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Another Good Reason to Quit Smoking

How Lighting Up Makes the Burn Worse
  -- By Melinda Hershey, Health Educator
There are a lot of really good reasons to quit smoking: lung cancer, bad breath, decreased sense of smell and taste, and yellowed teeth and nails, to name a few. But if you are a smoker living with chronic heartburn, quitting smoking can have an added benefit of reducing your heartburn symptoms.

Smoking affects heartburn in several different ways:
Also note that if you tend to smoke and drink together, this may exacerbate heartburn symptoms even more, as alcohol can further weaken the LES.

So, will quitting smoking help your heartburn symptoms? There are many factors that contribute to heartburn, so cutting back on tobacco alone might not be a definite cure-all if you have other heartburn risk factors. But chances are good that it can reduce your heartburn symptoms, along with your risk for certain cancers and other lung conditions. If you do decide to quit, here are some good ways to start:

What are you waiting for? Get on track to quit today for a heartburn-free tomorrow!


Sources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Smoking & Tobacco Use: Quit Tips," accessed April 2013. www.cdc.gov.

Everyday Health. "Smoking Can Lead to GERD," accessed April 2013. www.everydayhealth.com.

National Institutes of Health. ''Mechanisms of acid reflux associated with cigarette smoking,'' accessed April 2013. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.

The New York Times. "GERD In-Depth Report," accessed April 2013. http://health.nytimes.com.