Can I restore my physical appearance if I quit smoking?

David C. Fiore, MD
Family Medicine
A common side effect of cigarette smoking is outward signs of aging and even yellowing of the skin. Smokers can often look a decade older than they actually are, due to this damage. Quitting smoking can reduce these effects and, in some people, the effects will vanish altogether.
Smoking can cause signs of premature aging and wrinkling and yellowing of the nails and teeth. Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your body. Studies have shown that the discoloration in your nails will grow out. Additionally, your lung function should return, meaning you will be able to exercise more effectively and improve your overall cardiac health.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Smoking can cause some pretty unappealing problems for your physical appearance. Quit now and your smile is likely to regain its old gleam, since your teeth won't be stained from tobacco smoke. Smoking also leaves stains on your fingers and fingernails, so you won't be embarrassed to shake hands anymore.

Other improvements in your appearance may come in the months after you quit. Your lung function should improve, so you'll be able to spend more time on your feet without getting winded, for instance. That means you can exercise more, which can help you stay toned and fit. What's more, smoking causes wrinkles. Quitting smoking may not make them go away, but it will help your skin stay smoother and appear more youthful.
This varies depending on what smoking-related diseases, if any, you may have. However, quitting smoking in conjunction with increasing physical activity and making healthy eating choices, may be helpful. According to a report by the American Cancer Society, people who quit smoking have better self-reported health.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Your friends tell me nothing will help-but in all seriousness quitting smoking will give you more vitality so you will stand up straighter, will reduce back pain so you will look stronger and feel more vigorous, will help your arteries become more normal so you will have more energy and will get rid of some of the wrinkles on your skin so you will look younger

Continue Learning about Quit Smoking

Want Another Reason Not to Smoke? Think About Your Grandchildren
Want Another Reason Not to Smoke? Think About Your Grandchildren
“Where there’s smoke there’s fire” is a phrase that’s been around for a long time; it means that if it looks like there’s something wrong, then there ...
Read More
What boundaries should I set as a recovering smoker?
Univ. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family MedicineUniv. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family Medicine
Make your home, car, and work areas smoke free. Also, avoid interaction with friends that will c...
More Answers
5 Ways to Overcome Cigarette Cravings
5 Ways to Overcome Cigarette Cravings5 Ways to Overcome Cigarette Cravings5 Ways to Overcome Cigarette Cravings5 Ways to Overcome Cigarette Cravings
Quitting is hard, but not impossible.
Start Slideshow
Eat Right to Boost Your Quit-Smoking Success
Eat Right to Boost Your Quit-Smoking Success

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.