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Cigarette smoke by Challiyil Eswaramangalath Vipin

Smoking reduces the oxygen level in your blood, giving grey dry skin, malnourished hair, poor muscle tone and less oxygen to the brain, giving slower reactions.

The carbon monoxide inhaled from cigarette smoke binds to the haemoglobin in your blood in place of oxygen – so instead of transporting a source of healthy energy throughout your body, your blood carries a toxin instead.

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  • Clearing the air on the hard facts of what smoking does to your body @ Smoking Cessation

    Excerpt: Smoking constricts the blood vessels in your skin, decreasing the delivery of life-giving oxygen to this vital organ. As the result of this decrease in blood flow, a smoker’s skin becomes more susceptible to wrinkling. This decreased blood flow can be a special problem in people who suffer from chronically cold hands and/or feet (Raynaud’s Syndrome). Smokers are at particularly high risk for a medical syndrome called “smoker’s face”, which is characterized by deep lines around the corners of the mouth and eyes, a gauntness of facial features, a grayish appearance of the skin, and certain abnormalities of the complexion. In one study, 46 percent of long-term smokers were found to have smoker’s face.

  • Smoking: Hair, brain and skin @ Daily Mail online

    Excerpt: Smokers may notice that the top layers of their hair are quite brittle. This causes them to break off before they are fully grown and is most likely because they are malnourished. Gay Sutherland, director of the Maudsley Hospital Smokers Clinic in London, says, “Cigarettes contain 4,000 different chemicals and gases, some of them deadly. When you smoke, your blood carries around poisonous carbon monoxide gas which hijacks the red blood cells. “This prevents the cells from carrying the right amounts of oxygen around your body. Ultimately, this will affect things like your hair as it is not being supplied with enough nutrients or fresh oxygen from the blood stream.”

Image by Challiyil Eswaramangalath Vipin from Chalakudy, India (cigarette.. like a cigarette in the rain) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons