How Smoking affects Digestion?

Smoking causes many diseases which are life threatening, these include colon cancer, heart disease, lung cancer and, emphysema. Every year nearly 400,000 die because of smoking. According to estimates, about 1/3 of adults smoke. Women and teenagers of both sex are smoking more than adult men. Smoking effects the whole body, which includes digestive system also.

Harmful effects of smoking on digestive system:

Smoking is harmful to all parts in the digestive system. Some common disorders are peptic ulcers and heartburn. This increases Crohn’s disease risk and also gallstones. Gallstones are formed when liquid in the gallbladder hardens and forms into stone like materials. Cigarette smoking also damages liver functioning.


Heartburn is very much common in 50million Americans. They suffer at least once in a month with this and nearly 15million suffer with heartburn daily.

It is a symptom of “

gastroesophageal reflux (GER)

”. This occurs when the natural acidic juices present in the stomach flow back into esophagus. Esophagus is the tube that connects mouth and stomach. Acidic juices are produced by the stomach to break down food into smaller compounds. Stomach can protect from acidic juices but esophagus cannot. Generally, a muscular valve in the lower end of esophagus, known as “

lower esophageal sphincter (LES)

“, keeps these acids in the stomach and out of esophagus. However, smoking weakens LES. Inner lining of esophagus gets damaged when these acids come in contact with esophagus.

Peptic Ulcer:

It is a sore lining in the duodenum, beginning of small intestine. This ulcer is common in Americans. These are caused due to various causes such as bacterial infections and usage of NSAIDs. These ulcers are caused by consuming spicy foods or stress, but ulcers are worsened with these.

Research showed that smoking develops ulcer. Ulcers are not healed if people smoke continuously or may take longer periods also. Healing of ulcers is possible if people quit smoking. Studies showed that smoking increases the secretion of acid by the stomach.

Crohn’s Disease:

It is the swelling in the lining of intestine. This mostly affects the small intestine, but it can also affect any part of the digestive tract. Studies suggest that former and current smokers are more prone to Crohn’s disease. Smoking increases the chances for repeated surgery for Crohn’s disease. Women have higher risks of repeated surgery than men. But some researchers suggest that smoking lowers the intestinal defenses, decreases of blood flow to intestines and, also immunity changes. People who quit the smoking may tend to suffer from Crohn’s disease.

Comments are closed.