Interactive website shows how smoking changes your body


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TobaccoBody.fi gives you a graphic glimpse into the physical differences between smokers and nonsmokers — and, let's just say, it's not pretty.

The site was created by the Cancer Society of Finland and depicts the long-term effects of tobacco and nicotine on various body parts and functions. An interactive graphic is provided for both women and men since some of the effects — such as those related to reproductive functions — differ based on gender.

Though some of the risks illustrated on the site are obvious (e.g., lung cancer), others might come as a surprise, and many of them are appearance-related. Did you know smokers tend to have brittle hair and are more likely to go bald and gray than nonsmokers? You can also expect more wrinkles if you light up frequently — as the site explains, chemicals in the cigarette smoke make the skin's elastic fibers to snap more easily, which causes the skin to lose its elasticity.

The site also claims there's a link between smoking and weight gain, though this is a controversial issue. Some studies have found no connection between smoking and weight gain or weight loss, while others claim smoking curbs the appetite and thus causes weight loss. One interesting study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2008 found that heavy smokers tend to have a greater body weight than light smokers or nonsmokers.

On top of these cosmetic changes, smokers have twice the risk of developing blood clots, face a higher risk of oral cancer and are generally more stressed than the average nonsmoker.

Check out TobaccoBody.fi to see for yourself.