People Are Shocked To See How Smoking Cigarettes Will Age Them

by Catie Keck
Catie Keck is a New York-based staff writer at LittleThings who has produced work for various web and print publications.

The effects of long-term smoking are plenty in number; any number of cancers, bad teeth, and mood instability are some of the bigger ones.

But we often overlook the gradual effects of premature aging as another reason to kick the habit.

In fact, a 2013 study of twins by researchers at Case Western Reserve University discovered some harsh truths about the aging effects in a twin who smoked and one who did not; in those sets, participants reported that the smoking twin looked older about 57 percent of the time. Where one twin smoked less than the other, the longer-smoking twin appeared older 63 percent of the time.

“Smoking reduces the collagen formation, results in collagen degradation and reduces the skin circulation,” said lead researcher Dr. Bahman Guyuron. “Additionally, nicotine reduces the skin thickness. All of these reduce skin elasticity and (cause) premature aging.” This in addition, of course, to a black lung.

In the video below, BuzzFeed attempted to show a group of smokers how they may be increasing their aging unnaturally by continuing to smoke. And the results? Well, let’s just say that if there were any hesitation about the long term effects of smoking, there’s certainly a clearer picture for these smokers now.

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