Does Smoking Really Help Ulcerative Colitis?

OK, has been a while since I posted an update.

I have had a few bad weeks, especially since my current GI doctor prescribed Imuran. I started to have uncontrollable movements and felt like I am falling apart. I decided to stop the Imuran last weekend and felt an immediate improvement. Last Monday I went to see Dr. Hanauer at the University of Chicago. This guy is the bomb. Extremely positive and has experience that is out of the box. So, after reviewing my case, he flat told me to start smoking 3-5 cigarettes per day and I will be in remission faster than I have ever been. Yes, I am fully aware of all the side effects, but truth is, I started last Monday with 20-25 movements per day, and today I am down to 5!!!!! I am more willing to cut off a few years at the end if I have the quality of life until I get there. I also cut down on the Prednisone from 60mg/day to 30mg/day right now and can’t say I ever felt better in months.  I have my family back and my normal life, can go to work again and don’t have to be afraid to soil myself several times per day. I am discussing the use of Humira with him next week and sure hope to stop taking that as well, too. GO SMOKE!!!!

-UC Man


Dr. Hanauer’s doctor review

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537 Responses to Does Smoking Really Help Ulcerative Colitis?

  1. Simon Mitcham May 26, 2013 at 5:34 am #

    Thanks Tara,
    Yes I suppose as a non smoker having to smoke to achieve the results – in my case a life long smoker…going back to it and stating as the reason for smoking is my health…is strange but true and often met with cynical responses! Who cares!!!

    Interesting on the Serotonin, I am a little depressed or was and I have been on Serotonin for about 2 years, I shall investigate and see how I can naturally boost my levels. If I am on drugs I dont bother or worry really…I know I should but if they make me feel better I take them.

    I shall delve into the stories and tales throughout this website, comforting to know so many people suffer the same.


    • Tara May 27, 2013 at 7:22 am #

      Simon, check out 5-hpt for naturally boosting serotonin. You have to be careful with it, however, because if you are on any SSRI’s you could potentially get Serotonin Syndrome from too much of it, so be sure to research that, as well before starting it, if you decide to. I just have such an aversion to Prozac (and the likes) because of the experiences I’ve had with not only my ex-husband on it and how it did more harm than good eventually, but also what it do to my son who has severe OCD. He eventually became almost violent while on it (something he never tended toward) so I hold the Prozac responsible for that. I’ve read so much about the potentially dangerous side effects that I’m wary of it, along with numerous other pharmaceuticals. There are many natural supplements that can achieve the same benefits as these, but with much lower incidents of dangerous side effects. Best wishes to you.

  2. Graham from England
    graham lee June 1, 2013 at 5:14 am #

    Yet again, just my opinion but we really should work on the reasons why we are here. We may be able to reduce cigarette dependency and prevent other complications. It sure is great to be well with UC but let’s not bury our heads in the sand.

    Bev’s post has had some great information over the last few days, it help us understand what is going on and how to help ourselves. Bacteroides and their by products (fatty acids) lacking in the small/large intestine.

    • Tara June 1, 2013 at 8:47 am #

      True, Graham, but even you, with all you are doing to heal your colitis, have still had to rely on Asacol to get things back under control. For those of us who refuse to use pharmaceuticals, there aren’t too many natural options to heal us. I’m sure there there are some who have achieved full recovery through natural means, but its rare. It’s also tricky to find out which way may work. Please don’t take this wrong, but you haven’t figured it out either, although you’ve definitely gone farther to take your health into your own hands than most have.

  3. Steven June 1, 2013 at 10:46 am #

    This is definitely good info to read. I was diagnosed with UC 10 years ago. My first flare up occurred after I tried to quit smoking. All of my major flares occurred when I have tried to quit. My question is has anyone out there had any success with the new E-cigs.

    • Cindy June 6, 2013 at 6:27 pm #

      I know this may be vague Steven but I remember seeing a post on the Colitis UK site where a gentle man was trying the e-cigs and posting the results on his own blog… might try joining and posting the question there he may see it….sorry I can’t seen to remember the name….:(

      Be Well,


  4. Graham from England
    Graham lee June 2, 2013 at 2:20 am #

    Hope you and the family are well… You are right I’ve not figured it all out yet either. I/we may be going over old ground here but I look back at my smoking days fondly for staying colitis free but now with some regret for adding to the inevitable problem by eating a UC unfriendly diet. Though it does seem natural for us to ignore our diets when we are well, whatever condition we may or may not have.

    • Tara June 4, 2013 at 4:38 am #

      It’s easy to forget you have an illness when all symptoms subside and it’s easy to ignore one’s health when one feels well, but by making a conscious effort one can do it. It helps that I want to feed my children healthy food and keep all junk out of this home…makes it that much easier for me to avoid a lousy diet. Whether the motivation to eat well is illness or one’s family, it can be done with a little effort. Now, with the smoking, I have extra motivation to work on living an otherwise healthy life-style. I think in time I’ll look into smoking organic tobacco like American Spirits (they’re costly, though) or rolling my own with a filter…you can even get organic filters and cigarette paper. I know this doesn’t keep out all the toxins and nicotine itself is a toxin, which is what helps, but at least I can keep out some of the other nasty additives. Right now, though, I’ll just carry on with my 6 Pall Malls a day.

  5. Adam Reynard June 2, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

    I am hoping they announce a e-cig with anatabine next week. There has not been one yet. This would be a killer product.

    google urbandomesticdiva anatabloc. She has Crohns and writes about experience.

    Then google this Beneficial Nutritional Effects of Anatabine in an Animal Model of Ulcerative Colitis.

    As mentioned one does not have to smoke to get benefit of anatabine.


    • Tara June 4, 2013 at 5:12 am #

      Everything I read about this Anatabine always seems to bring me back to this one study about mouse models and when I read the reviews on Anatabloc, they are highly mixed and the stuff is EXPENSIVE. I’d really have to see a lot more research on how it directly affects ulcerative colitis in humans in order to give it a go. I keep reading that studies indicate it appears to be a promising alternative to pharmaceuticals, but the evidence is extremely lacking compared to how smoking affects UC. Still, I will keep tracking the studies they make on it and if there’s enough good solid evidence that it works, I might eventually give it a go…if it can be found at a more reasonable price.

  6. Simon Mitcham June 6, 2013 at 12:35 am #

    Just reading through everyone’s comments about this topic and I see so many people using smoking as a way to control their UC. It does make me think that as a person who has smoked since he was 15 and have only ever had two instances of UC and that is when I stopped, how many other smokers are there in the world that would develop UC as soon as they stop smoking?

    There is an acknowledged acceptance that there is a link between smoking and UC yet little research has been carried out. The largest incidence is North America, Scandinavian Countries and the UK and it is increasing in these countries. How many research organisations exist in these countries? I suppose there is not enough money in it for the drug companies to develop an alternative to smoking.

    I am also amazed that my consultant stated to me that there was no link between smoking and UC, how can he say that when there is so much material written and this thread alone states how it does help!

  7. Tara June 6, 2013 at 3:54 am #

    You know what else is interesting, Simon? UC used to be considered a disease primarily of women at a time when fewer women smoked than men. Since that has changed, the disease is slightly more common in males, but there is no major gender difference. In Japan, where many people smoke, but primarily men, it is still considered to largely be a disease affecting women. If that isn’t evidence itself! Check out the Forces International website. It’s got good information; an alternative to the radical anti-smoking propaganda that is rampant. Of course, you can take their information with a grain of salt too. Some of the info they sighted I backed up with my own bit of internet research and found it to be accurate.
    I would imagine that the pharmaceutical companies are trying to figure out a way to camp in on the profits using nicotine to find a drug as effective as smoking in treating colitis. I’m sure the medical industry does as much as possible to hide the benefits of smoking for people with UC or at least scaring them by loudly proclaiming it to be no good option due to the risk. That’s because they can’t profit from the sale of cigarettes…speaking for myself, I would rather keep my colitis under control independent of the drug companies and the prescription pad of by GI. And once they come up with that comparable drug that works as well as cigarettes, don’t think for a minute that it will be any less toxic.

  8. Graham from England
    graham lee June 6, 2013 at 4:22 am #

    I’m sure quitting smoking has never been so popular, no wonder my GI is busy and my appointments keep getting cancelled. Though this inevitably means yet more suffering it should push the illness up the agenda and R&D to new levels, (hopefully not just by the drug companies). It still shocks me that doctors don’t advocate smoking, though I’m really referring to when patients are faced with the final solution that is surgery. Our own NHS may be moving from focusing on treatment toward prevention and this may be where the big UC breakthrough comes from. This may really get to the heart of what is causing the problem and know how for trigger removal.

    Interesting you mention the UK, some would say the Mediterranean diet is lacking here but many southern Europeans still smoke freely without the stigma so this could also be reducing instances of UC. Also not forgetting Dr A Harts research concluding that olive oil (Evoo) has a preventative effect.

    Knowing how smoking mainly improves and upholds the integrity of the colon mucas, this link seems to explain an even greater understanding of UC, to me at least. It’s quite short so well worth reading…

    • Tara June 6, 2013 at 4:39 am #

      Graham, I think removing the triggers is more complicated than just making dietary changes…I think the triggers can often start in childhood. We are so bombarded with many unavoidable toxins in our environment. Vaccines, for instance, could be one trigger that can possibly cause long range effects, another would be antibiotic usage (and I got plenty of those growing up). There are toxins in the air, chlorine in much of the water we consume,chemicals in almost every personal product and piece of clothing we put on. To avoid these things is nearly impossible. And the damage done to our systems in childhood is hard to rectify now. I think diet can help dramatically, don’t get me wrong, but I think that alone is not the sole trigger.

  9. Graham from England
    graham lee June 6, 2013 at 4:48 am #

    Tara, did you read the link before responding? I agree with you entirely on the causes and I’m not saying diet is solely the solution. I think we will be able to naturally change the constant trigger situation once we have the full picture. A perfect storm has brought us here and an equally perfect “counter” storm will save us, I hope…

  10. Tara June 6, 2013 at 4:59 am #

    No, I haven’t read your link yet…sorry. I just was responding to the comment, but if there was info in the link that made my statements redundant, I apologize for jumping the gun. I’m squeezing in some internet time before my kiddos get up and I have to start fixing them breakfast. I will read your link as soon as possible.

  11. Tara June 6, 2013 at 5:18 am #

    I read the link. They said this Endragil 500 should be available in 2012. I looked it up but is still doesn’t seem to be on the market. Do you know anything about whether it’s being marketed or not yet?

  12. Graham from England
    graham lee June 6, 2013 at 5:55 am #

    It does seem to have gone a bit quiet, Bev had a dig around and posted something on the “human strain in my probiotic what” link…. Maybe it’s soo good an existing drug manufacturer has bought it and locked it away until they have recovered enough cash on their present crop of pro symptom dependency drugs. Blimey, that even scared me! Probably the result of what hit me in a big chain garage/supermarket the other day, I did a 360 turn looking at all the “edibles” and actually, none of it was food, none. I’m starting to wonder what or who is the food here, are we just “food” for big food/drug companies to use and throw away? There seems to be no limit to how much we can be encouraged to poison ourselves and yet almost nothing about real health. Sorry for the rant and wandering off but I had to get that off my chest…

  13. Graham from England
    graham lee June 6, 2013 at 10:56 am #

    Phew, just means I have paranoia too though! Sounds promising for all but particularly those of us who have benefited from smoking. I would bet that their understanding of how smoking helps UC is where this thinking came from. The best thing for me is that it replicates what occurs naturally and is not just treating inflammation or the complications from a flaring UC. We will still need our oils though, the bacteroides are missing or reduced and this solution will not fulfil this role.

  14. Michael Hurst
    MichaelKHurst June 6, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

    The fact that smoking seems to help UC is interesting. I think its also interesting how Zyban (Wellbutrin, Bupropion) has also been studied to treat Crohn’s Disease and may be a TNF-a inhibitor similar to Remicade. A Trial of Wellbutrin for Crohn’s Disease even though no results were ever published.

    I used Bupropion as part of my treatment using fecal transplants and the addition of it seemed to make a big difference. Maybe Nicotine and Bupropion are both anti-inflamatory drugs due to their impact on TNF-a?

    • KimC June 6, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

      Hi. So I saw this blog on Tuesday and was having worst flare in 14 years. And put two and two together and realized I got sick in last month. I had suit smoking two months ago but had used e-cigarette with full nicotine. I was fine first month then got sick and it was when I had cut nicotine in half. I was on 100mg prednisone along with maintenance purinethol and getting worse. Plus losing my mind on the high dosage of steroids. So I started smoking regular cigarettes Tuesday and now 48 hours later I am 90% better. I dropped steroids to 40 mg today and am almost human again. Hopefully the drastic taper doesn’t hurt but rather that than the craziness of 100mg. Anyway I know I will be in full remission in next few days. I was able to eat again today. Thank you ALL for your posts! Saved my life! I was ready to hospitalize myself. Thank you!!!!!

      • Simon June 7, 2013 at 12:40 am #

        That is great KimC, I didnt realise that sharing information can help so much. I suffered for 9 months and just fell back into smoking by frustration….and then all medical people told me smoking had nothing to do with the remission (or in my case (fingers crossed) no relapse for over 3 years now).

      • Tara June 7, 2013 at 5:38 am #

        It’s so great to come here and share experiences with others who have benefitted from this controversial method of healing oneself! Cigarettes work so well to knock out the symptoms of UC, I am still amazed. I wish everyone suffering from severe UC and moving from one terrible medication to the next and unsuccessfully controlling their symptoms could find this thread. This was the thread that saved me. This was the thread my mom read to support me in my decision entirely. My husband, well, it took his seeing the results before he could give it his full support. I read so much about cigarette smoking and colitis prior to embarking upon my own experiment with it and I remember reading that e-cigarettes don’t seem to be nearly as consistently effective as regular cigarettes, so I’m not surprised they didn’t do what the regular cigs are doing for you. So glad you are also feeling well again thanks to the old “cancer sticks” as they are so often called.

  15. Adam Reynard June 6, 2013 at 9:37 pm #

    It is interesting that you would have to smoke 6 cigarettes to equal 1 mg of anatabine which costs only 25 cents. They come 300 in bottle. Far cheaper to take pill than smoke. Plus no nicotine.

    If you search clinical trials anatabine you see four human studies now being done.

    One can read testimonials on GNC or Geek about IBS and Crohns.

    Also you can call physicians at 1-800-778-2031 extension 4 to discuss smoking and anatabine.

    • Tara June 7, 2013 at 4:39 am #

      I read on an Amazon review that the people who took only 2 lozenges of Anatabloc 3 times daily (for a total of 6 lozenges daily) did not fare as well as those who took more, leading me to believe it could likely take more. At only 6 a day(quite possibly not enough)it would cost me $50 for only 25 days and, again, a reviewer noted that those who rated it poorly took this amount or less. I pay less than 35 dollars for a carton of cigarettes (which contains 10 packs) and I will smoke less than 7 packs in 25 days. So you see, this is significantly lower in cost.
      I am definitely interested in studies made for those who have UC (less so for Crohns) as there are differences, for instance, in the fact that smoking doesn’t even seem to do much for Crohns but does help UC dramatically. And I’m sorry to say, I would have little interest in talking to any physician helping to push the product. I know how brainwashed they can be, esp. those who are getting kickbacks from a drug or supplement.
      Don’t think I’m being argumentative, please. I’m just stating some of my reasons I am skeptical in response to your post. Also, just curious…what is your own connection to this supplement? Do you use it for UC? Do you help sell it? Please enlighten us. I don’t know anything about your personal experiences and connection with UC or the supplement you are encouraging others to use.

      • Caroline
        Caroline June 8, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

        I tried the anatabine supplement from GNC back in February, and I did not notice any change other than terrible headaches. Not sure if that was from the anatabine or another ingredient, but I threw in the towel at that point. I also became concerned about the number of posters on various sites that were really pushing the product but very little testimony from people with our disease sharing their success. I mean, if it was that much of a miracle product wouldn’t we all be doing it? I’m a little skeptical when I feel like people are just trying too hard to create hype around something.

  16. prince choudhary June 6, 2013 at 11:37 pm #

    hye lee how much cigrettes u used to smoke in a day before quitting it.plzz reply

    • Tara June 7, 2013 at 4:58 am #

      I know you asked Graham this and not me, so hopefully you won’t find me intrusive by putting my 5 cents in. I got into full remission on 6 cigarettes a day and I was in an awful flare, close to needing hospitalization. Actually I think many others in my condition would have been hospitalized, but due to my circumstances I felt I could not leave my home (little children, and one son with autism. It would have been traumatic for them if I had to leave) It did take time to get better, though. The first week my improvement was just barely detectable, the next week it was noticeable. By 3 weeks of smoking I felt a lot better but still had some pain and bleeding and urgency. I’d say full remission came after 5 weeks of smoking 6 a day…some days I could only squeeze in 5, like when we were away from home a good portion of the day. I think Graham’s suggestion of 8 to 10 a day is likely to get a person into remission quicker. For me, on account of the dizziness I felt and having to limit it to outdoors, I couldn’t manage more than 6 cigarettes a day. Hope this info helps.

  17. Graham from England
    graham lee June 7, 2013 at 3:44 am #

    Hi PC,
    Think you mean me.. I reduced by 1 cigarette per week to find this “magic number” out and 4 would result in a decline in my health, 5 or 6 was good for maintenance. If you are already unwell I would guess 8-10 should turn this around in a short period.

    • Ant June 7, 2013 at 8:32 am #

      Hi Graham, I have been smoking 6-8 a day, am a new smoker but still haven;t managed to get out of this flare I’ve had…

      been smoking now for 2 months (you have responded to my previous posts) but started gradually as i had never smoked before.

      will give 8-10 a day a try for the next few weeks and see what happens.

      I met a new doctor and has put me on salofalk supositries and enemas but i feal they are making me even worse.. having BM at least 8 times a day :-(

      keep u guys in the loop..

  18. Gemma June 7, 2013 at 7:32 am #

    This forum saved me! Id been in a 3 year long flare ranging from mild most of the time (3 or 4 bms a day but always with mucus and urgency) to more moderate blips that would last anything from 2 days to a month. After reading this forum I started smoking on and off at the end of last year (i couldnt bring myself to do it im an ex-smoker) and because I didnt notice results straight away I kept on stopping. Then January this year I felt the best i’ve felt in years and started on and off again, in March I started smoking everyday, 5 or 6 a day. Now Im down to 1 solid bm a day, no mucus or urgency. The positive changes in me physically (i have colour back in my face, i have energy) and mentally (happy!) are too endless to list here. I was at the hospital a few weeks ago and my doctor was very supportive of my decision to smoke, he just said try and keep it to a minimum. So grateful for this forum and glad its helping others too.

    • Tara June 7, 2013 at 8:19 am #

      I’m so delighted to read things like this. I’m trying to link people to this website from other sites on UC. I’ve already gotten a good deal of negative feedback, but if it just helps one or two open minded people, I’ll be thrilled.

  19. Shawn June 7, 2013 at 9:08 am #

    Long time smoker here. It does absolutely nothing for my UC. I’ve been having a terrible flare since February. I was a full time smoker when the flare started. I smoke on average from 6 to 10 cigs a day.

    • Tara June 8, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

      What a shame. Obviously it doesn’t help everyone. Seems to for the vast majority,though. There are cases where it’s not finding the right number of cigarettes, but rather finding the right medicine or alternative treatment that works for you.

      • Graham from England
        graham lee June 8, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

        Have you ever quit cigarettes for a week or more and did the UC get worse or stay the same? We must keep trying different things to help ourselves. It may not feel like it but we are well off, there has never been so much information and help around.

        • Shawn June 8, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

          I do notice it’s a little worse the few times I’ve lowered my cigarette smoking also I was diagnosed with UC back in 2001 only months after quitting smoking so there definitely must be a correlation. I remember I started smoking again back in 2001 after my diagnosis and went into remission but it was also the first time I was given steroids and asacol so I figured the meds are what put me in remission. I’ve flared so much over the years while continuing to smoke so it doesn’t seem protective to me anymore though.

          • Tara June 10, 2013 at 3:25 am #

            When you have flared during your smoking have you noticed it may have been during a time when you smoked fewer…or did you ever try increasing the cigarettes just to see how it would affect the UC? If you smoke an average of 6 to 10 a day, that is considered light smoking. Here’s a strange question. Do you use lights instead of full strength cigarettes? I was afraid to use lights when I started smoking, thinking they may not deliver enough nicotine into my system to control my colitis, although they probably would have spared me the miserable light-headedness and weak feeling.

  20. Simon June 7, 2013 at 9:29 am #

    Can I just point out that I have had the same results from smoking cigars and mini ones at that, I am not saying smoking cigars is much better than cigarettes but it is an option and I do not inhale as deeply as I used to smoke cigarettes.

    For non-smokers who want to try smoking as a route to stop the UC flare ups, then cigars may be an option, or as I was an ex-cigarette smoker, I didn’t want to start on them again.

    Obviously as Tara has stated either way you are smoking the old cancer sticks but hey ho… is a gamble and having UC is so life spoiling I know what I am happy with.

  21. Graham from England
    graham lee June 8, 2013 at 5:00 am #

    Well said Tara/Simon,

    Ant, I desperately hope this works for you as it is a fairly big leap for it not to. Having said that it appears to work better than anything else so a very reasonable and calculated risk. It is almost impossible to tell whether the drugs are helping or otherwise in conjunction with the smoking. I think most people do one or the other. Maybe finding out exactly what the your drug does may tell you if you need it or not. My uneducated opinion would suggest any rectal anti-inflammatory would only help, if that’s what it is..

  22. Gemma June 11, 2013 at 10:55 am #

    Ive been smoking the lights and they have a lot less nicotine but the same amounts of carbon dioxide and hydrogen cyanide (i think) and i think its these things that help. A few folk have said its not the nicotine that helps but actual smoking. I think its a bit of both i did take nicotine for a while before i started the smoking and noticed a very slight improvement but nothing like what the smoking has done. I read on wikipedia its the hydrogen cyanide that helps, and im sure i read somewhere that smoking increases the protective film that lines the gut (cant remember the medical name its not the same as mucus), and that people with uc have less of this film so your poop touches your colon and sets off an immune reaction. The nicotine works by doing something to the nerves in the gut that control spasms and bms so helps in a different way. Dont know if all this is true just things ive read online.

  23. Andrew Dublin June 11, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

    Hi folks,

    I stopped smoking cigarettes and switched to snus about 5 weeks ago. At the same time I also started taking 3 x EVOO a day (as per Graham) along with a probiotic first thing in the morning. Everything went well so I ditched the snus last week and am now on EVOO + probiotic & no nicotine. Normally when I stop nicotine, I notice a difference after 2 days (bad gas), after 3 days about 5/6 BM’s per day, on day 4 the mucus and bleeding start. I’m on day 6 this time and no symptoms until this afternoon. There was fresh blood on the toilet paper and a slight discomfort in the gut but no gas, urgency, diarrhoea or mucus, which is something completely new for me. Should I up the EVOO or Probiotic dosage? I’m using Sainsbury’s Unfiltered Organic EVOO though it doesn’t have a strong peppery aftertaste,and the probiotic I use is Holland & Barrett Probio10 (10 billion per capsule & 10 different strains)+ half a cup of SCD yoghurt in the evening. Any advice anyone? I really don’t want to go back to nicotine if I can help it.


  24. Cathie June 11, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

    I’m going to chime in here as I’ve recently found out that I have ulcerative colitis. I have to say though that I think I must be fortunate as I don’t ever recall being in pain and my bowel movements are probably only 2 to 3 times a day. It’s only in the last year that I’ve noticed bleeding and at the start of this year the bleeding was excessive enough to see a doctor. This site is interesting because I gave up smoking almost 2 years ago and would never have thought there was a connection between ulcerative colitis and smoking but now I’m wondering. Interesting though that my father was diagnosed at the same age as me, 57, and he never smoked.

    When I say I gave up smoking what I actually did was give up cigarettes and switched to e-cigarettes so I’m still getting my nicotine. So with my UC being diagnosed while still taking nicotine I’m not so sure nicotine patches would be a help.

    I’ve been taking 8 Salofalk a day plus a Salofalk suppository. Today was my first follow-up and I’ve been led to believe I’ve got to take this now for life. I’m not sure I’ve ever really had what the rest of you call a “flare-up” so I find it surprising that I have to take so many drugs. This is upsetting as it’s been great having some extra money not smoking cigarettes only to find that I now have to take these drugs that cost double what my cigarette habit cost. I’ve no drug plan. I’m 58 next month so maybe I should just be thankful that I’ve only 7 years before a government subsidy will kick in.

    Anyway, I really wanted to share my views on using nicotine. I see a comment above from Gemma saying that is probably isn’t the nicotine in cigarettes that help but some of the other ingredients and with my experience I’m inclined to believe her.

    • Cathie June 11, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

      I’m going to add one other thing here which I thought was really weird. When I came out of my colonoscopy 4 weeks ago I was dreaming about a cigarette!!!!! I mentioned this to my friend (a smoker) who picked me up from the hospital and she said have a smoke (which hadn’t been my intention as I just thought the dream was weird). Anyway, yes I did have a cigarette followed by two more within the hour. I just thought it was strange how I so desired to smoke again. Fortunately, I’ve only had 1 more since then though. Of course, all this reading I’m doing tonight has got me tempted.

  25. Gemma June 17, 2013 at 7:40 am #

    Well…. after a couple of months of doing great with the smoking I am back to really loose stools in the morning. I dont quite have urgency but definitley a lot of achey pressure on the bowel when I have to go. I think its because I’ve been eating really badly the last couple of weeks I just thought to hell with it I am smoking so colitis can’t bother me, oh dear how wrong I was. I will be doing a lot more reading on here for diet tips…

    • Tara June 17, 2013 at 8:22 am #

      I have had a similar problem when I started cutting back on some of the supplements I was taking…really because of the inconvenience and to save money I had reduced my curcumin and boswellia as well as the charcoal tablets. Well, after a few days I noticed a slight increase in frequency and loose stool, even a touch of blood. Well, I upped my supplements to what I had taken before and things have improved a lot again, although my stools are still a little loose. It’s so easy to assume that the smoking will be all one needs, but I think we can’t neglect the other things we do to help ourselves or else we’ll pay! Graham had stated that, and he’s right…it’s easy to neglect oneself when you are feeling better. Get back on a good diet or whatever you were doing prior to the smoking that was helping you and you will probably be fine again in a few days or a few weeks.

  26. Andrew Ireland June 18, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

    Hi Graham,

    I responded to your post a few times but they seem to be going astray. I hope this gets through. I’ve been off nicotine completely now for 12 days and had one day of bright red blood on the toilet paper and a couple of times where there were flecks in the stool but nothing too drastic. I upped the dosage of EVOO to 4 times a day and this seemed to help. I really can’t believe this is working. I know it’s early days but I’ve never managed to get beyond 4 days without nicotine before going into flare-up, and I’ve tried a number of times. Thank you for sharing your discovery.

    As a back-up, I’m taking a probiotic, a daily shot of cayenne pepper and turmeric and avoiding gluten, lactose and refined sugar. Fingers crossed, I have high hopes for this. I won’t do cartwheels round the neighbourhood just yet but I’m going to put it in the diary for next month!


  27. Graham from England
    Graham lee June 18, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

    So right Tara, further proved by my most recent misfortune…I had a minor stroke last week and though the cause is still a bit of a mystery, all the tests relating to my arteries and blood were excellent. In light of each succesful test I was congratulated on my EVOO consumption, good recent diet and smoking cessation. I am not suggesting you all stop smoking but I may not be writing this now had I not taken action on all fronts over the last 2 years. So please, smoke the minimum and maintain the diet of a UC’er who doesn’t.

    In the week prior I had some dizzy spells and lost about a pint of blood, I should have acted sooner maybe but who knows…

  28. Tara June 18, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

    Thank God you’re alright, Graham! That is, are you? No complications or damage done I hope? Yes, you are certainly wise in what you suggest and healthy living is really the only ideal answer…in the meantime so many of us continue to treat the symptoms and not the illness which will have to do for the time being. I think our trials will teach us to be smart about what works and what doesn’t. And when we fail to be smart we are reminded in an unpleasant manner. Be well, Graham, and keep up the good advice and inspirations that have helped so many of us here.

    • Graham from England
      Graham June 19, 2013 at 2:21 am #

      Im ok thanks Tara though tired and breathless which is very odd for me. Cant drive or work for 2 months and self employed but will manage fine. The long overdue break will be a huge benefit for me I have no doubt. Everything seems in great shape, only 2 heart tests left…

      Thats great Andrew! It works wonders for some of us though not quite as well for me these days. Having said that I have only just started to use a mild drug off and on, not bad for 20 months off cigarettes. You are doing the right thing, stay vigilant…

  29. Geeker June 18, 2013 at 6:54 pm #

    This topic has me fascinated. I, too, was diagnose with UC withing 6 months of quitting smoking using the e-cig as my nicotine replacement. Still using e-cig 5 years later. Has not prevented a flare. My UC has progressed from proctitis to pancolitis…currently in the worst of my 5 flares (7 weeks now) I have an appointment with my GI next week at which I plan to ask for a Wellbutrin RX, but am now thinking of trying 1 morning and 1 evening cig in addition to that.

  30. Geeker June 18, 2013 at 6:56 pm #

    I should add that there is no way that I will ever believe that the effects of minimal cigarette smoking will ever damage my body and psyche as this UC continues to do on a daily basis. I literally live in fear from it.

  31. Matthew June 19, 2013 at 9:42 am #

    Graham lee: Sorry to hear about your stroke – hope all is well or improving for you.

    I found this web site and thread while searching for help with my UC. I have read the entire thing… Has anyone tried smokeless tobacco such as “chew” or snuff? I may tip toe into this with some nicotine gum or patches to see if it helps me at all. I’d prefer not to smoke (I never have other than the occasional bumming of one from a friend many years ago) but will if it has a dramatic improvement and nothing else works.

  32. Andrew Ireland June 19, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

    Graham, very sorry to hear of your difficulties. I hope things are not too bad. Do you have any idea of what brought it on? If it is of any help, read up on the benefits of cayenne pepper, it’s quite an amazing spice for your circulatory system. Might be worth a shot.

    Matthew, I’ve had some success with swedish snus but not with any other nicotine replacement. Normally I’m in flare up after 4 days without nicotine, but with snus I lasted about 5 weeks. With a combination of 5 cigarettes and 5 pieces of snus I lasted about 10 weeks. The symptoms reappeared but they were very mild (little bit of mucus and gas, and going to the bathroom a few extra times a day). I was terrified I was heading into a flare so I resumed smoking immediately. I’m sorry I didnt stick it out a bit longer with the snus to see what would happen. If the EVOO does not work out long term, I will go back on snus before I consider smoking again. Make sure you use the proper Swedish stuff and not the American one which seems to be pure rubbish. If you live in the EU, unfortunately you can no longer buy it online but have to travel to Sweden to buy it. Good luck, its worth a try.


    • Matthew June 20, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

      Thank you for the reply. I’m in the US and have never heard of swedish snus, so I’ll have to look into it a bit further. Can anyone tell me if the EVOO has to be taken straight up or can it be mixed in a protein shake or other? Will any cold pressed EVOO (that has the tingle) work OK? I’ve never had much success with oils in the past, but am willing to give it a try.

      I tried some nicotine gum… All it did was make my head spin a bit!

      Thanks all!

      • Graham from England
        graham lee September 12, 2013 at 6:08 am #


        Take EVOO on its own, this seems to work best and on an empty stomach.

        Cold pressed is not actually the most efficient way to produce quality oil, mechanical crushing then a centrifuge to separate the oil makes the best oil. “Cold pressed” can be “sales label” wording to impress, though it can mean it’s from a small independent producer which can still be honest oil.

        Ignore sell by dates and only choose oil with a harvest date of no more than a year as it will have degraded significantly. If they don’t display it they don’t want you to know when the oil was produced and how old it is.

        Finally, make sure you get the throat burn!

  33. Ant June 27, 2013 at 7:23 am #

    Well the smoking must work only on previous smokers who have stopped and then developed UC, I currently in a flare and previously a non-smoker started smoking nearly 3 months ago… gradually building up to arrounnd 10-12 a day… unfortunately i haven;t gotten out of my flare up, I also had to have an IRON IV yesterday as my ferritin had dropped to 2 :-( and was really drowsy…

    still on EVOO but have consulted with doc and looks like I’ll be trying remicade in about 10 days…

    its been 2 years in this damn flare and can;t get out of it… now i’m stuck smoking too.:-)

  34. Ant June 27, 2013 at 7:25 am #

    out of curiosity, for the people who have managed to control their UC by smoking, what length of the intestine colon is affected..?

    I have the lower 35cm…

  35. Graham from England
    graham lee June 27, 2013 at 10:49 am #

    Hi Ant,
    Mine is near the end, Sygmoid, proctitis and the smoking always worked as does EVOO with occasional 250mg Asacol suppository at present…

  36. Gemma July 1, 2013 at 3:38 am #

    Hi Ant, sorry to hear the smoking doesn’t appear to be working maybe you just have to give it more time seeing as you’ve been in the flare for so long. My experience is the longer the flare the longer it will take to reverse, you just have to keep the faith as they say. Probiotics and nicotine 40mg+ have helped me a lot too, but everyone is so different. I think we all have to re-write our own colitis instruction manuals as we are so different, I wish someone would just give me my instruction manual because this trial and error game gets so tiring. I was diagnosed with pancolitis in April 2008 so my whole colon is affected.

  37. Sher July 1, 2013 at 6:02 am #

    Hi All,

    I’ve been following this thread for awhile now and wanted to thank you all for your wisdom and personal stories.
    I was diagnosed with UC about 7 years ago having a single flare up since then until February of this year. I quit smoking in January and was so proud of myself for doing so. My flare has been so bad that I decided to start smoking again. After 2 weeks, my flare is improving significantly! As much as I am relieved and in less pain, I can’t help but beat myself up for lighting up again, as I smoked for 15 years and never thought I’d be able to quit. My mom, who never got near me when I had a cig in my hand, supports smoking after witnessing me during my horrible flare up. She is the only person who knows I picked up cigs again, as my friends would not understand and consider me a failure for lighting up again. Has anyone experienced this? Are any of you beating yourselves up as well about smoking? Any advice or encouragement is appreciated. Again, thank you all for your stories.

    • Tara July 1, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

      Hi Sher,
      Don’t beat yourself up no matter what anyone else may say. You are being wise and only trying to protect yourself from a much worse and potentially more dangerous situation by resuming smoking. I was not a smoker ever and took it up after loads of research, esp. after coming to this site and I am in remission after a horrible flare up where I was seriously headed for hospitalization. It took me 5 weeks to get into remission, but after 2 weeks I was already a new person. My husband was totally against smoking until he saw how it saved me. Now he has no objections whatsoever. Keep the smoking down to the absolute minimum (if you can) and you may be surprised at the support you get if you explain to people why you are doing it. If they don’t understand, then perhaps they just don’t want to, but this is your decision and no one has a right to stand in your way have allowing yourself some decent quality to your life. Let them read this site if they really want to know why you’re doing this. This may be a method that actually saves lives when nothing else works…and the drugs they offer are not exactly a safe or sure route to remission either.

  38. Ant July 1, 2013 at 8:48 am #

    thanks guys… keeping up with the EVOO too.. lets see..

  39. Sher July 1, 2013 at 10:10 pm #

    Thank you Tara! I needed that! I will try to EVOO too!

  40. Andrew Ireland July 3, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

    Sher, you’ve got to do whatever it takes. Smoking can’t be any worse than the drugs they prescribe us. It’s unfortunate but that’s just how it is. You’ve got to try EVOO once you’re in remission. I was sceptical but I’m a month off nicotine, still in remission and no drugs whatsoever. Yippeee!!

  41. Lindsay July 7, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

    I have had a battle with UC since I was 15 years old. By the time I was 18 was UC was completely out of control. No medicine would work, so I had an ileoanalanastomosis. They took out my entire large intestine, and created a pouch with some of my small intestine that was hooked up to the remaining 1/4 of my rectum. I started smoking when I was 17 years old, decided to quit (prior to surgury) when I was 18. I got really sick and could not take the symptoms of the UC, so I started back up. The symptoms were better right away. Now I am 29 and have had 3 kids. I quit smoking while pregnant each time and through breast-feeding. The symptoms got out of control each time. At the beginning of this year I had to have my tonsils taken out, and I decided it was a good time to quit smoking for good. I had to also have my gall bladder taken out because it wasn’t working and everyone told how good I would feel afterwards. I didn’t feel better. My symptoms were out of control. My husband and I would joke because every night before bed I would go to the bathroom, and like clock-work, 10 minutes later I would be up again. I was getting up about 3 times in the night to go to the bathroom. Needless to say, 2 weeks ago I started smoking again after quitting for 4 1/2 months, I feel better than I have in a long time and I am sleeping through the night. My words to people questioning this method of treatment is “Smoke On UC sufferers!”

  42. Tara July 8, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

    Thanks for commenting. What you wrote is really interesting. I found it especially interesting that your colitis wasn’t cleared up even after surgery! It’s claimed that is the only sure cure. Was the flare in your small intestines or in the last 4 inches of your colon? Before I knew about smoking I felt I’d go for surgery before taking drugs like Prednisone again. I knew there were a number of complications involved in getting the surgery, but I didn’t realize that UC could continue. I wish you’d opted to just smoke before you got the surgery, however, I can see for those determined to stop that just about anything is preferable. You certainly exhausted all your options and now, at least there is something that does work for you. No one can accuse you of not having really tried everything else possible other than laying down and dying…and when the colitis symptoms are bad enough that’s pretty much what a person feels like doing!

  43. Chris July 14, 2013 at 4:43 am #

    So… I’m getting kinda desperate. My stomach is hurting the majority of the time, and is just really upset. It’s ruining my life, and still I only have to go to the bathroom maybe 3-4 times a day when it’s at its worst. So I can only imagine how awful it is for those with really bad UC… However, I mostly always feel like I have to go to the bathroom anyway, even though I don’t really have to, and I just can’t take it anymore, I’m desperate for a solution.

    Smoking 1 cig a day… How harmful is that really compared to the whole pack? I am kind of a health freak, and recent the idea of starting to smoke, even just 1 a day. Also, how benificial might it be? I have never smoked before, and my UC is rather mild I suppose, so maybe it helps more than for people with severe UC.

    Thank you for this thread! I do think I will hold the cigarettes for a bit, until I really get desperate, but I am growing closer to wanting to try each and every day.

  44. Tara July 15, 2013 at 4:53 am #

    Chris, I hated the constant feeling of having to go to the bathroom all the time, even when there was nothing in me. My UC was so bad that usually at least something came out when I went, usually no more than a little blood and mucous but there was always at least something there to expel, even if I just had gone 3 minutes before. Our water bill went up from about an average of $40 a month to $130 or so during the worst of my flare. I was going numerous times every hour. I probably was on the toilet more than 100 times in a day, seriously…usually with nothing more to expel than some blood. Of course you NEVER want to get it to that point. Being a health freak, you are probably aware of all the helpful natural supplements, like Bozwellia, Curcumin, Omega 3, probiotics, olive oil, L-Glutimine, etc. I took them all and they were not controlling it. I think its rare to see great benefits from smoking 1 cig. a day, however, I have heard of people saying they feel better just after spending a day in a smokey environment, so who knows, esp. since it seems your colitis symptoms aren’t extremely severe. For me it took 6 a day. I began with 4 and built up to 6 and it took 5 weeks to get into remission, but after 2 weeks I noticed a difference. Actually after the first week there was no improvement and I feared it was not going to help me. My colitis symptoms are gone. I started about 4 months ago. I had a minor relapse (although it was really mild) when I started cutting back on some of the supplements to save money, but after I resumed I was perfect again in about a week.
    Regarding the safety of low dose smoking, my first suspicion that it was not as hazardous as its been made out to be was in being familiar with numerous cases of heavy smokers smoking sometimes 30 years or more before developing lung cancer, and sometimes not at all. For instance, I have an acquaintance whose father is 82 and he’s been smoking since age 11 and has perfect lungs. Her mother, on the flip-side, has never smoked and has had cancer twice. I also look at the example of Yul Brenner (who quit smoking after 40 some-odd years of smoking , mostly chain smoking) and didn’t develop the cancer until 10 years after he’d quit. These are not the isolated incidences they are made out to be. Please go to The website is called Forces International and it is a pro- tobacco freedom website with gobs of info that is contrary to what you will find on the mainstream. I’ve done my own research to double check many of their statistics and found everything I was able to research to be accurate. It’s difficult to find the info because there is such a large scale war on tobacco that it is just not politically correct to post anything that either argues against the extreme dangers of smoking or reveals evidence of some benefits to it. There are numerous political reasons behind this as well, which I won’t get into, but if you do the research (and use that website as a starting point) you can see for yourself and will be very relieved, particularly with the prospect of having to take up smoking, ironically, for your health. If you do wind up having to smoke more than just a cigarette or 2 a day, the supplement Acetyl-L-Carnitine is very beneficial for good lung health and you can research that and add it to your daily intake to help protect your lungs. I hope this helps.

  45. Andrew Ireland July 29, 2013 at 3:19 pm #


    I can’t find the EVOO thread but maybe someone can help me here. I’m almost 8 weeks on EVOO and off nicotine but have been starting to have problems over the past 10 days or so. The mucus and blood have started to appear and BM’s increased from 2-3 a day to 4-5 a day. Strangely enough there is no diarrhoea or urgency. I started using powdered Glutamine to try to help with the bleeding but don’t know how long I should be using it before I see an improvement. Wondering if anyone else has had similar problems. I’ll be heartbroken if I have to go back on cigarettes.

    On a different note, read this in today’s paper. It might have some implications for UC:

  46. Brian July 30, 2013 at 5:41 am #

    I was diagnosed with UC in 1993. Having this disease for 20 years has been a real life changer for me, very debilitating. However, I did pick up smoking for about 5 years during that time and it did make my UC go into complete remission. I was not aware what caused the UC to seemingly go away, but, after I quit smoking it returned. Because I didn’t know that the nicotine in the cigarettes was actually what caused the UC to go into remission, I never considered starting to smoke again. Recently however, I found that along with the prescribed Lialda DR 1.2 GM medication that I take every day, I was prescribed Hydrocodon as a pain killer for an unrelated problem. I noticed that the Hydrocodon (Acetaminoph 7.5-325) had an unexpected result. The pain killer (1 pill per day) took all the cramps and bloating away and cut down on my trips to the bathroom from 8-10 times a day (even with the Lialda) to 1 or 2 times and I am having normal movements (no blood). Because the Hydrcodon is an addictive drug, they only prescribe it to me one month (30 doses / pills) at a time. My GI says that it will not be a problem at that dose and it seems to make my life normal again. If you are thinking about starting smoking again, or electronic cigarettes, maybe the pain killer Hydrocodon or something similar can do what it did for me. You may want to ask your GI about it. Good luck to all, Brian

  47. Michael Hurst
    MichaelKHurst July 30, 2013 at 11:20 am #

    Another alternative to Hydocodon would be any anti-depressant or anti-anxiety drug that is sometimes prescribed an anti-spasmodic for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS.) Part of my treatment approach which I credit for helping fecal transplants and Apriso (mesalamine) work was the addition of Silenor (6 mg dose of the anti-depressant Doxepin.) While this drug was prescribed to me for “sleep maintenance” I later learned it has also been prescribed for IBS as well.

    Instead of L-Glutamine by itself, I had good results drinking Muscle Milk which has high amounts of L-Glutamine as well as other essential amino acids too.

    Still another consider to try in place of cigarettes is Bupropion. There is a little research out there to suggest it is a TNF inhibitor and a few patient stories too. This also appeared to be very helpful for me in my experience. Since Bupropion (brand names Wellbutrin, Zyban) is prescribed to help people quit smoking maybe it somehow alters neurotransmitters in a similarly helpful way.

  48. Andrew Ireland August 15, 2013 at 5:20 am #

    Hi folks, sorry for the delay responding. I think its unlikely my doctor will prescribe painkillers or anti-depressants, he’ll just refer me back to a consultant who’ll put me back on pentasa or asacolon, neither of which work for me. I’m determined to do this naturally. I’ve upped the dose of glutamine and also started taking Lugols Iodine. The mucus seems to have subsided but the bleeding is still there. I feel like I’m 60-70% in remission. As a last line of defence I’ve ordered Ultimate Flora probiotics which I’ll try for a month. If theres no improvement I’ll have to consider going back to nicotine. Thanks for the advice.

  49. Michael Hurst
    Michael K Hurst August 15, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

    I’m sure you are right about your doctor, in my experience even well-meaning GI doctors ignored important aspects of Ulcerative Colitis like diet, the role of bacteria and the role of a patients state of mind. So if your GI doctor won’t prescribe what is effective for you then you will have to take responsibility for your own care and find another doctor that will prescribe things that will help you. In this case that would most likely be a psychiatrist or a general practitioner. If I had done what my GI doctor was willing to do I would have had surgery to remove my colon.

    The prescriptions for anti-depressants came from a psychiatrist not my GI doctor. However the anti-depressant drugs on top of the fecal transplants effectively CURED my Ulcerative Colitis and I have not taken any drugs prescribed for Ulcerative Colitis, pro-biotics and had to follow any restrictive diets. Fecal transplants can require some significant effort and coordination to make them work for Ulcerative Colitis, especially finding a suitable, healthy donor. However anti-depressant drugs like Bupropion and/or Doxepin are commonly prescribed by psychiatrists or General Practitioners and are Schedule 4 drugs in the United States which means that are not as highly regulated as painkillers like Hydrocodone and you are allowed to get up to 5 refills for those prescriptions too. They would be a relatively easy first step which stand a very good chance of helping. However if you are determined to take the all-natural route you could try Valerian root extract. In my experience I found it to be about as effective as 5 mg of Doxepin to limit diarrhea and muscle spasms.

    • Andrew Ireland August 31, 2013 at 3:39 am #

      Hi Michael,

      Thanks for the advice on Valerian Root. I notice a few other folks here singing its praises too. I bought some 4 days ago and noticed a real improvement almost straight away. BM’s are down to 3 a day (although not quite solid), a lot less blood and no cramping. I’ve also switched back to my old brand of EVOO (DeCecco). Not sure which is causing the improvement but I’d guess its the Valerian. I’ll keep going the natural route until FMT’s become commonplace. Your own story with FMT gives me great hope.


  50. TC August 16, 2013 at 10:28 am #

    I am a 61 year old female with UC. it did not manifest itself completely until 10 years after I quit smoking, at age 40. I had been having mild symptoms for those 10 years but always attributed it to bad food or hemorrhoids. Finally I was so sick and lost over 25 lbs. Time to see the Dr. I was treated with lots of prednisone which in the process created many more physcial problems for me. Finally my GI told me I needed to have the surgery and remove my colon. I wasn’t ready mentally for that and started doing more research into alternatives to surgery. To my surprise I found that nicotine may help. I first tried the gum, then the patches and neither of those put me into remission. Finally I picked up a cigarette. I began smoking and within a week I was in remission. I have not had an attack, AT ALL, in over six years. My husbands brother had colon cancer and a colostomy. As much as my husband hates smoking he said he’d buy my cigarettes for as long as they worked so I wouldn’t have to have the surgery. My GI, PC, Rheumetologist and Gyno physicians all know I smoke and why. Every one of them have agreed the quality of life is so much more important than the quantity. Anyone with UC understands the quality of life diminishes when you are experiencing flare-ups. My only regret is that this is not made public because of the stigmatism associated with smoking. I was tired of explaining why I smoke and therefore do not explain it any longer. However the negative comments and disgusted looks continue. Oh well, I’m sure if these people were in my shoes they may be smoking as well. Someday we’ll find a treatment and call all quit but until then…if you got ’em, smoke ’em!

    • jamie June 12, 2014 at 6:43 pm #

      Just as you, I also had to discover the link between cigarettes and uc by myself. At the age of 21, I quit smoking when I became pregnant. I was fine until after delivery. Once I was back home with new baby I became very ill. Spinning head, headaches, bloody stools. It took quite some time to get a diagnosis, as they kept insisting it was due to delivery. To make a long story short, I battled with this disease for 3 years until I became pregnant again. My symptoms went into remission when I became pregnant again. As before, after delivery I became ill again. It had gotten so bad, I didn’t care anymore. I began smoking out of frustration and self pity and because it had always been a stress soother in the past. Shortly after smoking again all the symptoms went away and I was able to get off all medications. I had felt so great for the first time in years. I was determined to live a healthier lifestyle. I quit smoking again. Within only a few days I was sick again. This vicious cycle continued a total of 3 more times over a course of 3 more years before the light came on. In the past 11 years since I made the connection and have been an active smoker I’ve had 3 flareups, each very mild and only lasting a few days. All were linked to extremely stressful moments in my life. I was able to recognize the onset and ward it off before it became a full flare. I also find it hard to explain that I don’t want to smoke but I do it for my health. Lol. Nobody gets it. Quality out weighs quantity for me at this point in my life. I have 3 beautiful children that need their mommy and I am quite certain had I not began smoking again I’d be right where I was before… In the fetal position, crying in pain, scared for my life.

    • David July 17, 2014 at 9:58 am #

      I’m thinking about smoking or using the patch. Witch gives better results?

      • Graham from England
        graham lee July 18, 2014 at 5:34 am #


        I’ve tried patches and gum, they only offer around 20% of the benefits of smoking 5-10 per day. For me nicotine replacement only slows the progression of a flare and will not stop it.

  51. greg booth August 16, 2013 at 6:39 pm #

    Has anyone told you about Anatabloc? It is a nutraceutical has an anti-inflammatory called anatabine in it that is also in tobacco. Some animal studies have shown it can ameliorate certain colon problems. My doctor told me about it.

  52. Leif Smith August 17, 2013 at 2:51 pm #

    Research on “anatabine” and “inflammation” will turn up a lot of things that may contribute to this discussion.

  53. Graham from England
    Graham lee August 23, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

    Well it’s been almost 2 years off cigarettes since taking EVOO but I now admit and realise with a heavy heart that it is exactly like Dr Harts original findings “a preventative effect”. I say “preventative” because this amazing oil kept my UC away for over a year but the crucial thing is that my colon was extremely healthy from smoking.

    I am convinced my UC is aggressive as usually 3 weeks after stopping smoking would be my limit. The problem now is that I cannot reverse my flare, I have changed my diet to a very healthy (easy to follow) diet and am increasingly dependant on a low dose Asacol suppository.

    Don’t get me wrong, I believe EVOO is powerful and maybe everyone with UC should have a tablespoon at least twice a day, (1st and last thing on an empty stomach). There are many good things we can do to help ourselves and the simple ones are the best, let’s face it a strict diet is way too difficult for many of us.

    I recently suffered a minor stroke, the blood loss got very bad as I ran out of meds and though I’m still to have my heart tests I am sure the bleeding had something to do with it, maybe the added stress of the flare. The good news is my blood, arteries, ECG and blood pressure were all very good “keep doing whatever it is you are doing” they said. However, I must stop the heavy blood loss at all costs and so have decided to smoke the 4 or 5 a day. I realise its a gamble as there could be a heart problem but a calculated risk I would say. It’s been almost a week now and I am feeling much better though obviously gutted for starting again.

    Oh well back to being a social leper… Until my colon recovers.

    • Tara August 23, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

      Now that you know how well the EVOO works for you, it’s just a matter of getting over your flare up and then perhaps you can get off the cigarettes again for quite a while before resuming. I know it is hard for someone who has smoked for years and worked hard to quit, but at least you have this to fall back upon when you need to. I found Asacol useless, myself. It never seemed to do a thing for my colitis, yet I know it has helped a number of people. Don’t feel down in the dumps about this, Graham. Remember, you are only doing what you need to do to recover. You have an obligation to yourself and your loved ones to be healthy, even if that means low dose smoking.

  54. Graham from England
    Graham lee August 24, 2013 at 2:04 am #

    Thanks Tara and great to hear from someone who agrees with this point of view. I hope you are doing well and still getting great support from your family. I will ease off the volume of oil slightly as its a double laxative and a couple of months should Heal things nicely. With all I’ve learned here there is no reason why I shouldn’t have an even better start than previously…

  55. julie October 12, 2013 at 3:47 am #

    Hi im really new to this to cut a long story short . stopped smoking 10 weeks ago started bleeding and loose stools 6 visits to the toilet every day. had colonoscopy, diagnosed with uc. wondered if it was the stopping smoking so decided to start, 3 days ago smoked 4 fags carried on smoking, blood has stopped and yesterday i never had my bowels open at all its just amazing ive gone from all those toilet visits and loads of blood to nothing, i really dont want to smoke but when i weigh it up id rather smoke than go through all that. ive decided to smoke for two weeks and then stop and see what happens if it starts again i will know its the fags, has this happend to many people

  56. Graham from England
    graham lee October 12, 2013 at 7:36 am #

    It’s no coincidence I’m afraid, though at least (like many) you have discovered this form of exit from UC, if you so choose.

    I have stopped many times while trying different things to stop the inevitable flare. When you do this again I advise you to keep a daily bowel movement diary. Contrary to popular UC belief, you should notice that once you quit you will get bloating and the motions will slow or almost stop. This happens before the eventual increase in BM’s and blood etc that we all sadly recognise.

    If you can keep your smoking to 3-4 a day it could be a good period to “flirt” with UC and see what natural remedies help you or not. Probiotics, olive oil, demulcent foods. You could also cut sugar, alcohol, trans fats, unnecessary additives, dairy, refined carbs, this list goes on!

    The best remission keeper I have found is Extra Virgin oilve oil. I substituted cigarettes for a large spoon of EVOO morning, noon and last thing at night (on an empty stomach). This took my previous non smoking, UC free record of 6 weeks to 14 months! Unfortunately, I have had a flare since and am now half way through a 3 month smoke, getting ready to go smoke free again. I am even more confident this time as I’ve learned lots here to add to my armory. Below is a link with great EVOO information and sourcing advice. If you are in the UK by any chance, M+S Italian, “fruity oil with a peppery finish” is great.

    Real remission is hard to acheive so if you get there, naturally, please stay vigilant. The “UC lion” is very hard to put back in its cage.

    Good luck!

  57. Tara October 12, 2013 at 9:01 am #


    I’ve been wondering how you are doing and had it on my agenda to send you a message asking how you are since you had to resume smoking. I will be most curious as to your quitting again and whether your EVOO keeps you there…hopefully at least as long as it did last time. I wish I could say that 4 or 5 worked for me. Even when I smoke 6, I constantly seem at the verge of a flare up, with a tad bit of mucous and even some small amount of blood on occasion, although no discomfort, but it was enough to get me scared and then I press myself to smoke a little more. Seven seems to be my magic number for zero signs of UC. I was really hoping 4 would do because I still utterly dislike smoking and it’s highly inconvenient with my limited time and all. I’m fearing winter, too, because I only smoke outside and I’m rather skinny, so I freeze so easily. I am still taking all my supplements, as well. Anyway, at least in spite of all the inconveniences, I am UC free at present. Just keep us posted as to how you are. This whole thread, and largely you, have been the turning point to what I consider a healthier, happier life in spite of (and even because of) the smoking.

  58. Graham from England
    graham lee October 12, 2013 at 10:44 am #

    Hi Tara!

    Good to hear from you and really pleased you are well. I agree, 7 does seem about right. When I think about it, the lower number of 4 – 5 was when it got tricky after cutting down from being well, not smoking my way out of a flare. I suggested 3-4 to Julie because of what she commented.

    It’s been 7 weeks smoking 5 cigarettes and slowly increasing to 10 (will power). However, this is the first week with no blood or pink at all, heaven! I recently missed 2 oil doses in 24hrs and the blood, mucas arrived. A set back but this is the time when we learn the most. This convinced me the healing job may look done but not to rush it. I have lost a few of the hard gained lbs since smoking but I’m not panicking and making a daily protein drink to combat this. If it helps you, I gained over a stone when I started the oil and quit before. I hope the healthy way can totally work for us both some day. I’m having various oils tested by an expert, she hopes to find the Evoo components that work and those that don’t. Better UC oil is coming!

    I have been discharged from the stroke clinic a healthy man. Body inflammation, blood pressure, arteries and heart all great. After smoking for 25 years and a terrible diet/ lifestyle, I must put this down to the oil and 6 months on a good diet. They said it was most likely an IBD drug reaction. It is mega embarrassing having to explain why I am smoking, some people just don’t believe it could help or by that much. You know what that’s like!

    • Tara October 14, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

      Thank you for sending me a message, Graham. I didn’t see your message because instead of coming into my email inbox it went to my junk mail! I periodically have to check it because of such things. I am so glad you are doing well and am always happy to see a post from you. I think my very low weight has more to do with my natural body type than being unwell, as I feel pretty decent right now, aside from the stresses of family life, esp. having an autistic son. But thank God I am managing well thanks to the cigarettes and supplements. I still am too chicken to cut down now that I seemed to find my magic number. Hope we keep hearing from you often. Bless you!

      • Graham from England
        graham lee October 15, 2013 at 12:16 am #

        Very nice of you to say that Tara and I’m really pleased things are manageable for you now. I do perhaps sense some guilt, though there shouldn’t be. Your family are lucky to have you caring for them.

        Some people smoke because they are addicted, some just want to look cool and some simply enjoy it. We do it in order to live normal lives and I’m sure even the highest being would approve in this situation. So no more heavy handed anti smoking police please!

  59. Julie Reed October 12, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    Hi everyone. I have been encouraged by reading everything on this site. I posted a comment the other day, but not sure where it is. I’ve been in a 5 year flare up and I’m sick of it. I was on remicade and it worked sort of ok until the insurance cut me off and now I’m flaring up again. I started on the SCD 5 days ago and then read about smoking. I got really excited. I’m a former smoker (quit 10 years ago) but as all of you know, this disease can make you desperate to try anything. I started smoking about 5 cigs a day about 3 days ago. I haven’t seen any positive changes yet. How long should I give smoking a chance before I quit again? I’m also taking Vit. D drops and need to buy some more probiotics. That’s about it. Any info will be most appreciated!! thanks!!

    • Leroy June 8, 2014 at 6:38 pm #

      I was diagnosed with uc some 16 yrs ago… back then bactrin along with flaggle was about all there was to offer,,,, forgot predisone in my case I refused… I was chronic, bleeding heavy..toooo much stress and anxiety..btw 25 yrs with anxiety, long story short im medication free for 15 yrs now, a pack or more a day of cigs done away with uc,for those with chronic uc and heavy bleeding you already know quality of life is cleary decreased….some people may choose to rely on meds only…for me and many others it dident work to well….smoking like many other drugs can have long term side effects yrs down the road…my drs don’t believe in my choice to treat my uc…they simply tell me im very lucky and my situation is not of the norms…they have no explanation to 15 yrs med free and still in remission…make your own conclusion….now my 19 yr old son has it…drs have him so confused on what meds to use…for now he is on predisone…noting else has worked for him….btw he just started to smoke and the bleeding has stopped and he feels normal again..hmmm…what do you make of this

  60. Tara October 12, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

    Hi Julie,
    I am not sure that you were able to read my comments on this lengthy thread, but I will reiterate a little of what I wrote because it may be helpful, esp. in light of the fact that so many see positive results from their smoking within days. For me it was quite different. I was never a smoker and quite honestly hated the idea of it, but I was desperate and in the midst of a severe flare up and on meds that weren’t helping. I was truly on the toilet all the time and was in agony physically, barely able to function. I also had developed an associated fat cell infection so walking was unbelievably painful and difficult as my ankle and leg were swollen and I could barely bend my knee. It’s called Erythema Nodosum. Anyway, to make along story short, I was in bad shape. I was desperate for relief and to stay out of the hospital and had read smoking helps so many, so I tried it. I started with 4 cigarettes a day and felt no improvement after a week. Then I went up to 5 and after about a week of that I started to see some mild improvement. I then continued to smoke between 5 and 6 a day and by the 3rd week I knew I was starting to get better. By week 5 I was almost in remission. It took another 2 weeks or so for me to consider myself in remission. Sometimes after that there was a mild bit of mucous and even a touch of blood, but no pain whatsoever anymore. I usually smoke about 7, and have been doing this for several months (I think it’s been about 7 months since I started and I am without symptoms of UC. So you see, it took me longer than many and I couldn’t fix the problem with the 4 a day I’d hoped for, but I was also in very rough shape. If I were you, I’d give it some time, perhaps a month and you may have to work on fine tuning the amount that you need to get you and keep you in remission. I feel pretty confident it will work, though. Do let us know. I hope this info helps you

  61. Julie Reed October 12, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

    That encourages me sooooo much! I’m excited to keep on smokin’ now. I think I will try 7 a day as well. I’ve heard (and I’m sure you have too) that people who have never smoked before often don’t respond to it that well, so I’m glad you finally got a response. I can’t afford to be in the bathroom. I have two kids and I’m studying to be a teacher– finishing within a year. Can you imagine being a teacher and running to the bathroom all day? I haven’t had time to read all the previous posts, so I appreciate your writing this out again. one more queston…. do you think that since you are in remission, you will be able to cut back on the smokes? I’m hoping that’s the case for me anyways! thanks a ton!

  62. Tara October 12, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

    I’m so glad this has helped, Julie. I have four kids and one is autistic and relies upon me for his sole care, so I can definitely relate to not having the “convenience” of being sick, much less the desire to go through the unimaginable suffering it causes physically. I guess I could try to cut back but I’m a chicken after that last flare up. Maybe I will in time, but I’m not emotionally ready to. Yes, I also heard that previous non-smokers don’t derive the benefits that former smokers do, but I hoped and prayed it would work for me and it did. I didn’t know where else I would turn if it didn’t. I, personally, think that this claim is made simply because there are less studies made when it comes to non-smokers and that is just the politically correct assumption to make thanks to the war on tobacco. I also read a lot on a site called Forces International that clears up many of misconceptions about smoking and it’s exaggerated dangers and this made me feel less horrified by my decision. My husband just about freaked when he heard I was going to do this, but now, seeing how it’s helped me, it’s definitely in favor of it. It feels funny encouraging someone to resume smoking who has stopped, but compared to the miseries of UC and the truly dangerous and often ineffective drugs that are prescribed to treat it, I can do so with a clear conscience. Go for it and best wishes to you!

  63. Julie Reed October 12, 2013 at 4:32 pm #

    Thank you Tara– I have an autistic child too!! what a coincidence. I worry about him too and I hope I can live a long enough life to make sure he’s ok. Like I said, I’ve been in a flare up for 5 years now (aside for the short time I was on Remicade which helped a little) and there is no feeling worse than being trapped at home with this disease, having to make sure there is a bathroom everywhere you go “just in case.” My problem is that we don’t have insurance. I’m trying to be a teacher, so I can get a job, so I can get insurance, so I can get the help I need. But if I have colitis, I can’t work, so I won’t have insurance! what a vicious cycle this is. That’s why I was so excited when I found this smoking remedy because it’s weird enough to be believable. Now the only debate is..should I try taking dangerous drugs to help my colon when I do have insurance again? or just keep smoking because it works. Guess I’ll wait and worry about that later! One problem at a time! Best wishes and God bless!!

  64. Cassandra Booker October 12, 2013 at 9:47 pm #

    Well I’ve been on the nicotine patch for close to 40 days and my flare ups have started again. I will be showing my dr this blog to see if maybe she wants me to test this theory. I wanted to quit for good and maybe quitting is something that in my case may be doing more harm than good

    • rebecca November 24, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

      Hi, im 17 with uc, diagnosed at 15 but had uc since 14years old. In and out of hospital, was on azathioprin which I had an allergic reaction to, pentasa and also tried puri nethol(chemotherapy) which all never controlled my uc. I have it mainly on my left side but all the way through my intestines aswell. I started smoking a year ago and all symptoms cleared up, when I tried to stop smoking in march this year I ended up in hospital again. I have since started smoking. Up to 10 daily. I was wondering if nicotine patches work as well as smoking tobacco does? Thanks

  65. Tara October 13, 2013 at 2:53 am #

    Wow, Julie, that really is a coincidence. My son is 15 and goes to public school because with his serious problems I couldn’t home school him anymore, but two of the other three I home school, as well, The third is too young still, so I guess that makes me kind of a teacher, as well. As for me, I have absolutely no faith in the medical industry or their drugs. I truly believe cigarettes (if you’re not chain smoking) are a better option than most pharmaceuticals. Remicade, as I’m sure you know, carries a risk of cancer, too, as do many of the other drugs, along with a slew of other dangers. Of course the decision will be entirely yours to make when the time comes. Being on Big Pharma’s concoctions is more socially acceptable these days than smoking, so one has to recognize that, too, when making this decision. But you’ll have time to weigh it all out and do what’s best for you. In the meantime use those cigarettes to get that flare up under control. I do believe they will work with the right number and a little time. Keep us posted and blessings to you, too.

  66. Julie Reed October 13, 2013 at 7:22 am #

    I agree about drugs Tara — I hate them. thanks so much for the support and I will post here if I have any success with the cigs!

    • Tara October 14, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

      Best wishes, Julie. Please research low-dose smoking. I am convinced the risks are fewer than being on Remicade. Doctors prescribe all sorts of dangerous drugs, including to children. I know because my autistic boy was on many of them. They didn’t help him and the side effects were disastrous, so that Remicade is prescribed to children is no valid argument as I see it. It is just further proof how irresponsible the medical system can be. As I wrote to Todd, I have personally know life-long smokers and have heard of many who did not get lung cancer. The claims that cigarettes definitely cause cancer are not accurate. In no way, mind you, am I implying that smoking is healthy, although if one wants to try for a slightly more healthy manner of smoking, one could go with either organic tobacco and roll your own or buy an all natural cigarette, like American Spirits. That way, at least you get fewer additives. I have done so much research months ago and believe it or not, in countries like Japan and many European countries, the lung cancer death rate is not high. Cancer risks increase with pollutants like carbon monoxide from living in high traffic areas and other unhealthy life-styles and eating habits. The statistics are available on the internet, but you really have to delve into it to find it. It is startling how much nonsense we are fed and believe whatever the mainstream dishes out.

    • Tara October 14, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

      I just wanted to add something I forgot to say about these other countries and their low rates of lung cancer compared to the US. I’m specifically talking about countries that have a higher rate of smoking. That’s an important point to make in mentioning that their lung cancer rate is lower than ours.

      • Julie Reed October 14, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

        ok thanks Tara. I’m currently smoking 7 per day. We shall see if it works. At this point, I’m willing to try just to try to have a normal life again. Thanks for all the info.

        • Tara October 15, 2013 at 11:01 am #

          Please do keep us informed as to when it starts to help. I say “when” because I am confident it will. This is an illness that can drive us to total desperation.

          • Julie Reed October 16, 2013 at 5:50 am #

            I will Tara. Thank You for the encouragement and support! I told my Mom about you. She was a little upset with me about the smoking. ha!

        • Tara October 16, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

          I couldn’t find a reply option to the correct comment you made. I just had to tell you that I was telling my mom about you, too, yesterday! She’s read this thread even prior to my starting to smoke and she was all for it for me, unlike my husband where it took a heck of a lot of convincing and we even argued about it, something we almost never do. Maybe your mom might look at some of the info posted. Most of it is pretty insightful. Perhaps it will help her understand your decision better.

          • Julie Reed October 16, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

            Yes– when I told her your story, she was more ok about it. She has discovered a product called “juice plus” that claims to do miraculous things for the body. It’s pure veg and fruit supplement. she knows someone whose colitis it helped. I’m skeptical but will try it because I need those nutrients anyway. My email is Maybe you could email me because I was going to ask you some more questions about your colitis and son that have nothing to do with smoking that’s on this thread :)

  67. Todd McCullough October 13, 2013 at 8:12 am #

    I think that people are under the false impression that cigarettes are not a drug and are a healthy holistic alternative. Cigarettes are a drug and are as full of harmful chemicals as Remicade and other drugs.
    There have been children that have come into the clinic to have Remicade infused while I’ve been in there getting the same, are some of you suggesting that they should start smoking?
    I’m not even sure that smoking has helped me out all that much. What I do know is that I’m somewhat hesitant to go full steam ahead with it. My 34 year old wife had one breast removed because of breast cancer, and unfortunately something spread to her brain. So I have been to plenty of cancer groups with her and I can assure you that smoking has plenty of ill side effects.
    Remicade can potentially cause cancer, smoking definitely causes cancer.
    I’m all for people smoking if it helps them, but there appears to be some naïveté that it won’t harm you or others around you.

    • Tara October 14, 2013 at 2:43 pm #


      I don’t think anyone here thinks smoking is healthy, but that it definitely cause lung cancer is truly debatable. I have personally known life long smokers who never got lung cancer and have heard of many. We all know there are risks associated with smoking, but we are talking about moderate smoking here and with the research I’ve done I have learned that moderate smoking poses limited risk.

  68. Julie Reed October 13, 2013 at 8:27 am #

    Todd– I’m at the point that I just don’t know what to do anymore. I have to begin working soon and can’t with this disease. I hate this disease. (sigh) It just really sucks to have to make these choices. So, what is your story? What do you do and are you in complete remission? I did Remicade for almost a year and it never fully put me in remission. Aside from having my stupid colon removed, which I might opt for someday, I don’t know what else to try.

  69. Todd McCullough October 13, 2013 at 9:11 am #

    This link is my story from last year which includes smoking.

    That’s everything. I appear to be better off than all other UC patients when I get Remicade. The others complain about constant flare ups even though they are on Remicade.

    I haven’t had any kind of bowel problem since 2009.

    I don’t know what to attribute it to. Remicade? Being vegetarian? Cooking non processed foods.

    I was starting to get bad auto-immune arthritis again over the course of the last year. A Doc’s blog that I follow wrote, that if you have auto-immune related arthritis, you should avoid dairy.

    Coincidentally over the last year I had started eating cheese again. So I stopped. Oddly enough it made a big difference. Only a swollen knuckle, knee or wrist here and there now. And even that appears to be related to when I fall off the wagon and eat some dairy at a party or some thing.

    My wife smoked regularly and has cancer. My dad smoked since he was 16 and only now seems to be paying for it at 68 with early onset COPD. Who knows.

    My system that I have been building on over the last year is to live like it’s the year 1900. Eat from scratch and consume things like alcohol and cigarettes like they are hard to come by. Meaning if I lived in a rural setting in Canada ( where I am from) how often would I be able to afford this and that or how often would it be available in my town.

    I feel like the golden generation and generations previous to them lived longer and healthier. So I intend to adopt some of their habits.

    To give you an idea of my thinking and to relate it to smoking, I read online that a heavy smoker 100 years ago consumed about 100 cigarettes a year. And they didn’t inhale, or at least many didn’t because filters weren’t invented until the 30’s. Compare that to the 60’s and later when a heavy smoker was inhaling all the cigarettes they smoked and consumed roughly 3600 a year.

    I personally think we all need to make lifestyle changes, and not just choose either Remicade or cigarettes.

    I want off Remicade but I won’t stop until my body rejects it.

    I hope I just made a point and didn’t completely contradict my blog post!

    • Mark Kern November 25, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

      why remicade your u c mild to moderate or moderate to severe ? my doc wants me to try humira .my uc is mild to severe and nothing is working..40 mgs prednisone 150 mgs imuran 1600 mgs times three a day for 10 months .the only thing has stopped is the diarrhea. is remicade newer than humira or better.. have to make decision soon..worried about more side affects also

  70. Todd McCullough October 13, 2013 at 9:15 am # is the doctor’s blog I mentioned. He’s got his own chronic health problems apparently so I think he’s on a similar search as many here. Holistic and science combinations.

  71. Julie Reed October 13, 2013 at 10:50 am #

    Ok Todd..thanks for the information. I’m going to read your post/link today and study over it. It’s all so freakin’ confusing and frustrating. Seems like everyone has to do different things to go into remission. Add to that, neither my husband nor I are great cooks. Guess I will need to learn if that’s what it takes. Aaah! Thanks for the post and I’ll check in soon!

  72. Gemma October 14, 2013 at 8:45 am #

    Oh no was reading Grahams post about the bloating and constipation once you stop. I stopped on 28th August but have kept on taking the nicotine, I have been doing really good but the last few weeks have been really bloated and maybe a bit constipated, like I would normally go in the mornings but now I can get up and not need to go until after dinner which is weird for me. I thought maybe the bloating was the die off of the bad bacteria and the change in movements was my body trying to find it’s own rythmn. Also had a freaky thought what if I’ve been misdiagnosed as having UC but I have crohns, and smoking makes crohns worse. I’ve never had bleeding with my uc which is making me think it could be crohns (no ulcers to bleed?), but then I guess if it was crohns all that time I was smoking I would of had a massive flare.

  73. Graham from England
    graham lee October 14, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

    Hi Gemma,

    As far as I know, smoking only helps colitis, anyone?

    I always found quitting easier by just stopping entirely at once (Allen Carr’s Easyway to Stop Smoking). Though this was my most successful route for quitting, it became very apparent there would be the inevitable, and imminent arrival of a colitis flare. The bloating started and the regular morning BM I expected after the coffee/cigarette combo would disappear. Having said that, I still do not believe that merely quitting more slowly will change or improve the eventual outcome. If it’s not too late, I recommend getting things moving pretty quickly, though naturally. I have read that pharmaceutical laxatives can make the colon lazy.

    I saw this short study today, it’s finding about what causes a colitis relapse were surprisingly interesting. Could be worth a read given your current status.

  74. Gemma October 22, 2013 at 5:23 am #

    Thanks Graham

    Yes I think smoking makes crohns worse from what Ive read online. Ive been back smoking 1 or 2 a day and I know its probably too little to help but Ive been feeling better. I find smoking very stress relieving too!

    Interesting link you posted above, I watched a movie called forks over knives about cutting animal protein out the diet and the positive effects on health, just google forks over knives and also The China Study.

  75. hank November 1, 2013 at 10:32 am #

    Hey everyone, I’m a 19 year old guy with ulcerative colitis.

    I was at a club last year with a smoking room, I was in that room for about half an hour. The day after I was in remission, but then got flared up again.

    That should mean that smoking helps my UC, right? But the thing is, I have tried to smoke after that but never felt any progress. Mabye I haven’t give it enough time?

    Also worth mentioning, I wasn’t a smoker before i got diagnosed with UC.

    Sorry for my bad english, I’m from Sweden :D


    • Tara November 5, 2013 at 5:13 am #

      Hello Hank,

      I’d consider it unlikely to be a connection between a few hours of second hand smoke and a day of remission, esp. if you say you’ve tried smoking in the past and have not found it helpful. I wonder how long you tried, though, and how many cigarettes you were smoking at the time. I was not a smoker prior to my colitis and now (because of my colitis) I smoke 7 a day which seems to keep it in perfect remission. I’ve been doing this about 8 months and it took approx. a month or 2 for me to really feel healed. I am 45 and you are only 19, so it’s a little scary for you to start a smoking habit at your young age. Still, if it’s something that will save you countless years of misery from the UC, and esp. if you have enough will power to limit your cigarettes and not just fall into chain-smoking, than you might give it a go. Reading this thread will definitely show you how effective it is in most cases. Best of luck to you.

  76. Drew Taylor November 7, 2013 at 9:50 pm #

    Hi, I’ve got UC, But I’ve had a total colectomy and an J pouch, Does smoking still hold any benefit for me?

    • Tara November 11, 2013 at 8:20 am #

      Didn’t the surgery cure your colitis…I thought it was supposed to. Why, then, would you need to smoke?

  77. Cassandra November 11, 2013 at 9:18 am #

    I have been back and forth with smoking and not smoking for a year since i’ve been diagnosed. I’ve always been a smoker, but i am not really seeing any changes in my flareups. I am not sure if i am ready to go on medication because I am not going to the bathroom often. However, when i do go, i notice the blood and the mucus. I dont meant to be too graphic. Somedays are good and i would try to track what i did the night before. Usually it would be red wine and a few cigarettes and my first bowel movement would be bloodless. But i am told by my dr that alcohol makes flareups worse. I am not experiencing pain nor am i experiencing frequent bowel movements. I am back on the nicotine patch and trying to wait until afterwork where my bowel movement is the most productive. During the day i will have some small passing of bloody mucus. I dont know if i am ready to see the dr for medicine yet, but so far in a nutshell, smoking has not really helped me as much as i thought it would.

  78. Wong Fei Hung November 24, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    I started to smoke cigs but I dont have UC or anything just really bad diarrea that I just said w.e. I felt like my stomach was not absorbing any nutrients but once I started to smoke cigs cuz one day I had no more weed so I bought a pack of cigs to smoke out of boredom. After smoking like for 2 weeks I notice my stool was more like a log and my stomach stopped bloating and I felt more better. Ive been smoking ever since only cigs no more weed cuz it just makes me into a unproductive piece of shit and I got anxiety and paranoia from it. Smoking cigs made me more calm alert and stress free. I just stumbled upon this website while searching for some correlation between my improved bowel movement and here is my 1 cent. I also have heard that nicotine also removes fluoride from your pineal gland which is a very important gland but fluoride from toothpaste and our water have been destroying it. Look up nicotine and pineal gland on google. No wonder the elites are all anti smoking and they are somehow pushing the weed agenda through the media to dumb down and make the population more passive. I study sociology so this kind of making sense not to be a conspiracy tard but they are some truth to this. My asthma also went away after smoking which is wonderful because I can stay outside in the winter more. Ive been smoking for 2 years on cigs, dont smoke weed for 2 years and only drink a beer socially no hard liquor. I feel way more healthier and I have not gotten sick since forever. Just my opinion and experience. Fluoride is one of the most dangerous chemical in our society and i heard the Nazis gave it to the jews to pacify them so that they can willingly just go into the gas chambers. The govt does not want you to revolt, they want you to be passive and controlled and I feel like the weed agenda is being pushed through celebrities like wiz khalifa and on tv shows. It may still be illegal federally but it is socially engineered to make people use it. Have a good day. One more thing once I started smoking cigs I started having more dreams than ever before, I do not know if its the pineal gland working again from detoxing from the fluoride but the pineal gland releases melatonin and serotonin. The pineal gland is a gland that supposedly keeps a human connected spiritually to the universe. I dont know but that’s just my guess.

  79. Wong Fei Hung November 24, 2013 at 10:19 am #

    Did you know that 60% of people that get lung cancer are non smokers? People that live the longest into their 80’s and beyond were all heavy smokers starting from their teens. dont believe me? google it. No wonder the govt is so anti smoking. propaganda

    • Tara November 25, 2013 at 5:52 am #

      Yes, I have read this as well. Some very good information on this whole subject is available through the site Forces International. They show many studies that are not publicized regarding smoking, and that there are in fact many hidden benefits of it. It’s a good starting point in researching the topic more thoroughly. I have looked at data showing and comparing lung cancer and smoking rates though out the years in other countries, too, and it’s fascinating to see how the statistics do not correspond with the claims made regarding smoking. I found your discussion about fluoride quite interesting. I have read of the dangers of fluoride and that’s what inspired me to get a good water filtration system and avoid fluoridated toothpaste. Studies have shown that ingesting fluoride in particular, have no benefits in protecting our teeth (as we do in drinking fluoridated water). I’m with you totally, about the dumbing down of our society. People like us are considered insane conspiracy theorists, but the evidence that it’s more than a theory is all around us, and available to those who truly seek answers beyond what the mainstream feeds us.

  80. rebecca November 24, 2013 at 4:57 pm #

    Hi, im 17 with uc, diagnosed at 15 but had uc since 14years old. In and out of hospital, was on azathioprin which I had an allergic reaction to, pentasa and also tried puri nethol(chemotherapy) which all never controlled my uc. I have it mainly on my left side but all the way through my intestines aswell. I started smoking a year ago and all symptoms cleared up, when I tried to stop smoking in march this year I ended up in hospital again. I have since started smoking. Up to 10 daily. I was wondering if nicotine patches work as well as smoking tobacco does? Thanks

    • Tara November 25, 2013 at 5:36 am #

      Hi. I have read that the reason the patch and nicotine gum don’t work as well is because the nicotine is absorbed into our bodies through a different and less effective route than it is through smoking. Nicotine gum never worked that well for me. It alleviated my symptoms only for a brief time, but I never tried the patch for fear of how it would make me feel throughout the day. I wish I could give you a link to the info stated above but I lost it somewhere along the way in my huge amount of research. As I recall, it was second hand information from a person whose German gastroenterogist gave him a scientific explanation as to why other means of receiving nicotine were less effective in controlling his colitis than the cigarettes were. Apparently that is even why the e-cigs don’t seem to work as well. Perhaps, if you research the ways in which nicotine is absorbed into the body, you can find the info yourself.

      • Wong Fei Hung November 25, 2013 at 7:25 am #

        It’s not nicotine but carbon monoxide. You have to smoke it for it to work.

      • Wong Fei Hung November 25, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

        Tara, this is for you. read the pdf especially ch 5 and ch 4.

    • Andrew (Ireland) November 25, 2013 at 11:33 am #

      Hi Rebecca,

      From my experience nicotine patches and gum don’t work very well as they don’t seem to contain enough nicotine and are missing carbon monoxide or whatever else is in cigarette smoke. I’m currently using snus as a means of stopping smoking and for me this has been the best nicotine replacement so far. I’ve done it before & stayed in remission for 6 weeks before mild symptoms returned. This never happened with patches or gum. For some of us, nicotine is a big help but not enough on its own.


    • Andrew (Ireland) November 29, 2013 at 11:20 am #

      Hi Rebecca,

      Here’s a bit more info on UC and nicotine therapy:

    • Jaime January 10, 2014 at 12:17 pm #

      Hey Tara,

      I smoked cigs (about a pack a day) for 15 years. During that time I was diagnosed with UC, so it didnt come on after quitting which happens to many ppl. I decided to quit–2 years ago this month actually–and Ive been sick ever since. 4 months after I quit, I started getting sick and a month later I was in the hospital. I was pumped full of steroids and Remicade which of course got me into remission. Few months later–back into a flare. Then back to the hospital. Remicade again, remission again. Few more months–flare again. I knew when I quit smoking that there was a strong possiblity that Id be sick but I didnt think I wouldnt be able to stay in remission without smoking. (I didnt have a flare in 10 years while being a smoker) Despite all the flares, I forced myself not to resume smoking. Over the past few weeks, I broke down and decided to use the nicotine patches. I started with just the lowest (level 3–7mg) patch and increased from there. I had read a study that showed patients acheived remission at around 30-34 mg a day with the patches, so after 2 weeks I reached the 30mg level. I didnt notice any difference in my symptoms or in my BM’s. I did notice the weird dreams, feeling hyper, headachy feelings that typically come on when using those patches. I had high hopes for the patches, but I think it really is the mix of chemicals in the cig smoke that actually calms down your immune system and brings on remission.

  81. Max November 25, 2013 at 9:59 am #

    Wong Fei Hung

    you are simply great! All you wrote is absolutely true.

    Nothing to add.

  82. Cassandra November 26, 2013 at 11:19 am #

    The reason i am trying to quit smoking is due to the fact that BOTH of my grandparents died from lung cancer. I am not sure if that puts me at a higher risk so i am off and on between the patches and cigarettes. I want to do whatever it takes to go into remission with the UC. I dread going to the restroom some days. Hopefully smoking isnt the only way to stop the flare-ups, because i dont want to put myself in the casket faster due to my family history

  83. Jan December 22, 2013 at 3:58 am #

    I stopped smoking in June 2012 and the UC started about 3 months later. I don’t get the runs with mine though. I get chronic constipation instead and all the usual suspects, extreme pain, bloating, mucus, blood and horrific lower back/hip pain that keeps me awake most of the night. I just finished a course of prednisilone and I take Pentasa, senna and laxido every day. I’ve been off the steroids for 2 days and my symptoms are returning already, bloating, wind and the back pain is returning with a vengeance. I would start smoking in a heartbeat if I knew for sure it would take this away but stopping smoking was so hard for me and my kids would be devastated if I started again but the thought of having to take steroids is giving me nightmares. I am so confused…….

  84. Graham from England
    graham lee December 22, 2013 at 9:48 am #

    Hi Jan,

    I’m certain your symptoms would dissappear if you resume smoking as a last resort. When UC’ers stop smoking, the constipation is the route of all evil as far as I’m concerned.

    I’m about to quit for the 8th or 9th time. I don’t want to smoke but uncontrollable colitis forces many of us to use the alternative. After a relentless flare it took a week back on cigarettes to see an improvement and 6-7 weeks to be clear of all symptoms. It will probably be a 4 month smoke by the time I quit but I believe this will help extend the next remission period. My best without cigarettes or meds is 18 months. I quit with a healthy colon and kept everything moving through with EVOO. It wasn’t a permanent solution as I still had the eventual flare but I was very happy with 18 months free of both!

    Don’t feel bad if you have to force yourself to smoke once more to heal yourself properly. The side effects from the meds and a flare can be pretty damaging too.

  85. Graham from England
    graham lee December 22, 2013 at 10:05 am #

    By the way Jan, the Evoo has a low dose anti inflammatory called oleocanthal which also stopped my long standing lower back pain. I have also confirmed this solution as it returned when I accidentally took ordinary olive oil for a while, as did the UC.

    I don’t believe there are short cuts here so for me at least, smoking brings real and proper healing and then we must try, try again.

  86. Jan December 22, 2013 at 11:18 am #

    I am going to the Drs tomorrow , who is also a smoker so am going to have a chat with him about this. I absolutely loved smoking and stopping was really hard for me and I know if I start again I may never stop. I won’t make any hasty decisions as I really need to think about what’s best not just for me but for my family.

  87. Jan December 25, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

    I know it’s Christmas but looking for some info from you guys. I stopped the prednisilone a week ago and my symptoms are returning already, is this normal? Also I’ve got a fever and feel like I’ve been hit with a bus, can this be the colitis? Am still new to this and am not sure what am experiencing here. Spoke to GP regarding smoking and at first he was totally against it but while I was there he googled it and ended up saying it was strong evidence it helped but as a Dr he couldn’t tell me to start smoking again. Am a bit mixed up but swaying towards the smokes each day as more symptoms present themselves.

  88. drew December 30, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    Jan, Im not new to this and feeling like Ive been hit by a bus too. Maybe its that time of year. I have smoked off an on and it has always put me in remission. The unfortunate thing for me is that I am a workout nut, and smoking ruins my workouts. Of course UC ruins everything else. SO Im damned if I do, damned if I dont. Over the years (maybe 20?) I have read alot and everyone that goes on Pred comes off eventually goes back into a flare. Long term steroid use isnt much fun either. You (like me and everyone else here) are trying to balance out our lives. My philosophy is that I will go as long as I can without smoking, because its bad for you. But there is a quality of life in the midterm between smoking and not flaring that modern medicine refuses to try and figure out. (We can put a man on the moon, we can drop a missile from a drone over 1000 miles away into a woodchucks butt hole, but they cant tell me WHY cigarette smoking puts me in remission? Please… someone is pulling my leg.)
    SO ultimately its your choice to smoke or not to smoke. I would say why not?

    • laila January 2, 2014 at 1:16 pm #

      I love your post back in dec drew, I know I’ve come along abit late, I’ve only just found the site.
      I’ve been working my way through all the comments.
      Why is it they don’t know?, where does all the funding for colitis go?, the hospital staff’s Christmas party?.
      I had uc for years before anyone noticed, in fact I’m lucky me and my son are here. I had a really bad flare when I was 16 weeks pregnant with him, I was trapped in the bathroom all day every day, bleeding, sweating, shaking, flu like symptoms. and the pain was like labour with no drugs. And even though I was in that state and my hb had dropped to 8.0. The doctors and midwife still had no idea what was wrong with me. Actually, they let me get on with it, gave me an iron transfusion and sent me on my way.
      Hey anyone think it’s interesting how iron can make your uc even worse?.
      There are so many clues to solving the uc mystery, why are we the only one asking questions.
      Because the doctors don’t give a damn, because they don’t know how painful it can be, only we know.

  89. Jan December 31, 2013 at 2:48 am #

    Thank you Drew, I took really ill just after writing that post last week and it turns out I was having a bad reaction to the Pentasa, I was getting strange bruises, chest pains and generally felt really unwell so I stopped the meds n started smoking again and within 2 days I felt better than I have in months!!!!!! It makes no sense at all and I can’t quite get my head round it tbh. Smoking stinks but if it works then I’m going to keep on smoking until the Drs can come up with something better. I don’t work out much but with 3 kids I don’t get much time to sit around but I have a healthy and active lifestyle and the UC was really bringing me down, I’m not prepared to give in to it anymore and I absolutely hate taking meds that have dangerous side effects like the ones used for UC sufferers. It’s totally nuts that I quit smoking coz it’s bad for your health n ended up ill because of it. Wishing you all a healthy and happy New Year

  90. Gemma December 31, 2013 at 3:42 am #

    I was speakng to a doctor at a christmas party and he specializes in respiratory medicine so I thought I’d ask him about the smoking and uc connection, he said that smoking helps a number of autoimmune conditions and its because smoking dampens the immune system, then I got the lecture about how bad smoking is… A lightbulb went off because I guess if the hospital can give us meds that crash the immune system because its overacting then maybe smoking is just taking th edge off it and calming it down. Another thought, why are our immune systems constantly going off? Is something setting it off first (a real bug) then it just starts attackng itself, or does it just attack itself regardless? Iam back on the smoking after flaring 3 months after stopping but Iam trying gluten free now, maybe gluten sets it off like in coeliac? I made pizza last night with GF pizza bases but the pasta sauce I used as topping was too oily and Iam in hell today, godammit…

  91. Jan December 31, 2013 at 11:53 am #


  92. Rich January 3, 2014 at 1:52 pm #

    Found these posts very interesting especially regarding the EVOO and smoking. I’ve seen a colon specialist and Liver specialist who believes I maybe in early stages of PSC. Both let slip that they never get smokers with these disorders. I didn’t think much of it at the time but I feel like I’ve now been through every med going and really feeling by bones and muscle ache, which I’m sure is the constant medication I’m on. I’ve just been on Prednisone and 6-MP (mercaptopurine) which didn’t work and I spent pretty much the whole of New Year’s Eve on the toilet and in hot and cold shivers through the night. I’m just on Prednisone now which seems to be the only med that works for me but I still do go to the toilet 5-7 times a day. Which I wouldn’t call remission, but defiantly better than every couple of hours like I was before.
    So I stumbled across this website this week and found it brilliant. I use to smoke 10 years ago and never had any problems. My plan is now to find that elusive remission through self-remedy and this SCD. So yesterday I borough myself some cigarettes, EVOO, Probiotics and Omega 3 tables to take with my Prednisone as it now tapers down. I struggled today and yesterday to remember to smoke only managing 3 yesterday and 1 so far today. I took 2 table spoons of the M&S EVOO yesterday (one in the morning and one before bed), and one this morning. I’m taking the Probiotics, Omega 3 and a Multivitamin table in the morning with the EVOO and a banana. Then in the evening about an hour before bed EVOO, Probiotics again whilst try to smoke the 5-7 cigarettes a day. Thinking about also adding L-Glutamine to this as there been some very good comments about it on here and people at the gym I go to have always raved about its recovery power as an Amino (any recommendations?).
    I will keep you posted on how I get on with this especially with the smoking as would like to cut this out after the Prednisone which finishes in 7 weeks. One quick question on this do you know if it has to be cigarettes and can it be just tobacco say just through a pipe?

  93. Graham from England
    graham lee January 4, 2014 at 4:53 am #

    Hi Rich,

    I’ve just stopped smoking after 4 months back on them in order to reverse a flare. It took 2 months to stop all symptoms and 2 more to be 100% healed plus get Christmas (stress) out of the way. Now back to 3 x EVOO per day instead of 2.

    I like the sound of what you are doing Rich and all those meds sound a nightmare! You have the M+S Oil and the nicotine must be smoked. Not sure why but patches, gum etc are all less effective. I’ve tried em all.

    I think smoking is a great way to get healed as long as it is temporary and there is a plan in place for when we quit. I’ve noticed it much easier to stop this time following nearly 2 years off and only 4 months back on. It’s almost like I never started and only very slight bloating.

    Good luck, you’ll be fine!

  94. sheryl kolka January 12, 2014 at 6:22 am #

    I’m so happy I found this site, as I read it I basked, I’ll be 42 in March, I’ve smoked almost 30 years and in 1995 I developed bowel issues while pregnant with my daughter (I quit through whole pregnancy), I startedcsmoking when my daughter was 3 weeks old and started feeling better and doctor shamed me for it, said in my head.. Finally in 2008 I quit smoking for over 3 months and became sicker than ever, and a colonoscopy showed Ulcerative colitis/ Pancolitis and nothing helped me get in remission, out of stress I started smoking again and weighing a few weeks I was off all meds and in remission. Over the years I’ve made several attempts to quit smoking some for weeks and some a few months and EVERY time I would flare up, my mind is boggled.. I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t… ='( both my parents had cancer and heart disease so I really want to quit, but I can’t live my life and work my job when I’m in pain and in bathroom bleeding 10-20 Times a day… I’m scared to death..I don’t want a colostomy, and I’m not candidate for J pouch… what can I do??

    • Graham from England
      graham lee January 13, 2014 at 7:07 am #

      Hi Sheryl,

      There is hope and I thought exactly as you did for YEARS! This is the best solution I have found by miles, (link below) it is still being developed and 100% natural.

      It will work for much longer if you start with a healed colon so you may need to smoke for a couple of months if you are currently bleeding.

      This post was very early days and Adam will be posting EVOO 2 any day now so more up to date information coming.

  95. Brendan January 13, 2014 at 11:34 pm #


    I’ve personally dealt with ulcerative colitis every time I quit smoking but it really became severe after quitting for a year.

    One thing I would like to add is that I don’t have to smoke tobacco to get relief. Snus and other smokeless forms work fine it just takes longer for the colitis to go fully into remission.

    Currently I use nasal snuff as it is easier to titrate like smoking. This way I can manage the levels of tobacco alkaloids smoother.

    Nicotine only products like gums and e cigs never worked. I believe it is the mix of ant-inflammatory alkaloids, like anatabine and anabasine, along with the nicotine that works best. I get best results from a snuff I use that has nicotiana rustica blended in. This form of tobacco is supposed to be higher in nicotine and minor alkaloids. I really believe that this species of tobacco may be even more effective and for those that smoke they may be able to smoke less to get the same effect. BTW I also was a seven a day smoker.

    For the person who asked about pipe smoking I say give it a shot it seemed to help me just buy quality brands that have high strength tobacco. Rope and plug tobacco will definitely help.

    Carbon monoxide may play a role but I don’t think it is crucial for everyone. Nicotine and anatabine have both been documented to be powerful anti- inflammatorysepsis and beneficial for a variety of autoimmune disorders. With snus being considered very safe and documented in Sweden Because it is pasturized I think there should be a real effort to inform people about medical tobacco uses as it could stop so much suffering for little to no risk.

    Smokeless forms are vastly safer and even if they aren’t as good as smoking they are sure better than nothing. Pipe smoking is also a possibility since you get new/more of some alkaloids through combustion like beta- carbolines (a type of reversible maoi.) Nicotine alone seems to be very ineffective. It seems like medicinal herbs are more effective as a whole as opposed to isolated alkaloid.

    I hope this helps.

    • Andrew (Ireland) July 3, 2014 at 4:21 pm #

      Hi Brendan,

      Do you know if there is a brand of snus that contains nicotiana rustica or antabines? I’ve been off cigarettes and using snus for 4 weeks (along with EVOO + GAPS diet) and blood has reappeared in the stool in the last few days. Snus worked before for me but only for 6-8 weeks before symptoms started to reappear. I use about 8 portions a day of the “General” brand, should I be using more than this or a different brand?


  96. Cassandra January 14, 2014 at 11:15 am #

    I have another appointment for my second colonoscopy on 1/20. I dont have the pain of UC but i do see alot of mucous and blood in my stool. Its so annoying and now i am taking all these OTC vitamins that are said to minimize the symptoms. LIke i said before i am not going to the bathroom often but when i do, its annoying. I have been on the nicotine patch for the past 14 days so i know that nicotine isnt helping. I really hope there is something that i can do before i am placed on medication.

  97. sheryl kolka January 18, 2014 at 9:34 am #

    The nicotine patches never helped at a. Only smoking worked.. It’s been such a struggle and it all feels really cruel to me.. I’m going to read up on the EVOO, but I admit that I normally consume it every day mostly, it is a staple in my house.. but maybe not consuming it the proper way?? I’ve been smoking 4-7 a day, and still in remission, but afraid to ever try to quit again..

  98. Graham from England
    Graham lee January 18, 2014 at 9:56 am #

    Hi Sheryl,

    In my experience taking Evoo with food does not work and it has to be as directed. This also seems to be confirmed by some advice for taking Oregano oil by the lady who wrote Listen To Your Gut. I only read about her oregano oil the other day but the conclusions are the same. On an empty stomach and also the very best oregano oil is too strong, just like i found with EVOO.

    I posted an up to date and more concise EVOO post a couple of days ago… .

  99. Aysha AL Bastaki February 28, 2014 at 11:49 pm #

    Its true I started smoking just becouse im fed up with my flare that even my usual medication cant get it under co trol…I immediately fwet better from 8 bm per day to 3 normal with minimum blood… inflammation is bad and smoking is bad…what to do I hope someday they discover some medication with nicotinic without the bad side effects of it…

    • Richard March 1, 2014 at 8:53 am #

      Hi Aysha I’ve been smoking since the beginning of the year whilst taking EVOO and L-Glutamine in the morning and in the evening before bed. Personally I find this really helps. Still trying to discover which is the key one as still have bad movements. I’ve found if u identifying key foods and take them out of diet this has really help such as sugar being the main one for me, as well as bread and nuts.

  100. Joe March 1, 2014 at 7:34 pm #

    Hey guys I came across this forum while trying to find a cure for UC because right now I have just about had enough of the ups and downs of this disease as I am just 23 years old and trying to make it in the game of soccer which requires a lot of traveling and training, but I just can’t seem to get up most days cos I feel that fatigued from the uc and medications that don’t seem to work.

    My question is that if I am previously not a smoker will smoking help elevate my symptoms like it does for ex-smokers? Because I am I’m my last hopes and if this is one way to help control the disease I am willing to take up smoking… And most of my friends are smokers too so over the years I have breathed in a lot of second hand smoke, so it won’t be a problem for me to start smoking if it indeed will help.

    Help with my question will greatly be appreciated!!

    Thanks, Joe

    • Graham from England
      Graham lee March 2, 2014 at 2:43 pm #

      Joe, Tara may be the best person to advise you here though weve not heard from her in a while. She was never a smoker but found remission for her and her family by taking up the habit, 5 a day minimum. No one can tell someone to start smoking obviously but the clues are there to make an informed choice. Doctors regularly hand out drugs with their serious side effects and yet never officially recommend cigarettes. I had a bad drug reaction last year and told my doctor I would no longer be taking meds but instead smoke my way to remission then quit. She told me she could not fault one thing I was doing and I found this extremely supportive, this also relieved of a certain amount of guilt.

      For obvious reasons, smoking should only be a short term solution and perhaps we should have an alternative plan in place even before we start. I smoked through my 30’s with UC and could get up and down the pitch as well as anyone. You are a young man and I know what I would do in your shoes but there is also a saying, “live for today and ruin tomorrow”. You choose..

  101. Graham from England
    Graham lee March 2, 2014 at 3:51 am #

    I had a flare last year that I could not get out of without resorting to meds so I smoked for almost 4 months. As expected my colon healed perfectly, no blood at all after a couple of months but continued for insurance. Usually when I quit I there would be serious problems within a few weeks, its now been 2 months on just EVOO and all is good. This is the 2nd successful departure from cigarettes using the oil. Things seem even better this time which I think is due to a better quality oil and having ditched the terrible diet well over a year ago.

  102. sheryl kolka March 2, 2014 at 7:25 am #

    Just a quick update, I’m still “maintenance smoking about 5 a day, and still in remission, but on Tuesday morning I’m having an endoscope to have biopsies taken, GI specialist fears esophageal spasms could be my berretts caused cancer… I’m scared to death… prayers needed.. He also told me that John Hopkins University is still researching the whole smoking thing and believe that carbon monoxide might be the biggest factor in this all. He fully supports smoking, even in non previous smokers to achieve remission…..

  103. Jacob March 26, 2014 at 8:47 pm #

    Are ecigs supposed to work as well? Or should I pick up the real thing. Im honestly willing to give anything a try

    • Jeremy March 27, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

      Ecigs / patches / gum / etc.. will not work. Cigarettes will clear it right up. It worked for me within a week, but I still feel like I’m making a deal with the devil.

      • Graham from England
        graham lee March 27, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

        Nicotine replacements will often have some benefit and may slow a flare but only cigarettes will reverse one. Six a day for 2 weeks got me out of trouble and stayed with it for 4 months for true and total healing.

  104. Cindy April 27, 2014 at 6:07 am #

    Hello Everyone, Just wanted to share in this and let you know what has worked for me regarding smoking cigarettes. It all started when I quit smoking 3years ago. I had no idea I had colitis, then looking back over my life I realized where colitis had been rearing it’s ugly head and I was oblivious, I was a smoker my whole life and it was the one thing that kept my colitis in check. One year after quitting smoking I was a mess, bleeding… know the drill…. After hours and hours of research I was so adamant about not taking “potent meds” , I changed my diet drastically, (although that helped quite a bit) I still was in much pain and still bleeding. I kept reading about people who started smoking again…..I tried nicotine patches with very little success. reluctantly I started smoking cigarettes last June, (two years after quitting) within 24 hours I could feel a change in my body, by the 4th day, I had this overall feeling that said “I’m back”……I was up off of my fanny participating in my life! It’s been almost a year and 7-8 cigarettes a day seems to be the magic number. Recently I tried “vaping” (e-cigarettes) with nicotine, hoping it would get me off the cigarettes……but nope…..after only 5 days I could feel a flare coming on. So it’s back to cigarettes if I want to continue living a “flare” free life. I also take 2 Salofalk tabs in the morning and in the evening. So happy we have this place where we can connect and share what does and doesn’t work……..wishing you all a “flare” free life. Be well.

    • Terry May 19, 2015 at 6:01 am #

      Hi Cindy,

      Greetings from the other side of the pond! Yes i live in the UK i found you guys about 2 weeks ago so joined the website. Just like you i packed up the ciggies 3 years ago and 2 years later diagnosed with the dreaded UC. I also found out about smoking and UC and i have been back on the ciggies for 2 weeks now and noticed some small changes to my visits to the loo, namely only getting up once during the night as apposed to 3/5 visits. Also i have noticed that although there is still some urgency for the loo it is not as bad.
      How are you getting on with your UC and smoking? Is it still working foryou? I am sooooooo desperate to be normal again. Hope you are all mended.

      Thanks Terry x

  105. Rob June 6, 2014 at 7:12 am #

    I came across this website last year and was amazed by the results fellow UCers have had by smoking… Well a few months ago I started the habit as I was sick of being on meds and immediately felt a relief as everything started clearing withing a week and by 2 weeks I felt completely heald.

    Though the last two weeks I have noticed my UC symptoms coming back as I have been getting mucus stools and even blood now while having around 5-6 bm a day again where as when I started smoking it went down to 3 normal stools a day.

    Has anyone on here experienced the same thing? I was thinking it may be due to not smoking strong enough cigs maybe? But I’m really not sure, and becoming quite scared again as I don’t want another flare!

    Any help will be greatly appreciated


  106. Graham from England
    graham lee June 7, 2014 at 3:21 am #

    Hello Rob,

    How many are you smoking per day? In my opinion the regularity of the cigarettes is more important than strength, 5 – 6 for maintenance.

    Have you considered other factors that may have unbalanced your system such as diet, stress or medications? A couple of spoons of EVOO a day won’t do you any harm either..

  107. Jac June 7, 2014 at 1:00 pm #

    Hi to you all – I have been a smoker for years, upto 10 a day. Stopped smoking in March this year, which was not a problem quitting, but did notice initially that BM were not regular, therefore leading to have a bad tummy, smelly gas, and during the time constipation. Didn’t want to have a flare up due to not being able to go to the toilet so decided to try having a cigarette to see the effect, hey presto BM back and regular. So in my head, smoking definitely helps.

    • Graham from England
      graham lee June 8, 2014 at 1:01 am #

      Exactly the same scenario for me every single time until I tried the oil. I know I go on about it but I’m still amazed it actually worked…

      • Jac June 8, 2014 at 6:52 am #

        Thanks Graham, but I don’t think I could stomach EVOO, although am taking ‘Apple Cider Vinegar’, as recommended. I have been fine with this. Maybe the day will come and I will have to try the oil, but won’t venture there just yet. Going to give ‘no smoking’ another go – watch this space – thanks for all the advise on this site.

  108. Graham from England
    graham lee June 8, 2014 at 7:58 am #

    Many feel that way about trying the oil, maybe they should change the name to Extra Virgin Olive Juice. It is also part of our ancestral diet and kept the Romans going pretty well. Sad maybe but I actually look forward to taking it!

  109. Jac June 8, 2014 at 11:31 am #

    Thanks Graham, we will see, who knows, that’s why I tried the apple cider vinegar, desperation makes us do all sorts lol

  110. Kristina June 20, 2014 at 9:19 am #

    I’ve been on the nicotine replacement patch for 2 years at 21mg. It helps keep me in remission. My Doctor agrees to just keep me on it because it works. Every time I try to go off of it I have a major flare. I don’t smoke.

  111. Graham from England
    graham lee June 23, 2014 at 5:38 am #

    Well, all good things must come to an end….

    My 2nd longest drug free, flare free remission appears to have ended this morning with some blood on the paper.

    I was shocked and obviously very sad but 6 months is still a great achievement in my view. Work is busy and more stressful at this time of the year, the diet/sleep also slid a little.

    Back on the cigarettes for short while….

  112. Gemma June 23, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

    Hi Graham, sorry to hear your news about the flare up but you’ll get that sucker under control in no time with the cigs, then you can have another shot at beating that 6 month record! Im currently in my third month after quitting again and I think this time ive done it by following a gluten and dairy free diet 90% of the time and Ive been taking vsl3, I love that stuff and I was definitley getting die off symptoms at the start with it so I knew it was doing something. But as you say the stress and lack of sleep can cause us to flare and its so annoying because they are the things that are really hard to control sometimes. Ive been stressed recently too and only been getting 4/5 hour sleeps at night so have been taking Sleep Aid tablets for about 3 weeks now, I hate taking stuff like that but Im so scared about flaring. I hope you feel better soon, Im sure you will with the good ol’ cigs, we only live once and we gotta step up and do what we gotta do.

  113. Graham from England
    graham lee June 24, 2014 at 1:04 am #

    Hi Gemma,

    That’s really good progress without cigarettes! I haven’t tried wheat and diary exclusion yet, it could well be aggravating things slightly. I did hear many gluten free products are full of sugar which I try to avoid. The other problem is the weight loss, unless I can replace an excluded food with something else then I am reluctant to do so.

    It was only blood on tissue and none since yesterday so maybe I shouldn’t panic but this usually that means a downward spiral. Maybe time for a Probiotic.

    Well said though, we only live once and we have to just get on with it.

  114. Michael Hurst
    Michael Hurst June 24, 2014 at 8:20 am #

    Have any of you all tried Bupropion (Zyban) as a substitute for cigarettes when quitting? I used Bupropion along with fecal transplants after my case made it to the brink of surgery and I am still symptom-free 3 years later. The addition of Bupropion to my treatment regiment at the time appeared to be what tipped things in my favor. Maybe since Bupropion is prescribed to help quit smoking it has some of the same anti-inflammatory effects. I discuss my experience and some supporting research here:

  115. Michael June 25, 2014 at 3:06 am #

    Hi this is a link to a really interesting article p20 on hydrogen sulphide causing colitis and how a high protein diet and foods with sulphur may be best avoided
    The guy who wrote it is one of the top medical researchers of UC

    • Graham from England
      graham lee July 1, 2014 at 2:01 am #

      Hi Richard,

      There are quite a few links that support that conclusion and sulphur compounds (VSC’s) have long been a puzzle for me. I originally learned of the sulphur problem in relation to my gum disease and mouth odour problems which I am sure became noticeable around the same time as my UC.

      It is also a bizarre coincidence or not that both of my long drug/smoke free remissions came to an end after using a powerful mouthwash for only a couple of weeks. I was sure it was this the 1st time and when it happened again I contacted the company in question. They have responded well but any conclusions will obviously take time, though they have not come across this before (why would they)?

      If this is correct then the puzzle is why a product that kills VSC’s could make things worse and not better as one would expect.

      I am reluctant to stop eating many of the sulphur foods and amino proteins at the moment as most are associated with good diet and health, ie eggs, garlic, fish, saukeraut and same vegetables to name but a few.

      Idea’s anyone?

  116. Michael July 1, 2014 at 6:36 am #

    I think a lot of things point to sulphur reducing bacteria and their bye products hydrogen sulphide which causes damage.
    Cigarette smoke contains hydrogen cyanide which neutralises hydrogen sulphide.
    People with diets high in meat, dairy and alcohol, all beers ciders wines etc have very high sulphur levels, seem to have a higher rate of relapse.
    There was that study on dairy fats increasing b wadsworthia bacteria because you produce more bile to digest it, and those sulphur reducing bacteria feed on bile.
    IBD was relatively unheard of in Asia and Africa but has rapidly increased post war in places like Japan where they have changed from a traditional low meat diet to a more western diet.
    5ASA drugs predominantly neutralise hydrogen sulphide gas.
    Pepto Bismal works well for colitis and again takes hydrogen sulphide out of the body.
    Sulphur also causes serious allergic reactions in a lot of people.

    I don’t think it’s the whole picture but could be a big bit of the problem.
    I think probiotics work by crowding out these bad bacteria and antibiotics by killing them off on a temporary basis.

    There are some good books by Dr Hiromi Shinya, he invented the colonoscope and questioned all of his patients on diet and basically linked Meat and standard western diet to the poor state of the colons he saw.

    All interesting stuff , by the way I have been using Normafibe and think it has a really positive effect. It is similar to Metamucil mild laxative and bulking agent but does not ferment in the bowel so their are less side effects of bloating and gas I would definitely recommend it.

  117. Jaime July 18, 2014 at 8:56 am #

    I’m not sure if I should consider you guys lucky or what, but smoking cigs did not take me out of flare. I was a 15 year smoker when I quit 2 years ago. Went into the worst flare of my life a few months later, and have been in flare about 85% of the time of the last 2 years. So I decided to pick up smoking again because I read here and in other forums that smoking would help get me back into remission. During the 15 years that I was a regular smoker, 1 pack a day, I rarely had flares, so I also believed the smoking would be helpful. I started smoking about half a pack a day and quickly went right back to my pack a day habit over the course of 2 months. I was in a flare when I started smoking again. I did not notice any difference in symptoms even at 1 pack a day. I am glad it’s worked for so many people, but don’t be discouraged if you notice that smoking is not the right option for you, and don’t continue to smoke if you don’t have to. I quit again after those 2 months of smoking–symptoms have remained the same.

  118. Jim M September 2, 2014 at 9:13 pm #

    I was diagnosed with colitis 23 years ago, three weeks after I quit smoking.

    I wasn’t able to keep off the cigarettes, and never put two and two together until I tried to quite again a couple of times. My first bout landed me in the hospital. The second and third were not as bad because my will-power wasn’t as good those times.

    Now I use a vaporizer to help me quit (and it works like a charm) but I still have to smoke two or three cigarettes a day, or the attacks get so bad I can’t go to work or even leave the house. Apparently it isn’t the nicotine that keeps the colitis in check, but something else in the smoke.

    And it does keep it in check, completely.
    It’s not a perfect solution, but I was able to go from a couple of packs a day to 2-3 packs per month, and my colitis is under control.

  119. Julie September 3, 2014 at 4:08 am #

    Jim M– that’s great news. I’m glad to know just 2 or 3 a day is all you need. I have a self-discipline problem when I am smoking. I tend to smoke upwards of 1/2 to a pack in 24 hours. I really need to cut back although I am so grateful it works because I couldn’t leave the house otherwise!

  120. Carlos September 24, 2014 at 8:44 pm #

    After reading this thread I decided to start smoking again (started on 9-22) after over 30 years of not smoking and living with UC . I decided it was worth a try especially since my symptoms began after quitting smoking 30 years ago. I have seen gradual improvement over the last 2 years without drugs and only supplements but seem to be stuck at 5-10 trips to the restroom every day. ( I was at about 20 trips 2 years ago) I am going to stay on my supplements if my finances allow it while I experiment with smoking. I have not really seen any improvement yet ( I know some here say it can take 5 weeks) and am working my way up to 3 unfiltered “roll your own” cigs per day. They are really strong BUT are much less expensive than buying them in a pack. I went with the American Spirit Organic 100% Additive-Free Natural Tobacco with rolling papers inside. This definitely goes against all my deep seated notions of health BUT as many of you have said here quality of life is so important. I just hope I begin to enjoy smoking a little more…. it sure makes me dizzy! I will report back on my progress…. I am hoping for the best. It would be so awesome to get rid of this terrible disease even if for just a while.

  121. greg booth September 25, 2014 at 10:31 am #

    The substance in tobacco that probably ameliorates your Crohn’s is anatabine. Until recently, it was available in the nutraceutical Anatabloc, which is now under FDA review. My doctor (also my friend) has told me of Crohn’s cases that “blow up” when someone quits smoking, but he has suggested Anatabloc to a number of patients. Hopefully, it will be back on the market soon. You might also search UrbanDiva/Anatabloc Diaries; a blogger with Crohn’s who swears by Anatabloc.

  122. Diego November 19, 2014 at 4:47 am #

    I had a very interesting experience this weekend which I would like to share. I was diagnosed with UC about a year and a half ago. During that time, no medication has been able to get me into remission. However, this weekend I went on a five day camping trip and smoked weed for the first time. I smoked about three times during those five days, and my UC symptoms went COMPLETELY away. My depositions were completely normal in consistency, and I only went to the bathroom once a day, with one day not even needing to go. I was ecstatic . I went online to look more into this, and apparently there are some studies that talk about the benefits of weed in people with UC. Was wondering if anyone has had any experience with this, or heard something about it?

    Some of the links I read through:

    • Graham from England
      Graham November 19, 2014 at 11:23 am #

      Did you smoke it with tobacco as this would also be helping I guess? Apparently it is an anti-inflammatory and under extensive research.. I used this way too much years ago (before colitis) and have reservations about its side effects. At the time and though I refused to see it, it made me too laid back, I just didn’t care and nearly ruined my life. Now I may have some paranoia that is often mentioned and anxiety which is probably bad for UC. Ive also stopped saying “Man”, lol. Maybe once a week wouldn’t hurt and grass is definitely more natural than some of the other chemically loaded resins etc..

  123. Diego November 19, 2014 at 5:07 pm #

    No. It was pure weed. I agree with you that there might be some nasty side effects, short and long term, but what caught my attention the most, was how little I smoked, when compared to the amount of cigarettes people need to smoke in order to keep UC under control.

  124. Graham from England
    Graham November 20, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

    Ive been on E cigarettes for 2 weeks now and so far so good. Finding it harder to quit as my last Evoo remission lasted only 6 months (down from 14). Just the beneficial nicotine without the rubbish though not sure this would be enough to reverse a flare like smoking does..

  125. Graham from England
    Graham Lee May 19, 2015 at 9:32 am #

    It has been 6 months on EVOO and E cigarettes and the colitis is finally awake. I am sure there has been some benefit using E Cigs but not as much as I had hoped for. After yet another long period without proper smoking I am once again determined to avoid going back and maybe for the 1st time reverse a flare with out cigarettes. I am going to try SCD for the 1st time, I never thought I could manage it with my job but I will do my best.

  126. Terry May 19, 2015 at 10:45 am #

    Hi Graham,

    I did try the e-cigs and patches but from what i have read on the internet from our fellow sufferers ciggies seem to get to grips with UC. Ive been back on the cigs for only two weeks so its still early days yet but will keep all posted on my progress. Good luck with the e-cigs probably more healthy than real cigerettes but i am so desperate to be normal again im going to stick with ciggies for now. If they dont work i can always pack up smoking again.

    Thanks Terry.

  127. Graham from England
    Graham Lee May 19, 2015 at 12:46 pm #

    I have always gone back to cigarettes to reverse these flares and totally support you in doing so. I have been looking for the exit of smoking and UC for nearly 20 years now. Recently I didn’t return to cigarettes quick enough which resulted in new autoimmune problems and permanent nerve damage. This may have been because of trying medication or just letting things get out of control. Life expectancy will be shortened by choosing to smoke forever or having continual symptoms, so for me the search for the complete solution cannot be put off. I am getting there and thanks to this site this slow progression of self help is entirely possible, even if it is an individual journey as we are all slightly different.

  128. Terry May 20, 2015 at 2:44 am #

    I totaly agree with you about staying on cigarettes as medication we both know that they are no good for us and maybe they may not even work? But i am trying to stay possitive using ciggies to repair my digestive system because so far any medication that i have been on does not work for me apart from the steroids and they really aint good for us.

  129. Diana June 10, 2015 at 8:13 am #

    I have had UC since I was a teen, im 49 now. In that time there is one thing I have come to realize smoking dampens UC. I say this as a smoker that hates to smoke, but its true. My first sign of UC was when I was 18 and quit smoking for work..I had started at 12. It was within 6 months of quitting I started bleeding, for a year it was uncontrolled and getting worse even with all the drugs. I dont know what made me go back to smoking I think it was just stress at the time, but over the next year my UC went into remission as I smoked. Keep in mind I had no idea that was why at the time. Doctors kept me on a maintenance of asacol 6 a day and rowwassa one a night. We all thought it was the drugs keeping me in remission. A few years later I stopped smoking again, this time I went pancolitis, nothing would stop it. I was in consult to have everything removed.

    Being a young woman, and knowing that I would have to wear a bag for the rest of my life made me even more ill from the stress.I took up smoking again because I was so distraught, it was within 2 weeks I was back to almost normal. It still didnt register with me that smoking was doing this. It wasnt until in my mid 30’s that I quit once again and then recognized the pattern. I talked to my GI about it who was one of the top docs in mid america for IBD. He admitted then that there was some correlation between smoking and UC, but they didnt know what. We tried the patches and gum etc, it really didnt work for me. So I went back to smoking, and after a few days I was back to normal.

    Over the years since I have tried many times to quit all with the same results. I am going through it now, quit 2 weeks ago and a few days ago started with the diarrhea, and some bleeding, along with the feeling you get when the bowel changes. So last night I went and bought a pack, I will report what happens but I am pretty sure I know the outcome. And I want to say to all the people who say its the nicotine, yes and no. In smokers who have quit no amount of nicotine in patches or gums or ecigs will bring them into full remission. Its the smoke, possibly the co2 or maybe the burning of certain chemicals in combination. I am testing that theory by going all natural organic no additive tobacco.

    I believe nicotine can help some in people that never smoked, but for ex smokers to get full remission they have to smoke. Dammed if we do dammed if we dont. Why the medical world dont create a drug that can do what smoking does without the cost to our lungs is beyond me. I guess there is no profit in something that completely halts UC. Some studies have been done that show smoking changes the permeability and mucosa of the gut, along with the microbiota, co2 looks to be the culprit here. But it could be anything in cigarettes, thats why I trying natural. If I get the same effect without the chemicals, then that narrows it down quit a bit.

    If I could say anything its this..if you dont smoke dont start!! I believe smoking alters the gut to prep it for IBD at the same time if confers protection. Honestly smoking is deadly no one is debating that, but do we really know what pumping 6,12,30 pills a day plus biologicals is doing to us? Lets face it there is no cure, even surgery is not always curative and UC can recur in any left tissue like the rectum or illium. So people have to do whats necessary for a decent quality of life, if you can handle all the drugs and they work for you thats great keep on doing what works.

    But if you are like me and know that your life now is what matters and being sick and having no life is not how you want to live. Then do what you need to make that happen. Smoking can and will cause disease in its own right, I will try to lessen that by not smoking much and trying to avoid all the unnecessary chemicals in tobacco. Something is going to kill us in the end, there is no getting around that fact. I think what most people would like is to have a quality life, then worry about the end when it comes.

    If you dont smoke and have never smoked do not start, I cant stress that enough. Because there is no guarantee it would help you at all with UC, I think UC has many aspects to it. And what works or flares for one is different than what does for another. Its a terrible horrible disease that even the doctors dont get unless it happens to them. We need research and new therapy created around what smoking does, without the actual smoking. If they wouldnt stick their heads in the sand because of the stigma surrounding smoking they may have developed something by now.

    • Brian June 10, 2015 at 9:00 am #

      Diana, your story matches mine, I am 55 and have had pancolitis for 25 years, it only goes into remission when I smoke, but, I hate smoking. The doctors said they wouldn’t remove my colon unless I showed signs of cancer. I agree with everything you have written. I never knew the correlation between stopping smoking and getting a flare until the third or forth time it happened. My doctor did admit that they don’t know what it was in the smoke that makes UC go into remission, but, just based on my experience, it isn’t just nicotine since the gum and patches don’t seem to work.

      Thanks for posting your thoughts

  130. Graham from England
    Graham Lee June 10, 2015 at 9:14 am #

    Good post Diana,

    I agree with you about what appears to be a dead end when it comes to any kind of approved smoking/nicotine therapy. I think its a “greater good” approach where any endorsed, recognised benefit would cause harm more widely so never gets off the ground. Many years ago a friend of mine told me his firm had an IBD nicotine patch in R&D so I guess it was not that effective.

    Returning to smoking to heal has always been my life giver. I have also had supportive words from doctors whenever I explain this strategy, hence my conclusions above. One thing in private and another in public.

    I always found 5 cigarettes was the number to remain well but impossible to stick to because of the addiction. This didn’t matter when I was younger but I now feel that every additional cigarette will have a negative later on. If you do not have the discipline to stick with 5 then how about having an e cigarette in between for cravings? Not my idea but one I will definitely use for next time.

  131. Diana June 10, 2015 at 11:35 am #

    I know what you are talking about with addiction and smoking. Rare is the person that can maintain 4 or 5 a day and not go further. I am trying an all organic cigarette to see if that helps as I said, if it is the co2 from the burning and not the chemical additives I will find out. Another thing I have asked about is addiction with the organics, there are mixed responses to this. Some people have said because there are no additives in organics the crave isnt as bad, but the downside is the crave isnt so bad because the organics are double or triple the base nicotine. Its in its pure state from what I understand needing no chemicals to boost it.

    Now the good and bad is if you can control your smoking the higher dose of a single organic cigarette with nicotine fulfills your nicotine crave for a longer time. So theoretically you will smoke less overall. Like I said I am testing this, because I am a smoking addict I know previously 1 led to 5 led to a pack a day. So far since yesterday I have not smoked much 8 so far. But I am also smoking a bit more to try and calm the flare fast. I dont really have the crave to smoke which is good in a way. With this it means I may be able to control the UC with very little smoking once I get it down.

    If they really want to help people with this illness they need to start looking into out of the box treatments. And one way to do that is to really study why smoking has this effect, then take that knowledge and put it into a therapeutic that isnt inhaled and wont cause lung disease among others.

    I also have said before I think on here that certain foods have a calming influence on UC, at least for me. Canned unsalted carrots are a big one. There is something in the fact that not only are they soluble, but they change a molecule inside the gut that relives UC. There is a study and test that were done on this, I think I may have posted that before.

    • Diana June 10, 2015 at 12:43 pm #

      I found something that links carrots and the like with protection in the gut. This is what started me on the search for more information about cooked carrots. There was a research study done in 2010 I think that showed the changes to the carrots altered diseases like UC, by changing the gut structure. I cant find that research paper but its linked to this one.

      There is strong evidence in humans for an effect of inulin and oligofructose increasing fecal bulk and fecal nitrogen elimination and promoting the growth of bifidobacteria at the expense of other anaerobes. What is required now is the exploration of these changes in colonic function in relation to both colonic and systemic disorders for which laboratory studies have indicated possible benefits. These areas include colon cancer, ulcerative colitis, hyperlipidemia, renal and liver disease, and possibly osteoporosis and compromised immune function. In all of these areas, the importance of dose and molecular chain length also must be determined. A useful effect in any one of these situations would amply justify continued interest in inulin and oligofructose.”

      I hope someone with better searching ability can find the research on carrots and effect on IBD.

    • Toni June 11, 2015 at 11:08 am #

      Hi. So interesting … I smoked for 37 years .. Was diagnosed with us at 19 and had a few flares throughout that time … I stopped smoking a year ago mainly due to cost and didn’t relate it but started getting mouth ulcers about a month later then the onslaught of full blown flare about a couple of months later which still goes on… Just gone onto azathyopine and not liking the fatigue, aches, and general poorly feeling … Someone had said to me that smoking had a masking effect but putting 2 and 2 together it adds up since I quit …

  132. Judith Ball June 22, 2015 at 10:22 am #

    Last time I quit smoking I had a major flare up within two or three days. I kept off the nicotine for 5 months as I was unaware of the link between nicotine and UC. In the end my proctologist told me to start smoking again(5-10 a day)Within 48 hours my symptoms were gone. I have continued to smoke and have never had a single flare up since. What massively irritates me is the attitude of friends and family who refuse to believe that I was ever advised to smoke by a doctor and thus continue to basically call me a liar who is making excuses for a bad habit.

  133. Graham from England
    Graham Lee June 22, 2015 at 1:32 pm #

    Yes Judith, infuriating isn’t it? I pride myself on my honesty and yet know some people don’t truly believe me. I could almost convince myself I’m crazy when explaining and watching their reaction! Even though it is a perfectly sane and sensible solution, as your good doctor suggests.

    I will continue to inform people and some already know. Only last week I met an e cigarette smoker and his wife who had UC (though didnt smoke)! It was a rare event but an honour to meet others who know.

    Having long periods of not smoking has been the most convincing argument. When I have to resume, some ask if my colitis has come back, to others I can explain why to others who don’t know.

  134. owen June 30, 2015 at 8:40 am #

    I havent read ALL the comments as there are way too many, probably got through the first 50.

    Does anyone have a suggestion as to what is the minimum number of cigarettes a day that keep he UC at bay?

  135. Jeremy June 30, 2015 at 8:42 am #

    For me it is 6-10. It’s just really really tough for me to stick to those numbers.

  136. Graham from England
    Graham Lee June 30, 2015 at 8:51 am #

    Yes 5 to halt the decline to 10 for reversal for me. E cigs in between is the only way I could keep it under these numbers.

  137. owen June 30, 2015 at 9:51 am #

    poo, thats not good, thats quite a lot a day.
    I used to smoke in uni for about 2 years fairly regularly, probably about 5 a day, and no surprise when I stopped I developed really bad UC and was in hospital for 3 weeks at age 22. I had no idea between the link untill recently, even now I still attribute the illness primarily to stress of a final year medical course.

    Anyway, in the past 10 years ive smoked infrequently, probably no more than 30 a year and have had at least one flare a year which usually took 2 months to settle with azathioprine and predfoam enema.

    I had been UC free for almost 20 months untill this recent episode and am really disappointed as things were going so well before. Two months in and still getting worse so decided to have a read on the net again for anything that could help and found quite a bit on smoking so I thought Id give it a go, after the first cig things started improving and are continuing to do so after about 4/day for the last 3 days.
    Im fairly lucky that Im not addicted to cigarettes but thinking about having to smoke every day is not something I take lightly.
    Once this bout finally settles I think Ill taper down to 2 a day then possibly 1, which I think would be just about acceptable to balance the risk of colon vs lung cancer.
    Any thoughts peeps?

  138. Graham from England
    Graham Lee June 30, 2015 at 10:08 am #


    Extra virgin olive oil is great for extending remission periods and I’m sure it would help you as your disease doesn’t seem so aggressive.

    It can be tricky sticking to it but if you don’t want to smoke then it is important to keep at it. It is fat which is not bad for you and actually super healthy.

  139. owen June 30, 2015 at 11:10 pm #

    Reading your evoo page I’m a bit confused as it seems only some oils will work and the rest can make it worse?
    Can you suggest an particular UK brands, E.g. Supermarkets own, napolina, bertoli etc.

  140. Graham from England
    Graham Lee June 30, 2015 at 11:16 pm #

    All EVOO’s help but some work better than others. I had my favourite tested with excellent results. M&S do several but it has to be Italian “fruity with a peppery finish”, its £4 for 500ml, enjoy!

  141. owen July 1, 2015 at 6:30 am #

    anyone have any further input on using snuff?
    Ive had this a few times in the past and quite enjoy it. I suppose that would be the key to finding out whether its the combusted tobacco smoke or the actual tobacco itself that has the beneficial effect.
    Also, i wonder if eating snuff would have any benefit?

  142. Alan July 4, 2015 at 2:48 am #

    Hi guys,
    I am 37 and I was diagnosed with UC in 1996….REALLY BAD flare upon diagnosis…in and out of hospital….ye all know the drill….anyway I was 18 at the time…..around the same time that I came into remission (early 1997) I started smoking…..long story short I remained in complete remission from 1997 until July 2014 and have been taking Imuran and Dipentum daily…..I stopped smoking in August of 2013… can see where this is going… flare last July was mild enough in that it only lasted a couple of weeks however I am 5 days into another flare now and it reminds me of the flare i had all those years ago when I was first diagnosed with this disease……it is only on researching and reading these comments that I am seeing the link between my 17 year FULL remission and the fact that I was a smoker…
    I have been a non smoker now for nearly 3 years and very proud that I kicked the habit…however here I am possibly going into a flare up that could last for a long time…
    It’s very difficult to know what to do..
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!

    • Terry July 6, 2015 at 8:55 am #

      Hi Alan,
      Same sort of story but without all the years attached! I packed up smoking in 2012 because i was diagnosed with COPD, two years later i developed UC and one of the first questions my consultant said to me was “have you recently packed up smoking” strange thing to ask i thought at the time but did not put 2 & 2 together. So three years six months of not smoking just like you i had kicked the habit but the UC was now so bad that it put me out of work! 20 times a day on the loo i could not give my boss a days work plus i messed myself just one time too many and had a bit of a breakdown that was January this year. Having so much time on my hands i started to look into the link between nicotine and colitis i google searched “can nicotine cure colitis” and what came up was unbelievable. Sorry long story short!! i started smoking 9 weeks ago and my loo visits are down to single figures. So much so that if i can get down to 4 or 6 times a day im going back to work. I cant advise anyone to start smoking its costly and not good for us long term but i just could not carry on with this ghastly disease anymore. My meds did not seem to be doing much for me (prednisolone, sulfasalazine) for the last 18months, so 9 weeks of ciggies Vs 18mths of meds and the ciggies are winning so with any luck i will be back to work soon.

      Thanks Terry

  143. Gina July 9, 2015 at 6:16 pm #

    Very interesting. I’ve done some research and found many articles that support smoking for UC remission. I was a smoker and quit about 6 months before my first flare. I recently quit again because my symptoms seemed to return. I later found out that my symptoms were not probably the UC itself but because I had contracted the norovirus along with c-diff. I refrained from smoking while on the flagyl for the c-diff because I couldn’t stand the taste of smoke which made the awful metallic taste from the flagyl worse. Now that I’m through with the flagyl, I have resumed the smoking again. While smoking (before the infections) I was averaging 1 or sometimes 2 bowell movements a day. They were never formed but on the other hand they weren’t too urgent either. Just a little gentle urge and only on the morning. Right now, I am up to 3 movements a day. IThat could be because the flagyl is still causing me issues. I’ve only been off it for 3 days. I will continue with hopefully no more than 5 smokes a day. It’s hard because it’s easy for a former smoker to want more. I am also on 3 Lialda and 1 Uceris per day. I will post back after another week or so to let u know my progress. I ate a rather spicy meal tonight and so far , 2 hrs later, I am ok….a little bloated and a little gas but no movement yet! I have found for myself that the most relief I get is when I eat soft or liquid meals and avoid dairy. However I can’t go forever like that so if a little smoking helps, I am all for it. I just suggest that if u do try this approach, make sure you fill up on vitamins especially folic acid, take probiotics and exercise to clear the lungs. There is a cure for UC somewhere. You can’t tell me that stopping irritation and inflammation is that difficult to cure. Oh… I have also found that for some reason Ativan helps me a bit. Not really sure why.

  144. Lewis G
    moneyball July 16, 2015 at 2:04 pm #

    Been on and off flaring since march 2013. Tried kicking it myself until february i ended up in emergency. Was put on 50mg taper of pred and mezavant 4.8g a day. Once i got down to 10 mg of pred or so, the symptoms came back so I started smoking two weeks ago as the GI wanted me to take azathioprine but it sounded to sketchy to me. Also was put back on 45mg of pred taper. I started smoking 4-5 a day but went up to 7-8 after reading through this. I used to smoke years ago so dont find it hard smoking again. I am hoping that while i taper the pred that the smoking will keep me in remission once i am off it. I am not taking the azathioprine as it seemed to me that smoking and taking that at the same time wiuld have detrimental effects. Do you think that could be true?

  145. Julie August 11, 2015 at 6:11 pm #

    Help! I have been happily smoking and in remission for about 2 years now from UC. I joined Jenny Craig about a month and a half ago, and noticed that I started getting messed up pretty quickly and progressively. I don’t know if it’s a coincidence or not, but now I’m in a full on flare and starting a new job as a teacher! HELP!! I have continued smoking, but I’m at a loss as to what to do besides the fact that I quit Jenny Craig about 3 weeks ago.

    • Lewis G
      moneyball August 11, 2015 at 6:13 pm #

      While on Jenny were you taking any supplements they recommended?

  146. Julie August 11, 2015 at 6:20 pm #

    no, I wasn’t…I’m bad about poppin’ supplements or vitamins.

    • Lewis G
      moneyball August 11, 2015 at 6:23 pm #

      What were the changes you were doing while on the program? How much do you smoke a day?

  147. Julie August 11, 2015 at 6:26 pm #

    Well, I only ate their food, which is full of fiber and who knows what else. I noticed a lot more gad and diarrhea practically the day I started it, so that’s why I’m assuming there was something in their food that caused this flare up. I tend to smoke about 10 cigs a day.

  148. Julie August 11, 2015 at 6:27 pm #

    *gas I meant :)

  149. Lewis G
    moneyball August 11, 2015 at 6:34 pm #

    That probably didnt help, eating their food, which you obviously know. I find it interesting that the smoking didnt hold off the flare with all of the research seeming to indicate it would. I dont have any solid answers for you but really hope that going back to whatever you were doing before straightens things out. I am flaring too and hoping that returning to smoking is going to reverse mine. I will keep you in my prayers too. This disease totally sucks.

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