Beauty before health: ‘Vain’ smokers are more likely to quit because of their looks rather than cancer, study reveals

By Tim Hyde

Vain smokers in Manchester are more concerned about the effects cigarettes have on their looks rather than their health, research revealed this week.

Mancunians still find skin wrinkles and yellow teeth more troubling than potentially fatal long-term consequences such as lung damage.

In fact, Manchester smokers are more likely to quit because of the aesthetic affects rather than the serious health problems it can cause, the research showed.

Since the turn of the New Year, more than 40% of smokers in Manchester admitted this was the reason they have decided to quit tobacco for good.

A staggering 89% even confessed they regretted taking it up in the first place because it is now showing in their appearance.

A spokesman for the smoking charity ASH said: “It is a very interesting finding, we find that people give up smoking mostly because of health reasons followed by costs.

“This change in views could be the start of a new trend as people live longer and want to look youthful and healthy for longer.”

Research conducted by VIP found that more than a quarter of people would give up cigarettes if they noticed a negative affect it had on their appearance.

The study also found that almost half of smokers either have, or are planning to quit over fears about the damage it is doing to their appearance.

 “It isn’t surprising to hear that 89% of smokers wish they hadn’t started, this is quite common because of the health impacts and the cost of smoking,” added the ASH spokesman.

“We wouldn’t typically see this type of trend but it is an interesting finding, we would need to see the outcome of other studies to see if they have a similar response.”

The study also showed that more than 80% of smokers were more likely to take notice of the effects of smoking they can actually see rather than what it is doing to their health and body internally.

It also revealed that 68% of smokers spend more time on their beauty regime to try and compensate for the effects of the cigarettes.

Yellow teeth were named as the biggest concern with more than 40% of smokers said they hated the effect cigarettes have had on their smile.

Bad breath, as well as the general odour that goes with being a smoker followed close behind, along with an increase in fine lines and wrinkles.

Dave Levin, co-owner of VIP, said: ”During our research three quarters of smokers said that their habit had caused deterioration to their looks and it was this, more than their health, that concerned them.”

”While the health issues caused by smoking are so widely advertised, they aren’t always as easy to see or notice.

”But the effects on your appearance are something you can see every time you look at your reflection, whether it’s deeper wrinkles, discoloured teeth or a sallow complexion.”

MM took to the streets to find out what you opinions on smoking were.

Jay Mills, 18, a student, from Chorlton, said: “I wouldn’t ever smoke there are so many bad things that it does to you. It just doesn’t appeal to me in the slightest.

“I think the numbers are quite high, I am surprised that more people don’t quite because it slowly kills you.”

Former smoker, Emily porter,22, from Altrincham, said: “I quit because of a few reasons, it wasn’t just down to how it was affecting my appearance. Seeing pictures of what it can do to your insides eventually persuaded me to give up.

 “Also it is a very expensive habit.”

A 33-year-old, Moss side resident, Toni Harper, said: “I took up smoking at an early age and I can’t see me stopping now. My teeth started to go yellow so I had them whitened. I wouldn’t give up smoking because of my appearance.”

Carrie Fisher,27, a chef, from Eccles, said: “Smoking doesn’t affect your appearance that much, I have smoked for quite a few years and I haven’t suffered from yellow teeth or anything.

“I suppose though if you did, it would motivate you to quit.”

Top ten effects smokers worry about cigarettes having on their looks

1.            Yellowing teeth

2.            Bad breath

3.            General odour from smoke

4.            An increase in wrinkles

5.            An increase in fine lines               

6.            Yellowing nails/fingers

7.            Missing teeth

8.            Wrinkly mouth/lips

9.            Bad skin

10.          Discoloured/ashen skin

Picture courtesy of The Mancorialist, with thanks.

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