Does Smoking Cause Heartburn?

Smoking is often linked to lung cancer and other respiratory and oral ailments. What many of us fail to realize is that smoking cause heartburn especially to those who’re already addicted to it. Whether you’re using cigars, tobacco, or plain cigarettes, you’re putting your health in great danger.

Why heartburn occurs

So why does heartburn occur in the first place? Your esophagus is a long tube that serves as a passage for food from the mouth to the stomach. Below it is the lower esophageal sphincter that functions as a valve that prevents food from going back to the esophagus. Once this part of your body malfunctions or relaxes, there’s a big possibility for stomach acids to go out of the stomach and up the esophagus. When this happens, you feel a burning sensation just below your sternum known as heartburn.

How smoking causes heartburn

Studies proved that smoking is indeed a major cause of heartburn. To begin with, it decreases the amount of saliva produced by the body. We all know that saliva is a natural chemical produced in the mouth which helps break down food. Likewise, it also plays an important role in neutralizing the acids found in the stomach which often cause heartburn.

Smokers produce very little amount of saliva which is why they’re prone to experiencing heartburn compared to individuals who don’t smoke. Their insufficient amount of saliva also prevents acids from going back up thus heartburn occurs. Further, cigarettes contain chemicals that increase the production of stomach acids which makes the person prone to acid reflux.

Smoking also affects proper digestion of food. It takes longer for the stomach to process your food intake, thereby producing more acid than necessary. Also, it empties out longer that by the time you take your next meal, you’re stomach is still full. Instead of accommodating the food you eat, the stomach will tend to push it back to your esophagus.

Preventive measures you should take

So how can you prevent heartburn caused by smoking? The most obvious remedy and preventive measure is to completely say no to smoking. You have to quit if you want to save yourself from the discomfort and pain caused by heartburn. Further, you won’t only be protecting yourself against heartburn but also against other ailments that can put your life in jeopardy.

On the other hand, if you feel you can’t completely give up on smoking you can still avoid heartburn by changing your diet and eating habits. Avoid eating too much and then lighting a cigarette after a big meal. Also avoid drinking alcohol while smoking since it can also trigger heartburn. Try to stay away from spicy foods and those loaded with carbohydrates and fats.


Does smoking cause heartburn? Indeed it does which is why you should know how to take care of your health. Stop smoking and you’ll be saying goodbye to heartburn, lung cancer, kidney and liver troubles, and many more.