They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and perhaps when you look at these pictures they will do a much better job at explaining to young people why tobacco use is not a good idea.
If you look through current celebrity magazines or watch one of several entertainment shows on nightly television, you probably have seen Lindsay Lohan puffing away on a cigarette. We all know smoking ages the skin and stains teeth, but it has taken some serious smoking time to produce her current look. Her body is showing some outward signs that her cumulative cigarette addiction is creating some serious health problems. Drug use and general neglect of her personal hygiene have contributed to the sad state of her smile. It would be unrealistic to expect her to keep that fresh-face glow of youth from 2004 when she was 17, but her addictions are aging her past her 26 years of age. You can check out her pictures here and here.
Back in 1991, Kate Moss was just 17 and modeling wedding dresses. Looking at this picture on the left it is hard to imagine this fresh-faced young girl would become a superstar model. Her complexion was described as “peaches and cream.”
Fast forward 20 years (to the picture on the right) and her looks have suffered from her lifestyle, including lots of smoking and sun worshipping.
Your skin is your largest organ and it is easy to see the external damage smoking causes. In 1985 the term “smoker’s face” was even added to the medical dictionary to describe the accelerated aging of the face, characteristic facial wrinkling around the eyes, and shallow, yellow-grey coloration. Constriction of the blood vessels, breakdown of the collagen, and toxins in cigarette smoke all damage the skin. The aging effects are irreversible, but can be slowed if you quit smoking.
Young people don’t understand the long term risks of smoking and the addictive property of tobacco. They believe a couple of cigarettes a day is not as harmful as a pack a day smoker. Reality television has lead many to think any damage they do to their body is reversible with surgery, or that a cure will be found for whatever disease that tobacco use may produce. It is simply not true.
The Florida Statewide Tobacco Prevention and Intervention Teacher Training course is designed for educators and guidance counselors in public and independent schools to help dispel the myths of tobacco by educating their students. This online course is available 24/7 at no cost to educators, and may provide up to 60 teacher in-service credits. Check out our Florida Statewide Tobacco Prevention course for more information.