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How does smoking affect Crohn's disease?

Smoking has numerous detrimental impacts on Crohn's disease.

Smoking increases the risk of small bowel Crohn's disease. This is important because the small bowel is important for vitamin, mineral and nutrient absorption, and therefore doctors want to preserve as much small bowel as possible.

Smoking is also associated with an increased risk of the penetrating or stricturing Crohn's disease behaviors, which are the more aggressive behaviors of Crohn's disease. These behaviors are also associated with a greater risk of needing potent medications to treat Crohn's disease, as well as surgery.

Moreover, smoking makes medications for Crohn's disease up to 50 percent less effective. You don't want to start off a treatment strategy when you’re already 50 percent less likely to respond.

Finally, smoking increases the risk of needing additional surgery once you've had one surgery. Smoking cessation can therefore be considered part of the treatment for Crohn's disease.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.