Smoking deprives the skin of oxygen and nutrients which help protect and heal the skin. Tobacco smoke is full of chemicals which have a destructive effect on the collagen and elastin in your skin.
Collagen is responsible for skin support and elastin gives the skin its elasticity, allowing the skin to return to its original position after it has been stretched or creased, for example during facial movements. The levels of collagen and elastin in the skin decrease naturally with age.
Smoking speeds up this age related reduction leading to saggy skin and deeper wrinkles.
The skin around the mouth can particularly affected by smoking, leading to perioral “smoker’s lines” that can be difficult to manage.
Other natural degenerative changes occur as we age – hair tends to get thinner, cataracts may develop, and the risk of strokes and heart attacks increases. Bones also get thinner, leading to an increased risk of hip and wrist fractures. All these effects are accelerated by smoking. So there are so many reasons to stop.
‘Stoptober’ is the Public Health England programme that’s resulted in over 1 million quit attempts so far. The programme is built around the concept that people who stop smoking for 28 days are 5 times more likely to succeed in stopping for good.
Encouraging people to focus on a single month without smoking makes the prospect of quitting seem less daunting, while the mass public commitment to quitting in October offers motivation and a sense of community. The Stoptober website also provides daily motivational emails and an online community, alongside basic information on tobacco dependency medications and nicotine replacement therapy.