We all know that smoking is bad for your health. Like, cancer-causing bad. Which is pretty much as bad as bad gets.

But now there's proof that it's just as bad for you on the outside as it in for your insides - that not only does it turn your lungs black, but that, on the whole, long-term smokers end up looking older than non-smokers.

"How can they prove that?" you ask? Well, a 2013 study published in Plastic And Reconstructive Surgery compared photos of identical twins - one of whom was a non-smoker, while the other had been puffing away for at least five years.

Credit: Wolters Kluwer Health

According to Health Good, the series of photos used for the study were taken from a larger pool of photographs of identical twins taken at the Twins Day Festival in - get this - Twinsburg, Ohio.

In the study, 79 sets of twins were identified where one did smoke and the other did not - or where one had smoked for at least five years longer than the other.

To isolate the effect of smoking, other factors such as alcohol intake, sunscreen use and perceived work stress were also taken into consideration - although quite how they worked out a formula for those things is anyone's guess.

Still, the paper in which the results were published, Facial Changes Caused By Smoking: A Comparison Between Smoking And Nonsmoking Identical Twins, explained that these were then shown to three judges, who scored different facial features.

Compared with their non-smoking counterparts, smoking twins had worse scores for upper eyelid skin redundancy, lower lid bags, malar bags, nasolabial folds, upper lip wrinkles, lower lip vermilion wrinkles, and jowls.

So pretty much all the prominent facial features then.

Credit: Wolters Kluwer Health

And yes, while it's a common perception that smokers are often thinner than non-smokers, the study suggests that's actually a contributing factor for a deflated facial appearance and accentuated wrinkles.

The good news? Dr. Bahman Guyuron, the study's author, also compared the appearance of twins who both smoked, but one of them had been smoking for considerably longer.

And in those who had been smoking for less time there was a significant difference in appearance. So while you may not be able to reverse those smoker's lines, you can, it seems, prevent new ones from forming.

And if that's not enough to convince you, then two words might: smoker's breath!

Featured Image Credit: Wolters Kluwer Health

Claire Reid

Claire Reid is a journalist at LADbible. Claire graduated from Liverpool John Moores University with a BA in journalism. She’s previously worked at Trinity Mirror. Since joining LADbible, Claire has worked on pieces for the UOKM8? mental health campaign, the Yemen crisis, life in the Calais Jungle as well as a profile of a man who is turning himself into a cyborg.

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