Smoking kills you in a number of really gory ways—lung cancer, emphysema, stroke, cardiac arrest...but you already know that.
And, anyway, death by yosi may or may not come decades down the line, and you’ve got your stress/graveyard shift/walwal sessions to deal with right here, right now...right?
How about this: If you smoke (and you’re definitely not alone, according to a Department of Health study in 2009, the Philippines has the highest number of female smokers in the ASEAN region, with at least 2.9 million girls lighting up), you’re going to get losyang faster than you can light your second stick.
Here are just a few ways cigarettes can mess up your life.
1. Bad hair
Dr. Kristina Reyes, M.D., a dermatologist at Luminisce, says that the chemicals in your ciggie are so toxic your hair follicles get damaged so bad that two things will most likely happen: Your hair will fall off; or get really, really dry and damaged. Smoking messes up your blood circulation and constricts blood vessels, so hair follicles age faster (which means they become limp, or just won’t regrow). So if you’re jonesing for Anne Curtis’ bouncy locks, you have to stop smoking pronto. Thin hair, still don’t care?
2. Sagging skin
One teeny-tiny drag on your cig puts more than a trillion (!!!) free radicals into your system. Dr. Reyes warns that huffing and puffing cigarettes break down collagen and elastin, agents responsible for keeping your skin looking smooth and firm. Aging is then accelerated, no thanks to the chemical called acetaldehyde that breaks down tissues. A 1985 study called the effect “Smoker’s Face” to describe facial characters such as wrinkles and gauntness caused by smoking.
(So, basically, you can go on a month-long vacation or sleep straight for eight hours daily, and it won’t make a difference to the smoker’s skin.)
3. Dark, chapped lips
Those poor puckers of yours won’t stand a chance against the 4,000 toxic chemicals commonly found in cigarettes. Aside from killer breath, gum disease, and all kinds of oral cancers, two of the most alarming effects of smoking are yellow teeth and dark lips. Dr. Norma Tiu, a professor of Dentistry at the University of the East, says, “Yellow teeth are one of the more visible signs of smoking, and it happens soon after you start smoking.”
When you smoke, a residue is left on the surface of your teeth, and unlike, say, your normal coffee stains, smoke actually seeps in to the very core of your tooth enamel—which means it would be nearly impossible to erase. The discoloration of your lips (fifty shades of grey and blue, ugh), you can blame on nicotine, which restricts the flow of oxygen and causes you to have iron and vitamin deficiencies.
4. Tired eyes + super eyebags
Remember we talked about how smoking kills skin cells and deprives your body of vitamins? If you’re wondering why it is possible to still wake up with 10 kilos of eyebag under each eye after a Snow White-worthy snooze, it’s because smoker skin is thirsty skin, deprived of vitamins.
Those panda eyes mean your peepers are not getting enough Vitamin C (among other vitamins)—and this is why a smoker always looks haggarda. Plus, according to a Johns Hopkins study, smokers may feel sleepy in the morning because craving for a cig while sleeping (yes, it happens, a.k.a. nocturnal withdrawal symptoms) disrupts sleep patterns.
5. Scary scars
You know when you get a monstrous zit and all you really want is for it to go away and never come back and to leave no traces of its ugliness? Well, not really going to happen when you’re a smoker. Nicotine causes vasoconstriction, which is the narrowing of the blood vessels, limiting oxygen-rich blood flow to the tiny vessels in your face or body. Which really just means that your wounds will take long to heal, and the scars will be left there for quite a time, all big and discolored, and well, ugly.
Of course, there are a ton of other vain reasons why you should quit (or not start smoking to begin with), from yellow nails to deep wrinkles. So, we’re appealing to your logic: Girl, ’di mo ’yan ikagaganda!