The Great American Smokeout and Heartburn

11. 18. 2013

Sometimes it takes a little push to make a major life change. Take, for example, quitting smoking. Smokers know that smoking is unhealthy and poses a threat to their health. However, smoking is one of the most difficult habits to kick. Accountability, external motivation and moral support are essential when quitting smoking. Because of this, the American Cancer Society has designated a day each year to support smokers in their efforts to quit.

The Great American Smokeout will take place on November 21, the third Thursday in November. This is the day that smokers are encouraged to quit smoking or the day that smokers should come up with a plan to quit smoking. Quitting offers immediate benefits to the body, so smokers should try to quit no matter how long they have smoked.

Smoking does not just put you at risk for lung cancer. It also can aggravate heartburn and make reflux worse. If you have gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD), you know how painful it can be. Smoking can cause intense pain and even interfere with your sleep. Tobacco can exacerbate heartburn in many ways such as:

  • Increasing acidity in the stomach
  • Harming the esophagus by irritating the lining
  • Reducing saliva production
  • Decreasing the function of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Nicotine lowers the pressure of the LES and allows acids and enzymes to seep up into the esophagus (Source: Web MD).

Make the Great American Smokeout the day that you decide to quit smoking. Quitting will benefit every system in your entire body, and you will decrease your risk for heartburn. You will be healthier and more comfortable without the painful side effects of reflux. Mark November 21 on your calendar as the day that you will quit smoking. You will feel like a new person!



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