking triples your risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma. Enough said.

4. Psoriasis! Psoriasis is an auto-immune disorder, so many non-smokers are affected smoking or not. However if you do smoke the chances go higher with each additional year you smoke. Up to 10 years your risk is 20%, 11-20 years up to 60%.  

5. Stained Teeth! Yellow teeth that fall out sooner rather than later. Sexy for sure.