The Impact Of Smoking On Arthritis

July 2020

The links between smoking and diseases like cancer, heart disease and stroke are well known. But, smoking is also a risk factor for some musculoskeletal conditions and can also increase the pain from these conditions.

There’s now a large amount of research to show that smoking can contribute to the development of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). For those with RA that do smoke, it can also worsen symptoms and make medications less effective.

The link between smoking and arthritis is not just limited to RA. It can cause more damage or pain, and less effective treatment for conditions like back pain, osteoarthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis. Smoking is also a risk factor for complications during or after surgery. The complications can include slower wound healing, risk of of infection, drug interactions.

Get support to quit smoking

As well as the overall health benefits, stopping smoking can help to reduce your risk of RA or help to reduce pain or improve the chances of your medication working (AMA).

If you smoke, talk to your doctor about quitting or call Quitline on 13 7848

More information

Call Quitline 13 7848 or visit to information, advice and tips.



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