The risk of cancer which tobacco involves is known to most smokers, but perhaps not all of them are aware of the damage to the cardiovascular system, respiratory tract, and skin, which the act of smoking entails. A single cigarette and the smoke it gives off contain more than 4,500 chemicals, of which more than 250 are carcinogenic.
The first place quitting smoking can be noted is in the skin. Smoking contributes to premature aging of the skin, due to the large amount of free radicals contained in tobacco. Besides inhibiting the blood's antioxidant capabilities, its noxious effects center especially on skin cells. With smoking cessation, it is the first organ to exhibit signs of recovery following expulsion of tobacco from the body. The skin detoxifies on its own and, after a short time, regains its splendor.
Tobacco is one of the largest contributing factors to the aging of skin, and the main one responsible for premature aging of smokers. Tobacco, along with other determinants, such as sun exposure, nutrition, and physical and mental stress, determines people's skin health. Smoking decreases blood circulation to the tissues, provoking changes in the skin's elasticity, such that it diminishes. As a consequence of this wear to the skin, the facial muscles and their defects and depressions become more prominent. Expression marks also appear, especially around the mouth, the so-called smoker's lines which give off a significant impression of old age. Lastly, it should be noted that it alters the processes which mitigate the side effects of sun exposure, giving free rein to the appearance of blemishes and hyperpigmentation.
The majority of people who smoke say that they would like to quit. Nevertheless, only a small percentage of those which who try manage to succeed. These poor results are due to the fact that the majority of smokers try to quit without help, relying on sheer willpower. The best results have been achieved with intervention from different angles: from psychology to behavioral therapy, to medical pharmacology. These interventions must always be adapted to the smoker's physical psychological, work, and social, conditions. This is known as specialized intervention and should be performed by a professional trained in smoking cessation.