Smoking And Rheumatoid Arthritis

Smoking And Rheumatoid Arthritis

Over 1 billion people in the world are smokers. Smoking is strongly related to a variety of illnesses, early deaths but also joint pains and rheumatoid arthritis. Smoking affects your whole body, I have been there myself, I know how hard it can be but I also know the benefits you get from quitting.

Can Smoking Cause Rheumatoid ArthritisPhoto by from Pexels

The answer here is yes, smoking can cause rheumatoid arthritis and smoking does affect rheumatoid arthritis as well.

There is a lot of research being done on the subject of how smoking causes rheumatoid arthritis still but the likely reason seems to be that when you smoke this aggravates your already faulty immune functions, this being hereditary, in its turn it causes Rheumatoid arthritis. So if you do not have rheumatoid arthritis the risk will be elevated if you are a smoker, when you quit the risk drops. However the risk will still be increased due to the fact that you were smoking in the first place.

How Does Smoking Affect Rheumatoid Arthritis

Does smoking cause inflammation? What a lot of people do not know is that, besides the obvious risks of smoking, that the tobacco plant is in fact a nightshade. I have previously discussed why nightshades are not to be recommended when you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis or auto-immune disease. Nightshades increases inflammation in your body so when you are smoking you are smoking something that is highly inflammatory. This will increase your joint pain and stiffness and make you feel, overall, shitty.
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Does smoking cause joint pain? One thing that is very good when you have rheumatoid arthritis is exercise. When you smoke you limit your body from oxygen, making every breath heavier and harder, making movements harder. Exercising when smoking can be very difficult and you can find yourself out of breath very quick. Exercise can be very good when it comes to joint pain because you build up support, in the shape of muscle, around your joints. Unfortunately smoking can and most likely will increase this pain.

Last but not least, it can affect your treatment, if you do have one. Studies have shown that people who smoke on a Rheumatoid Arthritis treatment do not get the affects from the medication that a non-smoker will. They do not respond as well to the treatment that they have been given. If you under any circumstances might need surgery due to your rheumatoid arthritis you might not be able to if you are a smoker and if you are able to, your results from perhaps a joint replacement will not be as good as they would be for a non-smoker.

I Want To Quit Smoking

There are plenty of ways to quit smoking but first of all you must want to quit smoking which is sometimes easier said than actually meant. If that makes any sense. We might say that we want to quick smoking but we will just have one last smoke, or but after this pack. No! If you want to quit smoking you do it as soon as you feel it. It doesn’t matter if the pack is half full, throw it away. Do you really want to smoke on last stick of cancer? Smoking affect Rheumatoid arthritis and one more smoke will affect it even further. You are stronger than that.

You can join smoking programs and apps, you can call the quit smoking line, you can purchase band aids.

So many ways to assist you. Or you can do it the good ol´fashioned way, just stop.

Photo by Tim Savage from Pexels

How To Quit Smoking Naturally

There are quit a few ways to quit smoking naturally. Most people exchange the cigarette for something else. The cigarette is in fact a form of safety net. It is to the cigarette we turn when we need to relax or feel comforted, we turn to it in both good times and bad times. It is like taking away your best friend.

Your best friend that influences you to do bad.

A great way to quit smoking can be to chew on a licorice stick. This can make things easier in a variety of ways. First of all it will still allow you to have something in between your lips and it is also used to flavor our precious cigarettes in the first place, so it will be a familiar taste.

Licorice root can also help as it can decrease your withdrawal due to how the actual root affects your body.

A licorice root stick can easily be purchased from eBay, free shipping worldwide, or you might be able to find it in a super food store.

Photo by samer daboul from Pexels


When you smoke you do not only affect the people around you and our environment but you also put your body through a lot of stress. Smoking will increase pretty much any illness you can think of, there are no benefits to it, it will not increase your life span, it will not increase your ability to work, it will not contribute to your life in any way. If you are ready to quit there are steps you can take. If you are not ready, please be aware that it does affect your life and Rheumatoid Arthritis. If you are a smoker and you do have Rheumatoid Arthritis, please quit. It can be easier said than done, I know this for myself. I have been a smoker for many years but I am a proud non-smoker now and it will be noticeable in your joints when you quit.

Thank you for reading. If you have any questions or comments please drop them down below and I will get back to you.

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This Post Has 16 Comments

  1. My friend really needs to read this. He is fond of saying when he smokes he tend to do a lot of work on a normal day than if he didn’t smoke and I have always told him it’s a wrong submission. I never knew smoking affect rheumatoid arthritis so we’ll, the major effect of smoking I know is that it weakest the lungs but I have learn more from this article. Thanks for sharing this information.

    1. Thank you for reading and I hope your friend will kick the habit.

  2. Thank you for this informative article.  I didn’t even know that smoking could cause non-lung related issues (short of cancer).  I guess I never really stopped to think about it.  Luckily I’m not a smoker however my father was, my brother is and my mother-in-law used to but quit.

    Sadly my father has passed from COPD but my brother is still smoking away and my mother-in-law is living with me (just had knee surgery 3 days ago).  My brother tried quitting before but he just can’t seem to kick the habit.  He’s tried Chantix, the patch and so on but I don’t think he’s tried the licorice stick.  I’ll be sure to let him know of this option.

    Again thank you for this.  I will refer my brother to this article to see if it’s something he might want to try.


    1. Hi Scott,
      I hope that they will be able to quit smoking as it can cause a lot of problems for their bodies. At the end of the day it comes down to motivation.  You can try everything there is but if you are not motivated nothing will work and if you are motivated your probably will not need anything to assist you, although it can make the habit easier to break.

      Thank you for reading.

  3. First things first, very well done on giving up smoking Alexandra. Having never been a smoker and never even tried a cigarette I don’t know but I can imagine how hard it was for you to stop. 

    Thank you for this very interesting article and I am most certainly going to let my mum read it. As she is a smoker and suffers from Rheumatoid Arthritis. I have to admit that until I read this, I never knew there was a connection so it was interesting to read and full of very good information.

    I totally agree with you, if you intend to stop smoking don’t put it off until you have finished that last cigarette or even worse waiting till you finish the packet. You could be there for another week or more depending on how many packets you have. 

    I have listened over and over again to my mum saying the very same sentences and she is still smoking. As I said, I will certainly be showing her this and a lot of others will also benefit from your article when they read it.

    1. Hi Cheryl,
      I hope that your mum will see that there is a connection between smoking and rheumatoid arthritis and that it can help with her illness if she quits smoking. 

      There is only one way out of smoking and it is the hard way.

      Thank you so much for reading.

  4. Hi Alexandra, I must say that this article is very helpful and informative. Luckily, I am not a smoker but my family is and I don’t know how to prevent them from doing it. They see that cigarettes are dangerous but they don’t want to stop smoking. I hear for the first time about this stick so I will definitely buy few to see what will happen, maybe it can help.

    1. Hi Daniel,
      It is almost impossible to convince someone to do something that they are not motivated to do. Hopefully they will get motivated to quit smoking and you will be able to support them then.

  5. Thank you for this! My cousin is a smoker and has severe Rheumatoid Arthritis. She is always in so much pain when I talk to her; it just breaks my heart. She is such an incredible person in every way I wish I could take her pain away. If she already has it, will quitting help her Rheumatoid Arthritis? She has tried so many things that just have not worked very well. 

    Thank you so much for this well researched and informative article. I can’t wait to share it with my cousin. 

    1. Hi Mattie,
      Since smoking does increase inflammation then she would be able to notice a difference with her Rheumatoid Arthritis, however she will not be free from the r.a. by changing her diet and adding highly inflammatory foods into it she can most definitely get a lot better, first step tho would be quitting cigarettes.

  6. It is a great informative articel about what happens to those who smoke. When smokers learn that they will end up with inflamation and Rheumatoid Arthritis, they will be motivated to quit.
    The great thing on this article is the introduction of the Licorice in order to help the smokers to quit.
    I have met with many smokers and I do believe that if Licorice could help them quit so easily , that will be a real blessing for them.

    1. Hi,
      Thank you for reading. I do not know it Licorice will make it easy to quit, how ever it might be able to assist in the withdrawals and quitting the habit. Nothing that is worth fighting for comes easy, or so I have heard.

  7. hi I found very useful information I can’t provent my brother from smoking he is addicted How can you prevent diseases from smoking .Highly significant differences were observed between the opinions of smokers and non-smokers on the reasons for against smoking.For every study that came out proving that smoking was killing people

    1. Hi, There is no way to prevent disease from smoking except from not smoking. Of course you can still get lung cancer etc. from not smoking but the chances increase dramatically when you do smoke.

  8. Wow! What an amazing post. Is Licorice really used to flavor  cigarettes?   I didn’t know how bad smoking really is as I have never smoked. I met an older lady in her seventies recently and she told me that she used to be a smoker until she had lung cancer followed by a series of other ills and now the cancer has spread to her brain and all over which is really sad. It is a shame that most smoker’s don’t see the risk they put themselves in. Perhaps a ban on smoking would help keep a lot of people from pains and aches. Exercise definitely helps a lot in keeping the body in optimum state.

    1. Hi, Yes it is. Smoking is terrible for your body. I think a lot of smokers know the risks they just dont think that it will happen to them or that they will be affected by it. I remember how good I was at making excuses for smoking but honestly, there are no excuses for bad behavior.

      I think if we put a ban on smoking that it will make people outraged and we will see a lot of the black market stuff instead. 

      Thank you for reading.

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