We all know smoking is terribly unhealthy and causes premature aging, but it’s easy to dismiss those consequences as far-off hypotheticals. This video by BuzzFeed forces us to confront just how drastically the habit can alter appearances by showing three twenty-something smokers exactly what will happen to their looks over the next thirty years if they don’t quit. With the help of a makeup artist T. Justine Reilly and Dr. Taylor Hays of the Mayo Clinic’s Nicotine Dependence Center, the participants received a make-under to serve as a preview of what’s in store for their faces — wrinkles around the mouth, saggy cheeks, stained yellow teeth, and an overall appearance of sickliness. The results are undeniable, and the smokers’ reactions say it all:
“If this is what my outside appearance looks like just from smoking cigarettes then I cannot even imagine what my insides look like.”
“It’s kind of depressing.”
“After this experience, I definitely want to cut cigarettes out of my life completely.”
Obviously, even more important reasons to quit smoking are the high risk of diseases like cancer and early death (according to Business Insider, smokers die ten years earlier than nonsmokers on average, something I’ve definitely seen at play among my own loved ones), but sometimes seeing vanity suffer in such a tangible way is as good a motivator as any! After all, watching a friend or loved one’s appearance deteriorate can be terrifying in its own right, because all you can see when you look at their face is how unhealthy and feeble they look. Research has found smoking to be as addictive as heroin, so it’s easy to see why it’s still such a common habit. But, keep in mind quitting is the best move for a shot at a long and healthy life. If you’re looking to kick cigarettes, support and tips are available here.
READ MORE: Five Ways to Quit Smoking Naturally