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The Cosmetic Effect of Cigarettes: What Would Don Draper Do?

Smoke Gets In

The Cosmetic Effect of Cigarettes: What Would Don Draper Do?

By K. Graham

Published on December 03, 2010

In order to witness the allure of smoking, one simply has to turn on the television to catch the latest episode of Mad Men. The epitome of a classic gentleman, Don Draper, and his picture-perfect wife Betty, can usually be seen puffing on a cigarette while looking alarmingly gorgeous and composed.

It is quite remarkable to think that smoking has ever been considered glamorous in light of the potential death sentence we so widely associate with it now. And while the notion still very much exists, the unquestionable veneration that surrounded the habit throughout the 1960′s is no more.

This month, the government strived to banish the glamour for good. A series of graphic warning labels depicting the health risks, with images such as corpses and a ruined man with a hole in his throat, are set to appear on every cigarette package by 2012, effectively overshadowing the Surgeon General’s Warning.

The radical effort pales when Europe’s enactment of graphic warnings so many years ago is taken into consideration. Yet one has only to look to Paris to know that smoking has all but ceased.

The adverse health effects are indeed well-known. But what about the toll smoking has been shown to take on your looks?

  • Smoking speeds up the aging process for skin, causing wrinkles and skin damage on the face and other regions of the body. The repeated facial expressions you make while smoking can all affect fine lines and creases; the toxins themselves dull your complexion, reduce elasticity, and yield a leathery appearance.
  • The more you smoke, the more discolored your teeth can become, and the more unsightly your smile. Periodontal disease aside, it also causes bad breath.
  • Accelerated hair loss and a greater chance of balding was attributed to chronic smoking in recent Taiwanese study.

Quitting the vice may not reverse these issues, but it can certainly keep them from worsening. If Don and Betty Draper were faced with graphic warning labels instead of gleaming cigarette cases, or perhaps the awareness of smoking’s negative cosmetic effects, which would break their habit?

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