Conventional wisdom says that smoking makes you look older, and there's plenty of anecdotal evidence to back this up. Exhibits A-Z: Any random selection of 26 recent photos pictuirng Keith Richards. But it turns out that there's plenty of hard data on the phenomenon, too. Julian Huguet has the story in today's DNews report.
The principle reason that smoking causes an appearance of aging, especially in the face, is that nicotine is a vasoconstrictor. That means the chemical narrows your blood vessels. Less blood means less oxygen getting to your cells, and your skin cells need oxygen to rebuild. The result is baggy skin, droopy eyelids and wrinkles. Smoking has a few secondary effects as well -- check out Julian's report for the details. Just say no, kids.
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NCBI: Time for a smoke? One cigarette reduces your life by 11 minutes
Today: Smoking really does make you look older, a twin study confirms
Huffington Post: Yes, Cigarettes ARE Making Your Skin Age Faster