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Cigarette Smoking and Peptic Ulcer

Smokers are twice as likely as nonsmokers to develop peptic ulcers. Cigarettes contain nicotine, which may increase the risk of getting an ulcer by:

  • Causing the stomach to produce acid.
  • Reducing the stomach's production of mucus, which helps protect the stomach from acid.

Smoking slows the healing of your ulcer and makes it more likely that an ulcer will come back.

If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor about stop-smoking programs and medicines. These can increase your chances of quitting for good.

For more information, see the topic Quitting Smoking.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Jerome B. Simon, MD, FRCPC, FACP - Gastroenterology
Last Revised January 4, 2012

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