Can you spot a smoker?

I'm friends with a doctor who says he can tell who smokes just by looking at them. He says he can judge by looks and not smell, voice, cough, etc. That smokers have a certain look... something about their complexion, lips, skin turgor, is how he can spot the smokers, even if they are only teenagers. I think he's full of crap. I can spot someone who's been smoking half their life based upon that assessment, but someone who is 19? I don't think so.
Only in women that are a bit older than me - something about the skin sometimes sets it off. But, that could be tanning too.

Just by looks in the men, I don't think I could tell.

For me, I notice the smell of cigarettes at times.

I recall when I left my ex BF who was a smoker. I hadn't realized how much all of my clothes smelled like cigarettes until I had them all back at my place. I had become desensitized to it when we were living together. I had to wash everything I owned, lol.
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I can see how he might be able to tell. I've noticed girls my age with very dull skin that had developed a lot more fine lines than one would expect for a 21-22 year old. I just suspected it was because of their smoking habits. Obviously if you're dehydrated, your skin is going to show it.
Before cell phones, they're obvious when they drive.
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If they're on the job, yes, because they're always watching the clock waiting for their next smoke break.
To the OP: kinda, yeah
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If they are young (and unless they reek of stale smoke), no. But people in their 30s and up who smoke? Yeah, I can usually tell by looking at them.
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I'm friends with a doctor who says he can tell who smokes just by looking at them. He says he can judge by looks and not smell, voice, cough, etc. That smokers have a certain look... something about their complexion, lips, skin turgor, is how he can spot the smokers, even if they are only teenagers. I think he's full of crap. I can spot someone who's been smoking half their life based upon that assessment, but someone who is 19? I don't think so.
Originally Posted by chicagocurly78
I can often tell even in young people. I have a hard time identifying that "I smoke once a week when I drink" person, but the pack a day smoker I can usually pick out. I'm going to be a doctor in just a few months. I think medical school teaches you to really observe subtleties and patterns. I can visually identify a lot of diseases and syndromes (chronic lung disease is pretty easy to pick out, even if they aren't breathing heavily, for example).
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I can spot heavy smokers, of any age, but a light smoker can hide the habit and the physical changes very well, even into old age.
I'm friends with a doctor who says he can tell who smokes just by looking at them. He says he can judge by looks and not smell, voice, cough, etc. That smokers have a certain look... something about their complexion, lips, skin turgor, is how he can spot the smokers, even if they are only teenagers. I think he's full of crap. I can spot someone who's been smoking half their life based upon that assessment, but someone who is 19? I don't think so.
Originally Posted by chicagocurly78
I can often tell even in young people. I have a hard time identifying that "I smoke once a week when I drink" person, but the pack a day smoker I can usually pick out.
Originally Posted by newcurly
Same here. And in some cases, I can tell who was a smoker, even after they've quit.
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I'm friends with a doctor who says he can tell who smokes just by looking at them. He says he can judge by looks and not smell, voice, cough, etc. That smokers have a certain look... something about their complexion, lips, skin turgor, is how he can spot the smokers, even if they are only teenagers. I think he's full of crap. I can spot someone who's been smoking half their life based upon that assessment, but someone who is 19? I don't think so.
Originally Posted by chicagocurly78
i can't always tell by face-value. i have been surprised by only a few people to learn that they were smokers because i never smelled "the smell" on them, they had clear lips, nice hands, clear facial skin, no cough.

but, the discolored lips (dark) and fingertips, the smell not only in the clothing, but the skin and breath are telltale signs.

oh, and peppermint or gum, doesn't mask cigarette breath. that's like putting on deodorant over unwashed funky armpits; you smell perfume and funk. same with cigarette breath; you smell peppermint and nicotine, smoky funk.

some smokers have a horrible breath that goes deeper than superficial nicotine. it's like a nasty, mucousy, smoky odor that i can smell when they speak. it's disgusting and makes me want to heave.
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I'm friends with a doctor who says he can tell who smokes just by looking at them. He says he can judge by looks and not smell, voice, cough, etc. That smokers have a certain look... something about their complexion, lips, skin turgor, is how he can spot the smokers, even if they are only teenagers. I think he's full of crap. I can spot someone who's been smoking half their life based upon that assessment, but someone who is 19? I don't think so.
Originally Posted by chicagocurly78
I can often tell even in young people. I have a hard time identifying that "I smoke once a week when I drink" person, but the pack a day smoker I can usually pick out.
Originally Posted by newcurly
Same here. I only notice these things on others because I noticed when they changed on me once I quit smoking.

1- Yellow finger tips
2-grayish gums
3-yellow teeth
4-grayish skin
5-yellowish tint in the white of the eye
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Often, especially once they're in their late 20's or early 30's. If nothing else, it begins showing up in their skin by then.
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I can spot heavy smokers, of any age, but a light smoker can hide the habit and the physical changes very well, even into old age.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves


Yup, I'm a "few smokes a day" person, have been since I was a teenager. People that I meet are stunned to hear that. I recently told my brother that I smoked and his jaw just dropped. I don't smoke in my house, or my car... I only smoke outside, I think that's how I've been able to hide my habit.


On that note, my 40th birthday is my quit date. 6 more weeks to enjoy my vile, smelly habit.
I'm friends with a doctor who says he can tell who smokes just by looking at them. He says he can judge by looks and not smell, voice, cough, etc. That smokers have a certain look... something about their complexion, lips, skin turgor, is how he can spot the smokers, even if they are only teenagers. I think he's full of crap. I can spot someone who's been smoking half their life based upon that assessment, but someone who is 19? I don't think so.
Originally Posted by chicagocurly78
My husband says the same. He has worked closely with doctors that have trained him to look for the subtle clues that newcurly alluded to.

As for me, I can only tell if they have all/some of the obvious signs previously posted.
Sometimes, but not really. I have a friend who was vegan for a while and is into nutrition and I was shocked when he told me he's a smoker. I guess I figured someone who pays that much attention to what goes into his body wouldn't think of smoking, but there you go. It's not so easy to tell.
I can spot heavy smokers, of any age, but a light smoker can hide the habit and the physical changes very well, even into old age.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves


Yup, I'm a "few smokes a day" person, have been since I was a teenager. People that I meet are stunned to hear that. I recently told my brother that I smoked and his jaw just dropped. I don't smoke in my house, or my car... I only smoke outside, I think that's how I've been able to hide my habit.
Originally Posted by meryn
Same here Meryn..really wanna quit tho. Hopefully will be done by my 23rd.

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