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Factors that Contribute to GERD -- Use of Tobacco Products

Clip Number: 5 of 12
Presentation: GERD
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Reviewed By: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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The use of tobacco products, such as cigarettes, cigars, snuff, chewing tobacco, and pipe tobacco, can increase the likelihood of developing GERD, or make your symptoms even worse. This is because using tobacco can weaken the lower esophageal sphincter, as well as increase the amount of stomach acid you produce.
Tobacco products can also decrease the amount of saliva you make. As we mentioned earlier, saliva normally acts to protect the esophagus from the effects of stomach juices.
People who smoke are also more likely to cough, which can put pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter, causing it to open when it shouldn't.
All of these effects of tobacco use make it more likely for the esophagus to be irritated and damaged by acid reflux.

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