I started this blog with the aim of helping myself, and others to ‘escape’ the trap of smoking by focussing on the ONE side-effect of smoking that young people should be aware of… as it will help you cut down and stop the habit too.
It is a piece of knowledge that needs NO scientific evidence to prove as you can witness it with your own eyes.
At school and in papers / media / cigarette warnings / etc. they always FOCUS on:
– LONG-TERM risk of lung cancer and heart-desiese.
Whilst I agree those risks should be highlighted, it is very evident that YOU CANNOT RELATE TO THE RISKS of premature death caused by lifelong smoking, especially when you are in your teenage years or 20’s. You feel so ALIVE with life and youth, the effects of smoking seem harmless until some far off time, by which time YOU imagine you will have already given up before it is too late.
It is easy for YOU to imagine that you WILL ‘give-up’ at ‘some time’ in the future (probably sometime in your ’20’s’ / 30’s!?).
Have you had these thoughts in your mind when you needed to justify starting smoking regularly?
- ‘I will give up when I’m in my mid-late 20’s, maybe age 25, by which time it’ll probably be easy anyway, and I’ll never be at risk like people who smoke until they are in their 60’s’
- I am not addicted to smoking ‘I just enjoy it!’
- I can stop whenever I want, I just don’t want to yet.
- People in movies / rockstars / popstars smoke so it must be ok, in fact it is pretty glamourous.
Well, if any of that sounds familiar it is normal part of the illusion that gets you in to smoking in the first place.
Here is the reason you should stop smoking now, as it will affect you not in some far distant time in the future, but in your 20’s, any time after a couple of years of smoking, and will definitely show faster in girls and women because they have smaller bodies and thinner skin:
- Smoking will affect the skin on your face – you may notice suddenly, or gradually but it WILL. If you started aged 16, you will likely notice by the time you are 25:
- skin appears dull / lifeless /.
- Fine-lines and wrinkles around the eyes and mouth
- Dark circles and bags under eyes.
- Larger pores
I have no SCIENCE to give you, I have merely observed this in every day life. I am a very observent person. The main shock was when I noticed it on myself. At the age of 22, after starting ‘light’ smoking since the age of 15 – I suddenly noticed lines around my mouth (laughter lines) and eyes. I saw in unflattering light (ie: outside or flourescent light or flash photographs) that my skin was pale and had yellow tinges. I had always appeared younger than my age so was never put off smoking by the fact it can age your skin. What I didn’t know, and for which I am BITTER to the govournment for not making clearer to young people, is JUST HOW YOUNG this effect of smoking can kick in. It is not something that will appear in your 40’s – we are talking EARLY 20’s.
What should you do then?
- When ever you have a cigarette (or spliff or rollup!) – imagine the damage it is causing to your SKIN.
No one will tell you your skin looks bad / wrinkly, so look in the mirror and ask yourself, does my skin look healthy – am I wearing make-up to ENHANCE, or to COVER-UP dark circles, baggy red eyes, dull skin? All those are caused by SMOKING.
But my skin looks good now, why should I care?
If you cannot see the damage now, you will SOONER THAN YOU THINK – MOST likely within 10 years of starting. So if you are an everage starter at 15/16, you will see damage to your skin by the time you are 25. The damage is starting and happening on EVERY CIGARETTE YOU SMOKE. So yes, it is better to smoke LESS, but best to STOP completely.
But I love smoking, I really enjoy it, as part of who I am, it will be too hard to stop!!?
It has been drummed into us that it is somehow ‘HARD’ to give-up as nicotene is so addictive. However, it has been proven by Alan Carr (Author of ‘The Easy Way To Stop Smoking’) that it is not Nicotene dependence that makes smoking hard to give-up. It is EMOTIONAL dependence – based on positive associations with life – ie, you smoke to RELAX, in social situations, when having fun, to ease stress etc.
However, if you change that emotion to negative –
I smoke and each time I do it is advancing the ageing of my face and attractiveness of my skin…
then it will suddenly be EASIER to STOP or CUT DOWN SEVERELY.
Forget all that lung-cancer / heart desease stuff.
- Its your OUTWARD appearance that will be affected FIRST.
- It is your FACE! No-one is immune.
- If you an attractive girl now, you will be upset when your face gets old before it should, thanks to your smoking habbit.
- It will happen, so you can choose to stop before you see the effects, or stop WHEN YOU SEE THEM and its too late to reverse them (no anti-ageing creams work on this damage). You will still notice great improvements in your skin if you STOP after noticing the damage.
It is very hard to imagine, when you are a wrinkle free teenager, what its like to start noticing this on your face before you were expecting (I mean its natural to start getting some lines on your face after your 20’s, into your 30’s and on) but not in your early – mid 20’s.
You have the power to keep your youth by stopping. I think imagining yourself becomming less attractive in your 20’s, thanks to your smoking is a very good deterrent.
Let me know your thoughts on this.