We all know that smoking can cause lung cancer – but did you know it can also trigger women to go grey, grow facial hair and men to have sluggish sperm?
In an attempt to move on from the grisly anti-smoking pictures found on cigarette packets, Finnish doctors have developed an interactive website to highlight the dangers.
Tobacco Body has been created in conjunction with the Cancer Society of Finland to show the damage smoking causes.
To see the dangers for yourself, select the male or female body and then browse different parts of the body
From spots, to an increased risk of stomach ulcers, the catalogue of side-effects and images make for disturbing viewing – right down to the grey, mottled skin of the smoker.
For women, one of the most disturbing things may be that smoking can trigger the growth of extra facial hair on the face and arms.
To see the dangers for yourself, select the male or female body and then browse different parts of the body.
The site explains that with skin, for example, ‘smokers are more likely to get spots as smoking weakens the circulation which increases the risk of infection. It also make acne more difficult to deal with.’ It adds that smoker’s skin looks unhealthy because the chemicals in cigarette smoke make the skin’s elastic fibres snap more easily, causing the skin to lose its elasticity.
Non-smokers also have five times less wrinkles compared to smokers who have smoked a pack a day for 25 years. Excess hair growth in women in triggered because smoking increases levels of the male hormone, testosterone.
Indeed, a study from the Medical College of Wisconsin found that women who smoked a pack of cigarettes or more a day were significantly more likely than non-smokers to have facial hair and experience early menopause and irregular periods
Smokers are more likely to carry extra weight around the middle. Of girls aged 16-24, those who smoke are most likely to be overweight, it is claimed. Hair doesn’t fair well, either. The site explains: ‘Smokers have brittle hair and are more likely to go bald and grey than others. Chemicals from tobacco gather in the hair and cause hairs to break off before they are fully formed.’
Smokers also have double the risk of a blood clot and a worse sex life. Smoking weakens blood flow to the penis, which counts for smokers being twice as likely to have erectile problems.
Smokers’ sperm density is also significantly less compared to the non smokers. The toxins from cigarettes decrease the concentration and mobility of sperm cells in semen and harm the cell’s structure, the site says.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, smokers also put themselves more at risk of painful stomach ulcers. The nicotine in cigarettes weakens the stomach’s ability to fight helicobacter pylori, a bacteria which causes stomach ulcers.
Source: UK Daily Mail