Give Up Cigarettes, AXA PPP Healthcare Live Chat

BATD ON Mar 12, 2013 AT 3:59 pm

We don’t need to preach to you about the health hazards that sit hand in hand with that cigarette you just popped out into the cold to smoke.  Cancers, heart disease, respiratory diseases. . . you know the deal. But maybe what you haven’t factored into the equation is exactly what that cigarette is doing to your looks.

Sure, it may well dampen your hunger pangs and enable you to squeeze more comfortably into those leather skinnies, but smoking is also ageing you faster than you could possibly imagine.

Smoked by Michelle Melcher Illustration

Smoking is up there with careless overexposure to sunshine in that it creates irreversible damage to your skin. Each drag on that little white stick causes your body to produce countless free radicals which in turn force the body into an inflammatory state – the very same which causes everything from external skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, acne  and accelerated ageing to diabetes, arthritis and cancer.

Meanwhile, the continual action of drawing on a cigarette, although you may feel innately sexy whilst doing it, is slowly but surely giving you a classic not-so-sexy ‘smoker’s face’ made up of deep lines, gaunt hollowed out cheeks and deep-set eye sockets. You’ll also have created a pathway of hard-to-eradicate lines around the mouth and then there’s that dull, greying pallor that comes from poor circulation and a lack of oxygen being carried in the blood stream to the skin. And believe me when I say that even the most potent of skin creams cannot combat nor prevent the results of years’ worth of inhaling all manner of toxins.

Having been a one-time social smoker myself, (yes, yes I know smoking and beauty clearly do not mix) I can however assure you that all is not lost. The effect of giving up smoking, akin to a hardcore diet detox, is almost immediate. Skin will feel and look fresher, brighter and clearer. Those pesky dry patches, spots and sensitivity will quickly clear and you will slowly bring the process of skin ageing back to its normal rate.


If you think it’s about time you gave your skin (and health) a boost, and are looking to give up the habit, AXA PPP healthcare are holding two live chats on their website this week.

The live chat on Wednesday 13th March from 11 am – 1 pm is with Dr Mitra M Shahidi (Consultant in General and Respiratory Medicine at BMI Healthcare) on Smoking and its Effects. With a special interest in respiratory medicine and Tuberculosis, Dr Shahidi will be on hand to answer your health and medical questions on smoking and its effects, together with the immediate benefits of giving up and how to stop.

Join in and ask your questions here!


The live chat on Friday 15th March from 11 am – 1 pm is with Dr Mark Winwood (Clinical Director for Psychological Health at AXA PPP healthcare) on Smoking and Anxiety. As AXA PPP healthcare’s mental health expert with years of clinical experience, Dr Winwood is the perfect medical professional to ask about all aspects smoking-related anxiety and stress and to advise on successful ways to overcome these problems as part of a successful strategy to stop smoking.

Join in and ask your questions here!

Tweet your questions either before or during the live chats using the #axapppexpert with all those taking part to be entered into a draw to win a £100 pamper pack from The Sanctuary. 

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