November 15th is the Great American Smokeout. If you’ve been considering quitting, why not use this date to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day. Smoking is a serious health risk that can make the smoker appear older than his or her age.

Normal aging reduces the number of healthy cells in the body, and smoking hastens this process. Have you ever left a half eaten apple to sit out for a while? The brown discoloration and puckering is a result of the oxidation process. Cigarette smoking causes the same process to occur in to the cells of the body, including skin cells. The skin (like the apple) ages and wrinkles more rapidly. Antioxidants in healthy foods and skin care products can reduce some of the stress caused by the free radical attack on our cells during the oxidation process. However, antioxidants cannot sufficiently counteract the effect of smoking.

Smoking is known to decrease blood circulation to the body and skin and to delay healing. For this reason, many surgeons are reluctant to operate on smokers because of the increased risk of complications and healing problems.


For help quitting visit The American Cancer Society website.