Over time, smoking produces thickening and drying of the vocal chords. The vocal chords vibrate as your breath passes through them, so their texture and shape helps determine what your voice sounds like. When they grow thick and dry, your voice will differ.
Below are the most notorious effects of smoking on the larynx (throat) and vocal chords:
- smoking dries the larynx and prevents it from becoming rehydrated. Cigarette smoke is hot, and polluted air that is drawn directly over the surface of the vocal folds. The result is drying and irritation of the vocal chords (one puff prevents the larynx from rehydrating itself for about 3 hours).
-The delicate cover of the vocal folds gets inflamed (swollen and red) with exposure to cigarette smoke. If the smoking is not stopped, the inflammation becomes chronic and the voice changes become irreversible.
-Some of the voice changes that smoking causes include: hoarseness, reduced pitch range, breathiness, vocal fatigue, lack of vocal control.