It’s one of this year’s most popular New Year’s resolutions and one of the most challenging addictions to overcome. It kills over 440,000 people each year and causes a string of health conditions that are often irreversible. If you are one of many smokers still trying to kick the habit, you should take note of skin care expert Ole Henriksen’s advice. “Smoking is really one of the greatest disfavors you can do to your body,” says Ole. “You are inhaling toxic fumes, which is damaging to the internal organs and your body’s largest external organ, the skin.” If only it were that easy, we’d all be smoke-free. But, with a little inspiration, you can make your resolution a reality. You just need a little extra motivation. Decide for yourself if the following consequences are enough to help you quit smoking for good.
Premature Wrinkle Formation. If you’d like to avoid looking like a Shar Pei, don’t smoke. “Smoking impacts the skin by constricting the oxygen flow,” says Ole. The oxygen flow is vital to your body’s detoxification process. “As a result, your collagen becomes insoluble, causing wrinkle formation to set in sooner.”
Broken Capillaries. Don’t you just love those little red spots on your face that won’t go away? “Capillary damage happens when toxins strip the skin of vital oxygen, leaving your skin exposed to the elements,” he says.
Dullness. When the body is healthy, with plenty of oxygen and good circulation, the skin is pink and plump. “Smoking prevents this free flow in the body and leaves your skin dull and sallow,” says Ole.
Simply put, smoking is no longer sexy. The good news is that these consequences (including more dangerous ones like cancer and heart disease) can be prevented. Even if you’ve been smoking for years, you can drastically change your health by eliminating tobacco from your life. If you’re finally ready to take the plunge and quit for good, check out cancer.org for helpful tips and inspiration to help you quit smoking for good. Make 2010 the year you finally kick cigarette butt!