Even if it doesn't kill you, smoking will make you older. A lot older. The effects don't show up thirty years down the line but right now, today. You'll see new wrinkles in your face.
Smoking cigarettes ages the skin prematurely -- it does that by two mechanisms -- first and foremost, it ages your arteries. And second, it decreases the ability of your lung to provide oxygen to your blood. By these two mechanisms smoking decreases the amount of oxygen that gets to your skin cells, causing them to age faster than they should. It also causes shortness of breath that results from emphysema. The lack of oxygen further ages your lungs by causing inability of your immune system and lung protective systems to work normally, leading to a high incidence of respiratory illnesses, plus a loss of stamina and energy. This is one way that smoking clogs your arteries with inflammation that can lead to high blood pressure that further ages your arteries -- it is a nasty positive feedback loop to make you older by making you more vulnerable to infections and making your blood pressure higher.
For the American population as a whole, smoking makes us more than 250 million years older than we need to be. If you're a smoker and have a pack-a-day habit, consider yourself eight years older. Think you're forty? Try forty-eight on for size. Think you're fifty? More like fifty-eight. Even if you smoke just four cigarettes a day, which is barely any at all, your RealAge is 2.6 years older.
Find out more about this book:The RealAge Makeover: Take Years off Your Looks and Add Them to Your Life