Face the facts: Smoking discourages oral, skin health

June 21, 2007

People who need another reason to quit smoking should look in the mirror.

Smoking causes tooth discoloration, gum disease and even tooth loss. In addition, smoking can be a major contributor to bad breath.

Besides causing an unattractive mouth, studies have shown that smokers often develop premature facial wrinkles. More importantly, they have an elevated risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The two may be related.

In one study, dermatologists used photos of current and former smokers to select subjects with "profound wrinkling over most of the face." Of the 25 most-wrinkled subjects, 21 had COPD. Researchers noted that the wrinkles were associated with heavier smoking and "strongly predictive" of airflow obstruction and emphysema.

For information about quitting smoking, talk to a physician or pharmacist, or call the Medical Center's 24-hour CareLine at (800) 243-1455.

The Medical Center and College of Medicine became a tobacco-free organization on Jan. 1, beginning a six-month transition period through June 30. All Medical Center and College of Medicine employees will be required to comply with the campus' tobacco-free policy by July 1.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 19, 2009