Welcome to the parents section of "smoke's no joke". We aim to arm you with all the information you need to tackle family smoking issues.

Premature Ageing

Health issues

Smoking it's not a pretty sight

The effect that smoking has on body mass and shape are sometimes confused, especially by young girls and women, as justification for smoking.

There is a general belief that smoking keeps you thin, and if you stop, you will gain weight. Unfortunately, there's some truth in this. Nicotine is an appetite suppressant and increases the body's metabolic rate. When a smoker quits and starts to eat more (sometimes as a comfort measure to help them to cope with their cravings for nicotine) they can gain weight. However, for many people, quitting smoking for a healthier lifestyle includes adopting better eating habits and more exercise, so the weight gain is temporary.

Smoking doesn't just harm bodily functions; it also leaves its mark on the outside.

The ageing effects of smoking

Collagen is the main structural protein our skin needs to retain its elasticity. Research suggests that people who smoke produce more of an enzyme that breaks collagen down.

Smoke also has a drying effect and because smoking restricts blood vessels, it restricts the flow of blood and in turn the delivery of oxygen and essential nutrients to the skin's surface. A smoker's skin can be prematurely aged by between 10 and 20 years with the most vulnerable areas being around the mouth and eyes. Skin damage is irreversible.

Smokers are also two or three times more likely to develop the chronic skin condition, psoriasis, and are often identified by yellow fingernails, brown teeth, gum disease and bad breath.

Smoking is no beauty treatment.

Some of the issues covered here are also raised in the Parents Q&A section

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