Controversial question.

I was at the RA clinic yesterday and saw all these posters about smoking. About the fact that smoking causes a high percentage of RA and continued smoking may hinder the effectiveness of drugs and make the rheumatoid arthritis worse.

I am 49 now. At the age of 18 I started smoking socially, maybe one or two a day. When I reached my mid 20s and 30s i only ever really smoked at parties or nights out. And for the last 10 years I only occasionally have the odd roll-up.

Meaning, I have never been a heavy smoker but I have smoked on and off.

I guess my question to everyone is… Did you smoke in the past, do you still smoke now, and do you think that smoking caused your rheumatoid arthritis? My father was a light smoker until he was 50. He also had RA. My mother and my sister have never smoked. They do not have RA.

I said it was controversial question because most people don't want to admit to a bad habit.

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88 Replies

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  • Hi Jules

    I’ve wondered about this too.

    I smoke and have done, since the age of about 18. I’d say I’m

    Probably classed as a heavy smoker ( up to 15/20 a day), although I’m trying to stop with the use of a vape. I was doing well until the passing of my mum recently but hope to reduce now, to the point of stopping.

    All of my family are smokers (7 of us), as were my parents. None of my family have RA or Amy other auto immune disease.

    I don’t know that I’m convinced my RA/ AS was triggered by smoking but I absolutely believe it impacts on the efficacy of the meds taken.

    All round, it’s a killer and is to be avoided ?!

    Hence, I will persist with the vape and hope that I reach the day of being a non smoker, sooner rather than later!

    Marie

  • I used the patch to help me quit, have you tried them?

  • I have Mandy, along with Zantacs - nothing worked until the vape. I was down to a couple a day before Mum passed and I don’t doubt thAt I’ll get there again and eventually stop - it’s a priority for me.

    Marie

  • Well I only have a small roll-up cigarette every few days. Sometimes I go without smoking for weeks at a time. Don't know really if that has an impact. Maybe it does and I'm being an idiot.

  • It impacts your lips, mouth, teeth, tongue, esophagus, lungs, heart, blood vessels, brain, liver, kidneys, and skin every time, even" a small roll-up" every few weeks!

  • I was diagnosed long before I started smoking, but have smoked on and off since 15. I quit for good 2 years ago next month. I used the patches while cutting down, and after 2 weeks I just stopped. My RA wasn't caused by smoking, but I do feel it encouraged the progression of the disease!

    I emplore you to quit! It helps you to feel better, and you will seem less fatigued as you begin breathing easier!

  • I've never had any breathing problems or any problems. I'm actually wondering if smoking one roll-up a few times a week significantly makes the RA worse.

  • I smoked until RA hit me . A family rheumatologist told me smoking is highly connected to it. I gave up smoking 9 months after I was diagnosed and after a year my RA calmed right down.Its been five years now. I decided to stop methertrexate for a few months to let my tummy repair after it caused gastritis . One year now since I stopped MTX and hardly any joint pain wot so ever. This has calmed right down and I seem to be surviving on hydroxy... only. Plus I healthed my life up by eating really healthy foods and dropping my weight down to 11 half stone .

    Don't get me wrong it won't cure you from RA but wow! It was enough to dramatically reduce it to help back to a near to normal life again. So give smoking up! I swear by it.

  • I was a heavy smoker , 20 plus a day before I developed RA. My consultant tore a strip off me for smoking, put the fear of god in me and I don't think I could have returned for another appointment unless I quit. I stopped smoking the following day. I am still tempted and have the occasional roll up. Yes I think it was a factor in triggering my RA. There is no history of RA in my family.

  • No I haven't smoked so it doesn't apply to me Jules. x

  • No I have never smoked Jules.

  • I have never smoked nor to my knowledge parents and grandparents and am the only one of the family with rd. Farm

  • I used to smoke but stopped when I got pregnant, then started again much later during a stressful period in my life. Not smoked for some time now tho. I suppose it could have contributed to the onset of RA but I don’t think so. The reason they don’t want RA patients to smoke is because this disease can cause serious lung complications.

  • Me too never smoked - but assume :

    1) it puts a toll on the immune system

    2) With RA you can have lung problems so continuing to smoke is not a good combo with RA .

    BUT taking it a stage further- who was around smoke when young ? I am a child of the 60's & both parents smoked - so yes I was a passive smoker. Adult asthma as a result. 😁

    I think smoking is relevant , combined with your genetic predisposition and levels of stress in your life .

    We are all different - some bodies can cope with more than others . ( ie the 90 year old who smokes 50 a day & is fit as a fiddle,)

    You cannot change the past only the future -

    I try hard ( with varying degrees of success !)

    To minimise stress ,one day at a time , not to worry just do the best I can , & think positively . I leave the worrying to the doctors .It makes a difference to pain tolerance , perspective on your life . Of course I do fail -but 20 years with RA ( & quite ill this year) - it makes the journey manageable .

    Def think worry & anxiety initiated this chronic disease for me .

    Gosh that's a long reply from me - sorry about the ramblings 😀

  • I never smoked and I have RA. I inherited mine from my grandparents on my dads side. My RA started after I gave up drinking.xxx

  • We that's very unfair. X

  • Mine started 10 years after I quit, but my mom and her sister both had it. Heredity is a factor, I believe. Stressed out people smoke so maybe smoke is a factor but then so is stress.

  • Hi

    I remember reading some time a go that a survey was done in America using twins. I can't remember how many but it was quite a few, what they found was the twin that smoked developed ra. I think the point they were trying to make was that twins basically have the same genetics yet the smoker got ra. I myself didn't smoke but worked in a smokey atmosphere welding etc and also spray painting and developed ra. Maybe one day they'll find out the triggers for this disease.

    Cheers Davy

  • I used a lot of airbrushing and toxic paint when I was a young designer too!

  • I’ve never smoked and neither did any of my family when I was growing up and I’ve not worked in smoky environments and I’m the only one out of six siblings with RA. Mine’s probably virus triggered as had repeated strep throat as a child culminating in rheumatic fever at 14yrs. Same process and then RA at 52.

    Ali

  • Non smokers me and my mum my dad smokes means unfair if smoking is a link but my parents both have arthritis but mum non smokers worse

  • I've never smoked and neither has my mum but we both have RA.

  • I often wondered whether my mum who smoked until she pregnant with me. I’m not sure how far into pregnancy she was advised to stop as she was told she would lose the baby. She stopped cold turkey and has never smoked since.

    I come from a large family with 9 siblings and some smoked from ? Mid - late teens. Some stopped but 3 continue to smoke.

    My question is due to my mum smoking in pregnancy did this cause my RA. As far as I know no one else in my family has an autoimmune problem it’s just me.

  • I gave up smoking 6 years before getting RA. But RA is a hereditary disease anyway. If anything it might help to smoke. I take 25mg MTX a week to poison my system and give my immune system something to do other than attack me. For the past 10 years that worked for the RA and I think blaming smoking on everything is a cop out for the medical profession who have a high percentage of smokers themselves. I haven't smoked for 16 years and that helped protect my lungs but that's it.

    I am 72 and more concerned about the long term effects of 25mg MTX a week

  • Hmmm. Interesting. I'm not going to beat myself up for smoking one roll-up a few times a week. I've even told my RA that I do that. She just shrugged and said, "well better if you stop altogether but don't think that will kill you!" That was my own rheumy!

  • I smoked for a few years. Now I vape because it helps reduce my stress. It's also allowed me to lower the nicotine to none. I don't find vaping to be taxing on my lungs like smoking did. My nephew developed RA at 6 years old... he obviously never smoked. My sister does not have RA. My mother has fibromyalgia.

  • Never smoked. Dx age 6 in 1971. Smoking could not have caused my RA.

  • I have never smoked so I can’t say that that caused my RA.

  • I used to be a light smoker and I’ve always had autoimmune problems which began when I was a child - ten years prior to my first cigarette. My dad smoked and also had autoimmune problems. My gran didn’t smoke at all but she had autoimmune problems.

    A rheum told me that people with severe RA are the ones most at risk of cardiovascular disease and are are most often the smokers.

    He said that people who have to have many joints replaced despite taking MTX and other DMARDs, are invariably the smokers.

    He also said that, from long experience, he can almost predict the course of the disease (not just RA but all rheumatic diseases) by whether a patient is an active smoker or not.

    So my feeling is that it may or may not be a trigger for some - but smoking certainly will negatively affect the long term prognosis of RA and how you fare with drugs and the disease itself.

  • Yes I totally agree with that.

  • I don't think smoking has anything to do with the onset of RA. Both my mum and I are non smokers and both have RA. I thinks it's genetic if anything. I read an article a few years ago which suggested hair dye brought it on - well i do colour my hair but so do most women of a certain age so not sure that is reliable info either!

  • I used to be a heavy smoker, but gave up before RA showed itself. Personally I feel my RA was triggered by a period of very heavy stress. However both my sisters have different auto-immune diseases so we do have some wonky genetics, and I'm sure smoking didn't help.

    But pleased not to smoke now (why did I ever start?!) as lungs are under enough pressure just having RA so don't need to make it worse.

  • I hear you.

    Going to try and cut down even more. I honestly thought one roll-up a few times a week was pretty harmless. Never ever smoke if I'm getting a cold or ill in any way. Sometimes go weeks without smoking. But I think giving up totally will be better.

  • Do try.... it's hard I know, but your lungs will thank you for it. RA adds so many pressures on your body, and means you are at higher risk so anything you can do to lessen the pressure is good.

  • I will. Literally I only smoke a roll-up about 3 times a week. And that's been the last 10 years. I don't think that's terrible but I can improve.

  • Obviously it's best not to smoke at all, but I'd be very surprised if 3 or 4 roll-ups per week will do you much harm. A shopping trip into town inhaling all those airborne pollutants will probably do you more harm....but hey, what do I know?!

  • I’ve never smoked and am the only one of six siblings in a family with no history of AI disease, who has one. I drank a lot in my 20s (but who didn’t) and in every other respect I’ve led a healthy life of exercise and good diet. It’s in our nature to try and make sense of the things that happen to us, but I haven’t found it to be fruitful or helpful to do so in the case of AI disease.

  • I was a quite a heavy smoker, I gave up, started a massive exercise regime and got diagnosed with RA!! I'm not blaming either, but giving up and doing a lot of exercise is definitely helping me to stay as fit as I can.

  • Hi I smoked for years I tried to give up many many times with every stop smoking thing on the market it really did not work but the day I was diagnosed with RA I gave up and it will be 2 years next month I cannot say if smoking made it worse all I know was that the pain I was in was terrible since I have been on medication I have not had pain ache sometimes and feet terrible but still cannot say if smoking made it worse X

  • well done U!! WHY won't they count feet / ankles when so many RA bods have probs with these???

  • I have never smoked. Age is 58 and I have had sero negative (non hereditary) RA for 7 years. No history of it in my family. Thought to be virus/ stress related as started after a particularly bad accumulation of upsetting events.

  • My parents smoked like troupers...the house was a complete fog. I hated it as a child. Other kids would complain I smelled. The smoke was in my hair and clothes. Awful!

    Both parents died of smoking related illness. My sister smokes about thirty a day! She also has lung problems, but no autoimmune issues.

  • One of the twin studies about smoking and RA: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/863...

    Interesting case-control paper on smoking as something that seems to influence sero+ve RA but not seronegative: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/129...

    "Smokers of both sexes have an increased risk of developing seropositive, but not seronegative, RA. The increased risk occurs after a long duration, but merely a moderate intensity, of smoking and may remain for several years after smoking cessation."

  • except that there are probs inherent in twin studies

  • It is a pertinent question though Jules as there have been plenty of studies that show there's a strong connection. Many studies show if you smoke cigarettes you're at higher risk of seropositive RD than if you have family history of RD (genetic). That said my Nan never smoked & she had RD yet both my Mum & Dad did smoke but didn't have RD although both did stop smoking cigarettes, so there'll always be the exception to the rule!

    I smoked since college, stopped 6th December 2014. It's so memorable because both my h & I smoked & he needed a heart bypass, it was planned for the following February so time was of the essence as he was told that the recovery would be far better if he didn't smoke. So that was our minds made up, we had to stop, it would be easier for him if we were supportive of one another & stopped together. We attended smoking cessation classes & tried Champix (h's GP wouldn't prescribe Zyban because at the time he had cardiac disease), nicotine replacement spray & chewing gum, both of which I found were foul. Unfortunately none of this worked so we decided to try vaping, I checked with my Rheumy & she was fine with that, thought it was certainly preferable to smoking but only if you stop the ciggies & only vape! nhs.uk/news/heart-and-lungs... My h did that for a few weeks but decided he'd rather just stop, I carried on. I'm now on the lowest nicotine value so getting nearer towards stopping using vaping as my crutch. A big consideration for me was that both my parents had heart related conditions, my Mum died as a result of hers & with having RD we're at risk of cardiovascular issues, that kept knocking at my brain, so it made sense to try my hardest from that point of view too.

    I was a little concerned my h would start again when both his parents died pretty close to one another but he didn't. I was really quite surprised because he dealt with everything though maybe he was so busy the thought didn't cross his mind, or maybe it did but was determined enough not to give in. That's the thing, you've to be really determined, especially if like me you enjoy smoking, try everything thrown at you that's my advice. I think it's encouraging that the NHS are looking at including vaping to in the options for smoking cessation clinics once the liquids are regulated.

  • I guess I've always thought of myself as a non smoker who occasionally has a roll up! Maybe I'm being naive.

  • If you're only an occasional smoker Jules would you really miss it do you think? I say just stop, that will be far preferable & then you can answer in all honesty NO when your Rheumy asks if you smoke! You're kidding yourself thinking you're a non smoker if you even have the occasional ciggie. If you smoke you're a smoker. 😤

  • Hi I was diagnosed 3yrs ago & have never smoked. I have always eaten a Mediterranean diet & I cycled everywhere.Then this last year I have had to have treatment for cancer, which had spread, so I think it's the luck of the draw!!

  • I think you're right. I'm so sorry.

  • What's done is done Jules, don't add worrying about smoking in the past...just don't even have the odd puff again!

    Certainly don't try vaping!

    I listened to a programme last night where a University (in UK but didn't catch which Uni) study on breath samples taken from "real" smokers & vapers showed up adverse results for both. The one that leapt out for me was that Lupus was mentioned in connection with vaping.

    If I can find out anything more on the study I will post it.

  • I'm

    Listening to a thing about vaping on radio 4. Most vaping is made from glycerin so you're actually taking glycerin into your lungs. That doesn't sound good!!

  • When you were smoking did you try the old trick of inhaling with a cotton handkerchief over the end of the cigarette?

    I watched someone do that & the dark brown stain that appeared on the hanky & decided trying to look like Lauren Bacall with a long black ciggie holder was maybe not as glamorous as I first thought!

    I have just read that people have lost their teeth & lips when the vamping thingy exploded in their mouth.

    I'll stick to the evil Vino....& take my chances, but not interested in frying my lungs!

  • Never smoked and have seropositive destructive RA!

  • I’ve never smoked,was slim and very fit developed RA aged 30. My parents both smoked but neither had RA however 4 great aunts and 2 second cousins both on my mothers side with it. I think it’s multifaceted.

  • I was an increasingly heavy smoker up to the age of about 45; when I was on 15-20 a day. I then quit. I’m now 73 and the RA erupted in me at the age of 68. None of my family have RA. My brother used to smoke more heavily than me, until his late sixties.

    Personally, I don’t feel that smoking directly caused my RA, but it might have exacerbated it, or compromised my immune system.

    Are you going to summarise these responses? J

  • I'm not sure. They are so varied.

  • I’ve never smoked. My mother and two of her sisters have RA, so I guess it’s hereditary (thanks mum!) in my case.

  • I'm 52 and have never smoked, come from a non-smoking family, the only sibling of 3 to develop it. Diagnosed at 25. No one else in extended family has developed it yet either.

  • My Rheumy told me smoking does not cause RA. But, it may be one of the ‘environental’ Factors that can trigger a person to get the get RA. Second hand smoke is just as bad as smoking. I had a much older sister who used to chain smoke in the house back in the 70’s when second hand smoke was unknown to be harmful. Really what were we thinking if back then? I was a little kid breathing this in everyday. My dad also had RA.

  • I am a smoker and have smoked since I was 14, I have quit several times but unfortunately never stayed a non-smoker. I don't think it has anything to do with smoking, I know it doesn't help but I don't think it caused it. What do they blame it on if you have never smoked and have not been exposed to 2nd hand smoke? I do hope I can quit smoking, I know it is not good for me, but I don't believe that is why I have RA, it is in my family.

  • To get RA you need to have a predisposition for it, i.e. something that's most likely genetic even if no family history of the disease. And then it has to be triggered, which can be stress, viral diseases or what are called environmental triggers like smoking. So not all smokers will get RA, and some non-smokers will get it.

  • That makes sense.

  • Well that's all been very interesting. Thank you all.

    The responses are very split. I would say it's 50-50 whether people have smoked or not, but the consensus is that smoking doesn't seem to be a cause of RA.

    The majority do seem to agree, however, that once diagnosed with RA, smoking should stop immediately. This is due to future problems with breathing disorders.

    So I will try my best to cut down even more. From one roll-up a few times a week, to one at a party now and again (when I actually feel up to going to a party). I'm not going to berate myself if I slip up occasionally but I will try and nip it in the bud!!

  • Just a point i used to put to myself whenever in temptation’s way as an occasional smoker Jules: if you are only smoking three roll ups a week or so then you clearly aren’t addicted - so really why bother having any at all?

    I have quite severe Sjögren’s syndrome which affects many parts of me one way or another - so I can’t tolerate smoking now - even other people’s guff makes me really nauseous and makes my constant sore throat and dry eyes worse. I could never have friends who smoke anymore because my throat would complain and my dry cough would start and I’d curse them!

    I’m under umpteen specialists eg ENT, neurology, respiratory - and all ask first question, are you a smoker? - if so how many a day or week? I’m scrupulously honest and ever grateful to have an NHS at all (even a beleaguered one) - so I want to be able to look health professionals in the eye and say “no I’m not!”!

  • .

    Reply (since gone 'poof') from couple years back to a post ('COPD and smoking!': healthunlocked.com/fibromya... ) that may have some relevant bits (if interested), lovekittys ( 💓 🐈 🐈 ) or anyone interested in trying to 'quit smoking':

    .

    .

    "Kindly consider researching Varenicline (brand names: Champix/ Chantix) ( en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Var... ) if/ when you're fully ready to commit to quitting smoking, gilford. 🚫 🚬

    Like so many things -- it works for some & not for others.

    Also (like so many things), our probabilty of success depends on our commitment to breaking a lifetime habit.

    If we really don't want to 'give it up' -- well, we already know the answer ... 😉

    It's difficult -- very difficult -- yet if we truly want to, we can eventually do it -- no matter how many tries it takes. 🚭 🚭 🚭 . . .

    Our lungs thank us for it! 👍

    Our whole body thanks 🙏 us for it. 😊

    Very best wishes 🍀 to you, gilford!

    Kind regards, ☺️

    Kai"

    .

    _________________

    .

    "[Apologies for laughing 😂 , but the image of you puffing away while reading your '2-week congratulatory text' was delightfully ironic. Yes indeed, we're all 'weak' humans! (2-week, too weak. 😉 😉 ) ]

    You're not alone. Please do what you can now to avert later stages of COPD. (Sadly, you bear witness to what your mum's going through.) As distressing as it is to witness, it's equally distressing going through it.

    You know what to do, nurse gilford! 👍 You can do it! 🤗

    For additional support, have you thought about visiting the British Lung Foundation (BLF) forum: healthunlocked.com/blf ?

    Gobs of knowledge, insights, & lovely supportive folks there sharing their COPD experiences. (And, lots of fun & laughter too.) 😂

    Maybe your mum might enjoy the BLF forum as well?

    Be well. Best wishes to you & your mum, gilford. 😊"

    .

  • Hi, I think it's an interesting question. I smoked quite heavily throughout my teens and twenties and did not give up until I was 42. I developed what they are calling inflammatory arthritis at the age of 51. My mom had rheumatoid arthritis but in a much less debilitating form. Her cousin developed MS, my mom also has rheumatic fever as a youngish woman ( not long before I was born) Neither of them smoked. My guess is that smoking is a risk factor and certainly doesn't help. I think there might be a genetic predisposition to autoimmune diseases. I am thinking too that it won't help because it will restrict oxygen flow. I, too, have wondered if I would have developed this so severely had I never smoked. I certainly regret it and don't think it did my heart, gums or lungs any favours.

  • My son also has a thing where he sweats a lot to cool his body down. I believe that is also autoimmune. ie The body going into overdrive.

  • I was a light smoker for four yrs then gave up when pregnant & never bothered again. My mother sister & brother were light smokers & none of them has RD In fact there is no history of RD in the family ever. I'm convinced that having 5 very traumatic events in just four years bought on my RD. 😞

  • Never smoked and did not grow up in a house w smokers.

  • I think a lot of us have fallen prey to the " I need to know why I am the one that got sick!"

    I have been diagnosed for 30 years, no family history, only two traumatic instances, one physical one emotional.

    I ate normally, exercised, pretty well rounded child, but I have RA and fibromyalgia. I stopped wondering and worrying about the how and why, and focused on the need to treat my disease. Whether the disease is genetic or environmental is inconsequential at this point to me, I just want to find the treatment that works for me and get some relief!

    My suggestion, Jules, is too focus your energy on controlling your disease instead of trying to figure out why you have it! Looking for the reason is pretty impossible, but finding a treatment is achievable!

  • I really don't think there is one thing that can trigger RA. I'm in healthcare and I see it all the time when a person smokes the drs zero in on that and say that's the reason. I strongly disagree although smoking does expose you to risks and weakens your body putting you more at risk. No I'm not a smoker but have in the past however I believe hormones, family history of auto immune disease and stress played a role in this for me. I have had patients that are 80 plus years old and have a healthier history than myself.

  • Smoking is never going to be great for a serious health condition is it !

  • Hi, I have never smoked, nor my parents or siblings nor any of my grandparents. In fact I only know of one person in my wider family who ever smoked and I only met her twice! I rarely drink and never worked in a smoky environment. I was diagnosed with RA 5 years ago. I have possible lung involvement, just waiting for my test results. The only other family member I know with RA is a first cousin who was diagnosed at 21 months old, she is now 64. Smoking obviously had little to do with my disease!

  • luv the name ... is nanny ogg with u? i developed lung probs on mtx but once off it began swimming again and singing and improved lung function. good luck xox

  • My grandma had psoriatic arthritis.... BIG smoker ... I used to smoke, gave up 9 years ago but diagnosed 3 years ago with PA. have all the genetic positives for this disease, I actually do believe that smoking can be a trigger if u are genetically primed, so do quite a lot of docs. U can be RA positive and not have RA. Maybe also a mix of things? Stress...trauma.. tooth infection... body just reaches a tipping point.... wish u could tip it back!....X

  • Hello I come from a family of 7 my father smoked he stopped when I was about 5 years old he never had RA my three sisters have all have smoked for last 20-30 years none of them have RA . My mother and I have never ever smoked and we both have RA.

  • yes from19 on, abt 6-8 per day. tapered off when govt banned my brand -gitanes, black tobacco. periods of not smoking [pregnancies] . i see the literature but don't think it's a cause, but better to stop if u get RD, RA, PMR and esp if put on mtx etc which caused me lung probs. I devt RA at 73!! , but in my genes .... think it needs a trigger to appear tho'. i've yet to see clear unmanipulated stats to support cigs as a cause, and many don't smoke, as u will find out. NRAS how's abt some clear stats??

  • I smoked in my younger days oh I'm gonna tbh I quit 20 years ago but I don't think it's a huge contributor and if I'm wrong kill me with the onslaught also I wasn't away genetics was a player either nobody in my family had any RA For myself I am hypothyroidism as my mum was who didn't smoke I suffered back injury at 35 nursing My Rheumatologist said if I'd had better support during menopause I wouldn't be here now with RA and I believe that. I'm ducking out now because I get upset when people get picky. I would never preachy but its only now we are fully aware of the real hazards smoking.

  • I’ve never smoked and have RA. I hadn’t heard there was a connection before.

  • Well from all these comments it would appear that smoking does not cause RA/RD. Obviously not good for you but we all know that. I have smoked for about 40 years and now only a couple a day, moderation in everything I say. In my case its in the family, most avoid it and the unfortunate few get RA, thats life!! I shall continue to have 2/3 cigs a day.

  • Yes it’s funny isn’t it but as soon as I told my family I had RA my father shouted “that’s because you smoked” and I said, but dad, you had RA top. I think it’s inherited. He replied “that’s because I smoked too”. Ha.

  • I love these theoritical links about smoking :), my immune system is very good, too good in fact that the slightest abnormality is attacked taking perfectly good parts of me with it, yet it cannot deal with flu, which now goes straight to my chest, which I may concede be aggrevated by my smoking, my GP is ok with it though (or at least he doesn't lecture or hector me).

    All of my siblings have varying symptoms of Enthesitis, unfortunately in this familial contest I have the most. Some smoked early, some have stopped and I started late but still smoke, but this disease appeared about 10 years, I was then 8 years old, before I started smoking and well before the advent of far too many motor vehicles, pumping out noxious fumes. I have lost my teeth but that was because our family jaws have always been too small for a full complement and our/my wisdoms proceeded to push forward, like a glacier on rock, so the damage was done to my jawbone and too late they were removed, smoking had nothing to do with that either. This disease didn't exist as far back as our great grandparents on both sides of the family, but has decided to appear in us with a vengence.

    Smoking is always presented as a definite killer, but it isn't always successful, the Japanese are the biggest smokers and yet continue to have very long and healthy lives as a national population.

    I doubt very much that your odd roll up is going to cause you instant death, in fact a smartphone is much likely to cause premature death, have you seen them wandering side to side down the pavment?, knocking into me (that hurts), then crossing the road, eyes and fingers still glued to it, they certainly result in death and serious injury, thereby proving that you are more likely to be run down by a bus. As we all know, living results in death.

    I sometimes get the impression that the medical profession wants to ensure that we don't enjoy living, just so long as we live longer ?????

    We all have bad habits, if my smoking does result in an earlier demise then it will hopefully occur before the glaucoma and A.S. symptoms appear or even worse when the last of my marbles (brain cells) are in the jar on my coffee table.

    Enjoy your roll up :)

  • I don’t agree with everything you’ve just said but even my doctor said that the occasional rolly was fine!!!

  • :)

  • Well Julis I only smiled once and I was just a teanager the friends I was with had bought a packet of cigarettes at the shop more easily got then it was a novelty then I decided to try one I couldn't stop coughing that put me off right there and then RA could be hereirity my Aunt and a cousin had terrible Arthritis and were crippled with it Smoking get blamed for lots of things I've know people that have lived to a very good age have smoked right up to the day they died Dementia

  • Hi Jules I smoked since I was 16. I stopped when I was 60, and started Vaping, and I reduced the nicotine gradually. I have now stopped vaping. I have had thyroid problems for years then got RA. Not sure if the smoking caused it??

  • Nope I have never smoked! M x

  • I really don't think smoking has anything to do with RA I've never smoked and I am 86 my Mum and Dad didn't have RA my mum didn't smoke either my dad smoked cigars My Mum niece was riddled with arthritis it was a pitiful sight to see her in later life especially know her at a younger age and enjoying dancing and life and being so crippled latterly It's like saying smoke and you take cancer. Which is not true it's a rogue gean in your body maybe sometime in the future they will find out why some people in the same family take it and others don't Also injection or tablets won't cure it but it may keep the pain associated with RA and all other joint deceases at a stage you can live with it

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