Want to Be Attractive? People Who Smoke Have Less Appealing Faces

People are able to identify smokers based on only their facial features, and often associate these features as being less attractive. The findings could stand as further motivation to finally kick the nasty habit this upcoming New Year’s day.

A recent study from the University of Bristol in England had 590 volunteers look at 23 twin faces in which one twin was a smoker and the other was not. The team then had a separate set of 580 volunteers look at the 23 twin faces and indicate which was more attractive. Twins were equally split between men and women. Volunteers were recruited using the Prolific Academic crowdsourcing platform, and there was no restriction on their age or where they lived.

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Results revealed that seventy percent of the time, volunteers were able to pick which twin was the smoker based on nothing but their facial appearance, The Independent reported. In addition, volunteers often choose the non-smoking twin as the more attractive twin.

According to the study, now published online in Royal Society Open SScience, volunteers observed more signs of aging in the smoking twins, such as lip wrinkles and bags underneath the eye.  

12_22_ciggarette Cigarettes can have a noticeable affect on your attraction. MOHD RASFAN/AFP/Getty Images

The damages of cigarette smoke on the skin are well known. Smoking deprives your skin of oxygen, and over time this can change your complexion and cause uneven coloring, Health reported. In addition, smoking can damage the collagen in your skin. As a result, skin is more likely to develop deeper wrinkles and sag worse than the skin of a non-smoker would. In addition, a long-term habit can cause you to develop significant wrinkles around your mouth. This is because constantly smoking causes the muscles around the lips to strengthen.

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The study researchers write that they hope the results could be used as a way to get more people to quit smoking, as they “present the characteristic facial features of smokers and non-smokers, have the potential to be of utility in developing and improving smoking behaviour change interventions.”

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarette smoking is still the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the U.S and still leads to more than 480,000 deaths each year. However, there is good news; smoking rates have significantly declined in the past 10 years. However, 16 percent of men and 13 percent of women continue to smoke cigarettes. The habit is higher among individuals with a Native American or mixed race background, and highest among individuals with less education living beneath the poverty line.