I don’t think it will come as a shock to anyone that smoking is hazardous to your health. It is also hazardous to your telomere length; and, hence, shortens your longevity. Tobacco smoke damages lipids, proteins, and DNA. It is inflammation and oxidative stress/damage caused by smoking that affects the telomere length. Smoking causes an acceleration of the rate of loss of telomere length.
Studies have compared people who have never smoked, have smoked and have normal lung function, and, have smoked and have serious lung function impairment.
The results showed that there was no difference in the measurement of telomere lengths over time in the two groups who smoked – with normal lung function and obstructed lung function. The group who never smoked had longer telomeres compared to the other two groups. The rate of loss of telomere length was more of a factor of total cumulative time smoking and the number of packs of cigarettes smoked daily. More and longer smoking created the greatest loss in the rate of telomere length.