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Smoking Lessens Healing, Adds Scarring

Not too long ago, I posted the results of a study that documented the true cost of smoking in terms anyone would understand -- dollars and cents. New research has disovered cigarette smoke, whether first- or second-hand, complicates the careful cellular choreography of wound healing.

In fact, cigarette smoke delays the formation of healing tissue and sets the stage for increased scarring at the edges of a wound.

A highly choreographed, biological drama of clotting, inflammation, cell proliferation and tissue remodeling, the process of wound healing features an exotic cast of clotting and growth factors, specialized cells and structural proteins, each of which must time their entrance and exit perfectly. This intricate biological timing spins out of control in the presence of cigarette smoke.

Scientists learned about the harmful effects of cigarette smoke by focusing on the structure and function of fibroblasts, both in mice and human tissue cultures. Cigarette smoke stimulates these cells to stay alive, but it also impairs their ability to move, causing them to bunch up at the margin of the wound, which promotes scarring.

The best weapon for quitting smoking or any other unhealthy habit -- without drugs or expensive treatments -- is the Emotional Freedom Technique, the proven energy psychology tool you can learn by downloading my free manual.

Science Daily December 7, 2004

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