Smoke, e.g. tobacco smoke, is a complex mixture of a large number of different chemical components of different substance classes, which are either free in the gas phase or particle-bound . The chemical composition varies depending on the type of smoke according to the concentration as well as particle size and charge of the individual components. The substances with the highest potential to cause toxic effects in the body include 1,3-butadiene ammonia, arsenic, benzene, hydrogen cyanide, heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, chromium, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon compounds (PAHs). The heavy metals contained in cigarette smoke. either directly affect the organism as toxins or lead to increased oxidative stress as catalysts of physiological processes .
Effect on the skin
Exposure to smoke triggers a variety of processes in the body that collectively lead to premature skin aging. The underlying mechanisms for this are not yet fully understood. There is evidence for a link between tobacco smoke and atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and lupus erythematosus, but none for triggering skin blemishes. Exposure to tobacco smoke may, however, promote the development of so-called age spots. In principle, age spots are the result of damage to the skin caused by many years of UV radiation or by the increased occurrence of free radicals. Smoke also promotes the formation of free radicals. Long-term exposure to smoke leads to a reduction in the thickness of the stratum corneum and a noticeable increase in wrinkles on the nose and wrinkles in the entire facial area [3, 4].
Topical antioxidants can be applied to the skin to protect against oxidative stress. To avoid synergistic effects of smoke and sunlight, appropriate sunscreen should be applied. Products that create a protective layer or reduce the penetration of pollutants are also indicated.
Detection methods of the effects
Constituents of smoke can be identified by various methods such as HPLC or MS. Electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy is a sensitive non-invasive method for detecting radical formation in tissues (in vivo/ex vivo) and also in cells. The use of different ESR probes allows the quantification and characterization of radicals after smoke exposure, among others. Squalene oxidation by malondialdehyde can also be detected in sebum.
 Alan Rodgman, Thomas A. Perfetti, The Chemical Components of Tobacco and Tobacco Smoke, 2013, DOI: 10.1201/b13973
 David Bernhard, Andrea Rossmann, Georg Wick, Metals in cigarette smoke, IUBMB Life, 2005 Dec;57(12):805-9. https://doi.org/10.1080/15216540500459667
 TE Novotny, SA Bialous, L Burt, C Curtis, VL da Costa, SU Iqtidar, Y Liu, S Pujari, ET d'Espaignet, The environmental and health impacts of tobacco agriculture, cigarette manufacture and consumption, Bulletin of the World Health Organization 2015;93:877-880. DOI: 10.2471/BLT.15.152744
 Yazdanparast T, Hassanzadeh H, Nasrollahi SA, et al. Cigarettes Smoking and Skin: A Comparison Study of the Biophysical Properties of Skin in Smokers and Non-Smokers. Tanaffos. 2019;18(2):163-168. PMC7230126