Recent Q&A from MS Answers.ca, a resource of the MS Society of Canada. Lots of other good Q&As on the site, answered by Canadian neurologists, MS researchers, MS nurses, dieticians, social workers, psychologists, lawyers, OTs, PTs, pharmacists, etc. You can submit your own questions to this site.
Q : I have had MS for five years and have been an on and off smoker. Does smoking cigarettes worsen MS?
A : There is now good documentation that smoking is linked to MS. In analyses of data from two large studies with over 200,000 US women, the risk of developing MS was found higher in smokers compared to women who have never smoked, after adjustments for age, residence and ancestry. Furthermore, in another study, smokers were found to have a three time higher probability of transforming from a relapsing-remitting course into a secondary progressive one. In other words, smoking puts one at risk for developing MS and also in a position of worsening symptoms. There is a fair bit of scientific literature indicating how cigarette smoke affects the immune system, which may help explain why smoking worsens MS. If you are a current smoker, my advice would be for you to quit smoking immediately.
Of course smoking worsens any disease. It contributes to much but is rarely the actual cause of disease. So being LINKED to a disease is quite different. I'm interested in following any references given to back up these claims. The MS link to smoking isn't new to me but I wasn't aware it was because of a change in the immune system.
I would think any action claiming a potential to prevent the conversion of RRMS to SPMS would create excitement close to that generated by CCSVI stenting. This would be significant since RRMS is by far the most commonly diagnosed type of MS and large percentages of PsMS convert to SPMS within 10-20 years. As we know, the DMDs are not approved for SPMS.
For those who have never smoked, I suppose this may sound like ho-hum hype. I say Yahoo for anything that might help by getting rid of a chemical instead of adding a new drug. There is no reason for pharmoceutical treatments to be received with more respect than others.
At about $50 a carton, you mean to tell me there are people that still smoke? I quit in the early '90s when it got up to about $10 a carton. When I was on the aircraft carrier (88-91), they were $3 a carton once we were outside US tax jurisdiction.
I think second hand smoke is as bad or worse. Don't you just want to smack a parent that has windows rolled up and a baby sitting in a car seat? There is no excuse today. People know the damage that can be done. It should be against the law for the sake of that poor child.
I often hope for a complete ban on tobacco products, but it will never happen because way too much money is made on it. Why do I hope for a ban? I am a smoker, and I am hopelessly addicted. Most people not subject to addiction can ever understand it. My only hope for complete recovery is for us to finally wake up and take these things off the market.
OK i must chime in here, I started smoking when I was 11 years old, so even when you take out the none smoking times though out the years, i technically have been a reluctant smoker for approx 35 years. Yes gob smacking you smoked your way through the cost of a house, you bloody idiot!!!!!!
In Australia, a pack of smokes (40's) cost between $22-24:00, a carton is around $75:00 they are heavely taxed, just went up another 25%. Patches just became subsidised by the gov so if your on a health card its around $6 a script, they are trying to help/push people give up one way or other.
I would like to smack smokers who have a baby in one hand and a smoke in the other, dont get me started on breastfeeding whilst smoking. Try not to paint all smokers the same, we are not ALL the same!
I am a reluctant smoker, i want to stop, i hate it and have been a closset smoker in so much as I can't stand the smell on my clothes, taste etc it is an addiction, no doubt and i preach to every young person i know to stop! I'm a reluctant smoker!
After reading the response you got, i tossed my full just opened pack to DH, read it to him and told him that I have quit and if any of you guys (dh or ds) loose control whilst i'm going cold turkey, be warned I may not react as calmly as you expect me too. Expect PMT x 1000 for the next few weeks and if its not that bad, you'll be damb lucky :-)
All my best thoughts to you JJ, and to anyone else who decides to join you. The smoking addiction is a powerful one but IT IS POSSIBLE to move from reluctant smoker to ex-smoker.
My first cigarette (and beer) was provided by a classmate who shared products she bought in Germany. I knew no one else who smoked. It was my 16th birthday and I was hooked immediately. Except for a brief interruption while pregnant, I didn't stop until January 9, 2007.
Anyone interested in the math can get the remaining necessary numbers from my profile. Thirty-five years doesn't change the fact that powerless against a disease doesn't mean powerless. The key for me was deciding that smoking was no longer an option. Period. I had to find a substitute instead of standing there looking into the void.
If anyone is interested, I'll write up and message things and thoughts that helped me. I don't want to clog things up here. Let me know.
POWERLESS AGAINST A DISEASE DOES NOT MEAN POWERLESS. That works for all my health care battles.
JJ - you can do this- I know because I went cold-turkey with no stop smoking aids after 35+ years. I just quit.
Of course it helped that for the first 3 days I was in the hospital after my heart attack. LOL
Seriously, the urge to smoke still arises at times, but I know that I am so much better off health wise and financially, without carrying this addiction. I probably am one of those people that if I had just one, it would undo all the time since January 21, 2008 when I stopped.
On doctor radio this morning coming to work, they were discussing women health issues and menopause - the expert threw out the fact that menopause in smokers, on avaerage, occurs two years younger than non-smokers.
you can do this, JJ. Feel free to write all you need to about this journey- it's a tough one.
Yay, JJ! It's hard to do - I promise not to give you a hard time if you slip.
Hey, hubby and I have been talking about the e-cigarette. There's several manufacturers, and you can get a cartridge without nicotine. Basically it's propylene glycol or something similar, turned into vapor by the little heating element inside the cylinder, and it looks and feels like smoking a cigarette. Hubby really liked to smoke, and he shouldn't - so this might be the solution. You can get red-bull flavor even, or apple, blueberry, melon, chocolate, coffee...
While I can't answer that question for many reasons, one would think that it would be better to inhale vapor vs smoke and all the toxins in it.
I have a good friend who has been smoke-free for 6 months using the vapor cigarette. She reduced the nicotine down to zero but still uses the vapor-only cartridges because she said she likes the "motion" of smoking.
Good luck and I hope you can quit! My daughter quit cold turkey five days ago (she could probably tell you how many hours and minutes, haha).
Hi, the people I know who have MS (one is a family friend and the other a coworker) never smoked. As for the insurance, I have read that some will cover the vapor cigarettes if you are using them to wean down to stop altogether. My friend, whom I've known for almost 25 years and works at the same place I do, checked and our insurance doesn't cover them. You never know, though, yours might.
I hope that helps. Talk to your doctor and see what they say :)
I have quit smoking for 6 years as of July 17, 2013. My advice is to remember the 5 minute rule.
If you want a cigarette, wait 5 minutes before you have it! Nine times out of ten you will get busy with something else and you will forget about it while you are busy.
Then when you want another another...wait another 5 minutes and it will go away again. Between that and the patch. I quit for good after 30 some years of smoking after trying to quit some 12-13 times before. Don't bother to try unless you really want to quit...I thinkit just sets a smoker up for failure.
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