You get stressed out, or upset at something. You light up, take a puff, and immediately feel a little calmer. That is often how a smoking addiction works for most people. Some get started on cigarettes because when they were younger, it was a cool thing to do. We see it in movies and advertisements, or maybe someone close to us did it as we grew up. Either way, many of us were somehow exposed to a smoking addiction, and some of us earned one of our own. But each time you light up and take puff, you inhale 600 chemicals, up to four hundred of which are identified as known carcinogens by the World Health Organization and when burned create more than 7,000 chemicals.
Yet, ever since grade school, we got it hammered into us about how bad smoking is for your health. It comes with cardiovascular problems, hormone disruption, and respiratory issues. It causes cancer, heart attacks, strokes, and degenerative disorders. Women have twice the likelihood of smoking cigarettes having dangerous effects on their health. Second hand smoke is even worse than firsthand smoke, as it poisons the nonsmokers and the air that we breath. But what are those chemicals that you breath in with each puff? And what does smoking do to the aging process? Face naturals explores the chemicals within each cigarette, and how it can double the aging process.
Around seven thousand ingredients can be used to make a single pack of cigarettes. Within these thousands of chemicals, around four hundred have proven toxic with either long-term or short-term exposure, or both. In those four hundred toxic chemicals, about sixty nine of them are known to have carcinogenic effects on the human body. You can find some these ingredients in your household products, like lighters, cleaning items, and poisons. We developed a list of some of these toxins, identifying their other uses, side effects, and the long-term consequences that they pose to the human body.
Ammonia is a harsh chemical commonly used in many different household products meant for cleansing. It damages the respiratory system through corrosion, while weakening the sense of smell. It can agitate airways, causing coughing, and sore throat. Chronic exposure to this substance may result in a corroded upper respiratory system.
Benzyl alcohol was rated by EWG with a mild to moderate toxicity. However, regular exposure or inhalation of this chemical can result in organ system toxicity. Frequent exposure to it can also result in skin dryness, rash, sensitivity, and eye irritation. Also known as ulesfia, it is commonly used as an ingredient in conventional skincare products.
Carbon monoxide is the compound that may leak in a home, causing many families to invest in detectors to avoid over exposure. It comes from the actual smoke of the cigarette, and is a colorless, odorless gas. Overexposure or continuous exposure causes damage to the lungs and the brain. Some side effects of exposure include headaches and shortness of breath.
Benzene causes the cells to function improperly by damaging their DNA. It keeps the bones from creating the amount of marrow needed to keep blood cells plentiful. This may result in leukemia with continued exposure. Other effects of this ingredient include less functionality of the immune system from a decreased count of white blood cells.
Formaldehyde was commonly used as a body preservative in the embalming process, but now typically is emitted as a pollutant from traffic emissions. It is also used to make wood resins. It is part of what gives the smoker a smoker’s cough, as it irritates the upper respiratory system. It makes the body more susceptible to catching colds, developing sore throats, and experiencing nose bleeds. Occasionally, formaldehyde causes asthma.
Cadmium has been identified as a known carcinogen. It is linked directly to the development of lung cancer. Once it enters the lungs, the blood disperses it all throughout the body, where it builds up in the kidneys. As it builds up, it eventually curtails the kidneys’ ability to work as a part of the detoxification system of the body. It also damages cell DNA, causing all exposed cells to perform reproduction improperly.
Cyanide is poisonous in general, and is commonly known as being found in suicide capsules. Smoking, however, is one of the main ways that people are exposed to this chemical. It interrupts the cells’ ability to use oxygen, paving the way for cell death. It can increase heart rate, cause restlessness, and injure the lungs.
Acetone is a chemical most often known for its usage in nail polish remover. It caused lung irritation to animals exposed to it through inhalation, and contributed to low birth weight in pregnant animals, as well as fewer fetuses. Animals that swallowed acetone experienced kidney degeneration, fewer new cells created in the bone marrow, and death of newborn babies.
Arsenic is most often known for its usage in pest control, as a means of killing rats and other rodents that may overtake a home. It causes sensitivity of the digestive tract, including the stomach and intestines, which may decrease digestive ability to absorb nutrients. A reported inclined risk of cancer is also included with arsenic exposure, including cancerous formations of the skin, liver, bladder, and lungs. It has also been linked to malfunction of the peripheral nervous system and irregular heart beat.
Nicotine may be used as a pesticide for crops, but also causes the addiction that smokers have toward cigarettes. It de-alkalizes the body’s pH balance resulting in stomach problems, and may speed up heart beat and increase blood pressure. It can also cause pain or sensitivity in the teeth, jaws, or neck.
Tar is used all over the roadways that we drive on, and contains a number of carcinogens within its own makeup. When smoked, it lines the lungs and prevents them from functioning the way that they should. It clogs alveoli, and lines the bronchi, and can eventually result in lung cancer, bronchitis, emphysema, and a condition called COPD that has no cure and cannot be reversed.
Lead is a heavy metal often used in batteries that has proven toxic when humans are exposed to it. It can cause headaches, fatigue, irritable attitude, and curbs the appetite. It also results in constipation and weakness. These are the short-term consequences, and the long-term results can prove more devastating for the body and mind. They include depression, regular stomach aches, and an inability to stay focused on tasks.
Some other ingredients included in cigarettes include butane – used as lighter fluid for lighters, acetic acid – an ingredient in hair coloring systems, methanol – an additive for rocket fuel, and toluene – commonly used as a part of the paint-making process. These are just a few of the many toxic poisons used in tobacco products. They can do damage to many of the organ systems in the body. And, if this does not scare you, then maybe the your appearance after smoking for some years will.
If you are looking for a definite way to sabotage your anti-aging routine, then cigarettes are your one-way tickets to looking older than you really are. All the chemicals listed above will contribute to the process both inside and out. While most of us know that the end result of a chronic cigarette addiction could be cancer, heart problems, strokes, and degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, few people understand how smoking will show up on their faces much sooner than they expect. This habit could make you appear up to twenty years older than you really are, and set the ball rolling on premature aging as early as thirty.
We will start with the forehead. When twin sisters were set side by side for a picture, one a smoker for over a decade, the other a nonsmoker, the differences were immediately visible. The nonsmoker had a smooth forehead with few wrinkles. The twin that smoked had a furrowed brow, with deeper creases. This twin smoked about half a pack per day for about fourteen years, and the results with just the forehead of the pair created a dramatic difference.
The next area is the eyes. Since many smokers may squint as a means of keeping smoke out of their eyes, or get a less restful sleep due to nightly nicotine withdrawals, they are more likely to develop crow’s feet at the corners of their eyes, and dark circles around them. When the eyes are constantly exposed to these chemicals, tear ducts may work overtime to lubricate and clean the eyeball. This could cause more puffiness due to fluid buildup.
Going down further on the face, we have the cheeks. The cheeks may start to sag and look less sculpted, due to the regular destruction of collagen and elastin. Collagen and elastin are the connective proteins that help maintain a firm, supple structure of the skin. Free radicals expose them to more damage, which causes them to sag. Thus, your cheeks may look a little droopier than they used to.
Then, there is the mouth and nose area. Smoking causes deeper laugh lines around each side of the mouth. Again, this is due to the degradation of collagen and elastin. You will earn some serious wrinkles from your nose leading down to your mouth. Plus, from holding the butt between your lips and teeth, you will get lots of tiny fine lines bordering the edges of your lips. Your lips will lose their fullness as well, from constant flow of chemicals and the regular dehydration that they cause your skin.
It also damages your teeth. The smoke will stain them, giving them a yellowish or brownish discoloration, while it makes your breath smell not quite as nice as you would like. Plus, since smoking deprives surface tissues of blood, you could lose teeth from this habit. Chemicals can wear away the enamel, making your chompers more susceptible to cavities and infection. Not to mention, you make get more annoying sensitivity in your teeth when exposed to hot or cold foods, or items high in sugar.
Smoking can also contribute to the development of jowls and sagging skin around the neck area. Once again, the loss of needed collagen and elastin plays a role in this effect. The skin will lose its connectivity, and due to the fact that smoking deprives skin cells of hydration and nutrients, the neck and jowl areas will appear loosened and extra saggy. If you want less of a turkey neck, then throw out that pack right now!
Finally, a smoking habit effects the whole complexion. It can give your skin a yellowy, grey, or pale appearance, due to how it diminishes your body’s ability to transport nutrients to the skin. You may also experience an increase of dryness or flakiness from dehydration, and inflexibility from lack of nourishment. This will leave you with a discolored, unhealthy complexion that resembles death. Additionally, a smoking addiction will increase your chances of your hair thinning, or going bald completely.
Anyone who has ever struggled with a smoking habit knows it is more than just a habit – it is an addiction that affects your whole life. However, quitting now will greatly reduce your risk of developing the long list of health problems caused by inhaling these toxins on a constant basis, and will keep you a little younger for a little longer. No matter what age you are, you can quit your addiction today. Find someone you trust to be a support system for you, and eliminate this deadly addiction from your life. You can breath easier – quite literally – and enjoy your youth for longer. Your body may even be able to heal itself of some of the damage. Do not give up on quitting!
Your face naturals family is dedicated to its healthy mission in providing you with toxin-free, all-natural skincare products made from organically botanical ingredients, and through educating you with informative blog posts detailing health topics that could affect you, your family, and your community. From toxic ingredients in conventional skincare products and processed foods, to the bright future of benefits from eating healthy, raw, organic fruits and vegetables and using our nontoxic skincare products, we want to look out for you in as many ways as possible. Join the face naturals family today, and contact our friendly staff. We will help you get started in your own healthy mission and help you in your selection of authentic, face naturals products.
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