Does cigarette smoking contribute to overactive bladder?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine
If you suffer from overactive bladder, you should stop smoking because nicotine can irritate the bladder muscle, causing bladder contraction and urgency. Also, coughing from smoking can cause urinary leakage. A National Kidney Foundation study found that former or current heavy smokers were more than twice as likely to develop severe incontinence at least once a week.
Susie Whitworth
There is a strong connection between smoking and overactive bladder. Smoking can irritate the bladder’s surface. In addition, coughing caused by smoking can lead to stress incontinence, which is urine that leaks due to movement or pressure. Studies show that cigarette smoking more than doubles the risk of stress incontinence in women. In addition, smoking cigarettes is closely associated with bladder cancer. 

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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.