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Part 1: Introduction

Long-term smoking can have a detrimental effect on your skin. While cosmetic changes such as premature wrinkles and skin discolouration are not life-threatening, these cutaneous (meaning affecting the skin) manifestations can provide a powerful motivation for some to quit smoking. This may be particularly true for those who took up smoking because of they felt it was 'glamorous', only to discover that the reality is taking them even further away from the movie star image that they aspire to. Developing wrinkles is a natural part of the aging process but smoking effectively accelerates aging and makes the smoker appear years older than they actually are. Premature wrinkles, with dry, greyish skin drawn across sunken cheeks may all be part of the gaunt visage of the chronic smoker. There can be other, more serious, consequences for smokers, including the increased risk of some types of skin cancer and a thinning of the skin.