World No-Tobacco Day 2023: How smoking wreaks havoc on your skin, hair, and eyes | Health


World No Tobacco Day is an annual awareness campaign observed on May 31st, organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners. This day aims to raise awareness about the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocate for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption worldwide. Smoking is a detrimental behaviour that not only poses risks to our internal organs but also has visible consequences on our external appearance. As research progresses, the alarming correlation between smoking and its damaging effects on our skin, hair, and eyes becomes increasingly evident. Let us delve into this unsettling relationship to gain a deeper understanding of the adverse impacts of smoking. (Also read: Anti-Tobacco Day 2023: Date, history, significance, theme and celebration of World No Tobacco Day this year )

Smoking is a detrimental behaviour that not only poses risks to our internal organs but also has visible consequences on our external appearance. (Unsplash)
Smoking is a detrimental behaviour that not only poses risks to our internal organs but also has visible consequences on our external appearance. (Unsplash)

How does smoking impact your skin, hair and eyes?

Impact on skin:

Talking about the impact of smoking on skin, Dr Bhooshan Zade, Director Radiation oncology, Ruby Hall Clinic, Pune, revealed to HT Lifestyle, ” Smoking is not good for your skin’s health. The damaging chemicals in cigarette smoke disrupt the skin’s natural balance, hastening the ageing process and degrading its general quality. Regular smoking is a factor in the development of fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin. Collagen and elastin, which are crucial for preserving skin’s suppleness and firmness, are destroyed by the carcinogens in tobacco smoke.”

“As a result, smokers frequently have dull, uneven skin tones and have slower wound and skin injury recovery times. Smoking also makes common skin problems like eczema, psoriasis, and acne worse. The chemicals in tobacco smoke cause the body to swell, causing flare-ups and escalating pre-existing skin conditions. Smoking also narrows blood vessels, which reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that reach the skin. Smokers appear older than non-smokers due to the deprivation that causes a pale, sallow complexion,” says Dr Bhooshan.

Impact on hair:

He further shared, “Smoking has a negative impact on our hair in addition to our skin. Smoking’s harmful vapours and chemicals can weaken and shrink hair follicles, resulting in hair loss and thinning. Because smoking disrupts the production of melanin, which gives hair its colour, studies have demonstrated a direct link between smoking and premature greying of hair. As a result, smokers could struggle with brittle, lifeless hair that lacks vitality and volume.”

Impact on eyes:

“The damaging effects of smoking extend to the eyes, which are frequently referred to as the “windows to the soul”. Numerous eye diseases, including cataracts, macular degeneration, and dry eye syndrome, can be exacerbated by long-term smoking. Due to the build-up of oxidative stress brought on by smoking, smokers are more prone to develop cataracts, a clouding of the natural lens of the eye. Smokers are also more likely to develop macular degeneration, one of the main causes of blindness, because smoking damages the retina’s fragile cells with hazardous chemicals. Additionally, smoking irritates the eyes, resulting in dry eye syndrome by causing redness, itching, and increased tear production. Smoking has obvious long-term impacts on our skin, hair, and eyes,” says Dr Bhooshan.

He added, “There is a bright spot, though: stopping smoking can help undo some of the harm. According to studies, people who stop smoking see changes in the texture of their skin as well as fewer wrinkles and a healthier complexion. Along with eye problems, hair loss can be considerably reduced and, in some circumstances, even partially reversed.”

“In conclusion, smoking not only causes a serious risk to our internal health but also permanently alters the way we look. The negative effects of smoking on our skin, hair, and eyes are undeniable and far from desirable, ranging from early ageing and dull skin to hair loss and eye disorders. Knowing these adverse effects serves as a powerful reminder to break the habit, look after our health, and conserve the natural beauty that resides inside each of us,” concludes Dr Bhooshan.