- Slower healing: Since smoking hinders circulation, this results in slower healing of the skin. In turn, this slow healing can increase complications after surgery. To add insult to injury, nicotine has toxic effects on healing tissue, and those who smoke typically have poorer scars.
- Increased risk of infection: Since smoking suppresses the immune system, smokers are at increased risk of acquiring viral infections. Infections like what, you ask? Warts, for one.
- Increased risk of cancer: According to research published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, smokers are three times as likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma than those who do not smoke.
The good news is that if you quit smoking now, within 48 to 72 hours the body will be free of nicotine, and within about three weeks to three months, your circulation will improve noticeably.