Identical Twin Studies Demonstrate Smoking’s Contribution to Facial Aging


Smoking Twin

The twin on the right smoked 14 years longer than his brother.

Twinsburg, Ohio is the site of the annual Twins Days Festival. The gathering is always a fascinating comparison of “NATURE V. NURTURE”.

The subject of the effect of SMOKING on FACIAL AGING was studied by a group of plastic surgeons who report their findings in the November 2013 issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

79 pairs of twins were identified where one was a smoker and the other tobacco free. Over a three year period, standard facial photographs were taken and analyzed by judges that did not know which person was the smoker. Age related facial features and wrinkles were compared and scored.

Those who had smoked more than 5 years had worse scores than their twins in the following ways:

  1. More upper eyelid skin excess
  2. Larger lower lid bags
  3. Large cheek bags, below the eyelid
  4. More upper lip wrinkles
  5. More dark circles on lower lids
  6. Deeper nasolabial folds (the parentheses around the mouth)

The smoke related changes seemed to be worse in the middle and lower face.

Conclusion: A five year difference in smoking can make noticeable difference in features of facial aging.

Are there any good reasons to smoke? 

More than 150 news outlets covered this story including:,, WebMD, Reuters, Huffington Post

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