Can smoking cause acid reflux?

Lawrence S. Friedman, MD
Smoking can irritate the entire gastrointestinal (GI) tract. In addition, frequent sucking on a cigarette can cause you to swallow air, increasing stomach pressure and encouraging acid reflux. Smoking sometimes also relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) -- the muscle connecting the esophagus and stomach -- allowing contents of the stomach to rise up into the esophagus.

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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.