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How smoking affects appearance

Quitting smoking can help improve skin health and overall appearance

There’s an international study found that 13.3% of men and 21% of women acknowledged that the effect of smoking on their appearance was one of the factors that motivated them to quit.

Here we will briefly overview how smoking can affect physical appearance:


Tobacco use in England kills more than 70,000 people every year. Nearly 1,900 of these people die from oral cancer. Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body and causes any diseases. Not only does smoking cause aesthetic changes such as stained teeth but also affects the health of the mouth and gums, can cause tooth loss, as well as potentially life-threatening cancers of the throat, tongue, soft palate and tonsils. People who quit halve their risk of cancer of the mouth, throat and oesophagus within five years.

Halitosis, otherwise known as bad breath along with stained teeth and gums are a well-known side effect of smoking. Tobacco use increases the risk of inflammation in the gums which can result in Halitosis and can cause teeth to fall out.


Smoking can double your chances of losing your sight. Research has shown that smoking cigarettes can lead to restricted blood flow to the eyes. Repeatedly exposing delicate retinal cells to smoking’s dangerous chemicals effectively fast-forwards the ageing process. At the same time as increasing oxidant levels in the body, smoking decreases the levels of antioxidants and therefore reduces the body’s ability to protect itself. Smoking also causes the blood vessels to narrow. This affects the blood vessels to the eye and increases overall blood pressure. 

Body type

Smoking can lead to how fat is distributed across the body, notably in a way that is associated with disease. Those who smoke will store body fat in an abnormal distribution due to smoking interfering with the endocrine system! 

Typically, those who smoke will experience fat being stored around the waist and upper torso and less around the hips. This will result in a higher waist to hip ratio than someone who is smokefree.  

A higher waist to hip ratio is associated with higher risks of developing diabetes, heart disease & other health complications. 

Do you want free support with weight management? Visit the Healthy Surrey website for more information!


Tobacco smoke can damage your skin, which can lead to a greyish, wasted appearance. The more person smokes, the greater the risk of premature wrinkling. An explanation for this is that smoking causes an enzyme to be produced that is responsible for breaking down the collagen in skin. Collagen is a structural protein in the skin that is essential for elasticity.

Skin can also dry as a result of exposure to tobacco smoker, further contributing to wrinkling. Smoking reduces the amount blood flowing to the skin, which depletes the skin of oxygen and essential nutrients. 

I’ve already smoked, the damage is done!

One of the main concerns is that it is too late too quit. We know that it is never too late! You will start to experience benefits of stopping smoking as soon as 20 minutes after you quit. Read our latest blog, where you will out about all the short-term benefits of quitting.

By using our free stop smoking service you will be three times more likely to quit for good than if you were to quit alone. Click the link below to sign up today: 


  1. ASH
  2. Public Health Matters


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