Aging and Smoking – How One Affects the Other

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 46 million of Americans or 21 % of the American population engaged in smoking which makes aging and smoking a hot topic. It was noted that smoking affected the process of aging. In this case that smoking can be prevented, it is vital to know the facts regarding aging and smoking.Aging and Smoking

About Aging

Aging is a natural process that affects human beings as well as other living things and as Princeton defines, it is “the organic process of growing older and showing the effects of increasing age.” There can be changes in all the body systems and body parts which include the skin. Physical activities of these people are also affected. The effects of aging can quickly occur and the effects are very visible.

About Smoking

Smoking is the process of inhaling smoke and fumes from a cigarette, cigar or pipe. This habit can be addictive because of the nicotine content of the tobacco. The fact is there are more than 420,000 people who died of smoking and there are 50,000 non smokers who are killed by secondhand smoke. They say that nicotine provides a pleasant feeling to a smoker which acts on the brain and central nervous system’s chemistry. Because the nicotine sends dopamine to the reward center, this makes the user crave for more. It was also found out that smoking is very common on young people that include about 20% of U.S. high school students.

Smoking on Aging

In a study conducted in 2009, they found out that smoking hastens the process of aging as it makes the outer skin appears older and affects the biological aspect of aging. Smoking damages the cells in the body which accelerates aging process. It also damages the cells within the lungs which usually aids in repairing damage. Smoking does not only speed up the aging process but shortens the lifespan of a smoker by as much as 10 years.

Effects of Smoking

Because smoking slows down blood flow, it can hinders the healing process thus making the skin appears older as it causes wrinkles. The cells that are being exposed to smoke tend to break down and because they have less collagen it causes the skin to sag. Although wrinkles are a natural part of aging process, smoking causes them to appear prematurely. The skin has also the tendency to become gray and appears pale. Lastly, since nicotine makes ones blood pressure to increase, it reduces the blood flow to the body which can lead to slow digestion.

It is a fact that smoking can accelerate the aging effects especially in the skin and there’s no way of having a safe smoke. Although damage sometimes does not show after several years of smoking but once it shows the damage, there’s no way to stop it. However, the aging process can be eased by eating a healthy diet, getting adequate sleep, exercising properly and by avoiding stress. Of course, at the end of the day, you should already think twice about smoking. It may relieve you of stress but can lead you to your way to the aging process.

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