The original version of this page can be found at :
Posted By : getting by - 2/28/2009 8:58 AM
Hi everybody,
I am a cigarette smoker and was wondering about how it effected my fibro.  Well here are some answers.  And I have to say Congrats to Kelly71 for quitting smoking.  I hope that it is making a difference.

Are you wondering if your cigarette smoking or tobacco use is affecting your fibromyalgia (FM) pain? Does second-hand smoke make you feel ill? Current research will give you more reason to kick the habit or convince your spouse or partner to stop. In two recent studies, FM patients who smoke report having more painful symptoms than non-smoking FM patients.1,2

In one study, researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota evaluated the symptoms of 984 FM patients. The patients responded to questions pertaining to their level of pain, fatigue, number of tender points, how their pain interfered with their physical function, depression, and anxiety. The responses were entered into an electronic database and analyses were divided into two groups, tobacco users and non-tobacco users.

The second study done in Turkey compared the severity of symptoms among 302 FM patients and 115 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The FM patients’ data were divided into smokers and non-smokers. When comparing all the FM to the RA patients, FM patients reported more severe symptoms associated with widespread pain, fatigue, sleepiness and sleep disturbances, irritating skin sensations, and more anxiety and depression regardless if they smoked or not.

Reviewing both studies, patients with FM who smoked reported higher levels of chronic-widespread pain, unrefreshing sleep, more adverse skin sensations including pricking and tingling, and more anxiety and depression than non-smokers. In addition to these symptoms, the tobacco users in the Mayo Clinic study also reported fewer good days and more days of missed work than the non-smokers. Neither study found a difference in the number of tender points or fatigue level between smokers and non-smokers.

These results confirm a previous study done with 233 FM patients by Muhammad Yunus, M.D., of the University of Illinois College of Medicine. He found that FM patients who smoked had increased pain scores, numbness, and poorer overall wellness. In addition, the greater the number of cigarettes smoked, the higher the patient’s pain score.3

What is it about smoking that could cause a detrimental effect on FM pain? The nicotine in cigarettes is a psychostimulant that arouses the central and peripheral nervous systems and constricts blood flow to the muscles. These two factors could adversely impact the pain processing system, as well as the musculoskeletal tissues. Yunus and the Mayo Clinic team also refer to previous studies that correlate FM smokers with a higher level of substance P in their spinal fluid than FM non-smokers. Substance P is a pain-related chemical transmitter that is already known to be elevated in FM patients, and higher levels could be a sign of increased pain.

One positive aspect of the study done at the Mayo Clinic showed that only 14 percent of the FM patients were smokers. This figure is lower than the 20 percent national average for the United States.4 Interestingly, in the Coping with Sleep Issues survey distributed by the Fibromyalgia Network last month, 6.2 percent of nearly 5,000 FM patients who responded said they stopped smoking to ensure better sleep at night. Apparently, these FM patients determined on their own that smoking was either interfering with sleep or causing painful symptoms. Since smoking a single cigarette introduces hundreds of toxic compounds into the body, many of which are known cancer-causing agents, it only makes sense that FM patients who are usually sensitive to chemicals would choose not to smoke.5 And while researches have not determined if FM patients who quit smoking experience less pain, they are convinced that tobacco use adds to painful symptoms.

If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to quit smoking (or help a family member quit), it certainly is not too late. The U.S. government offers a dozen resources to start you or your partner on the path to a smoke-free life:

1. Pamuk O.N., et al. Rheumatol Int DOI 10.1007/s00296-009-0851-5 2009, Jan 20. Epub ahead of print.


I hope that this helps some...

Hugs, Karen

  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies

Posted By : GamJill - 2/28/2009 9:12 AM

Thanks Karen for the article- just another reminder on why I need to quit smoking.

Kelly- So proud of you! I know it is not easy to quit smoking as I have done it twice. I know that when I quit this time around it will be the last. I think that is why it is so hard to pick a date.


Fibromyalgia, Depression, Anxiety, TMJ, Arthritis/neck, SAD
Zoloft, Tylenol 4000 mg., Darvocet  

Posted By : Baloo - 2/28/2009 10:13 AM
I"ve smoked for many years now and I've tried everything to quit,  but I am allergic to patches, gum, and such.  Tried wellbutrin and Chantix.  Pure determination has helped for a day, but then I end up in alot of pain, and i smoke.  So I hope that someday soon I can start living without smoking. redface

Posted By : MT Lady - 2/28/2009 10:26 AM
Chantix did it for was like a miracle drug. I quit with NO side effects of coming off of nicotine, NONE...I've been a lifetime smoker...well, I did quit for 13 years, and went back, yes, I know, how stupid is that? But this time, I know it's for good. I used Chantix for 5 months and that was over 2 years ago. What it did NOT help was the habit. You know, the one after a meal, or when on the phone, that I just had to handle myself and it was tough, but the actual physical addiction, well, I felt nothing and in the past, I couldn't handle it. So for me, Chantix was what got me to quit. Has it helped my fibro? Can't honestly say it has, but I know I am overall a healthier person. I can highly recommend it for others, and best of luck. We are strong people. Put your mind to it, pick a date and you CAN do it!
I wish you well,

Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, scoliosis, back problems, hypothyroidism.

Posted By : LilMissSunshine - 2/28/2009 10:27 AM
i have a terrible cold and just went to the doctor this morning... anyways the doctor stressed to me the importance of quitting smoking in order to allow my body to heal quicker... thanks so much for this! it seems like i am getting bombarded today with reasons to quit! it's not going to be easy.... but it is possible.
the better sleep at night is reason enough for me!

Posted By : leemadd - 2/28/2009 2:09 PM
I would love to quit I tried chantix and it gave me a really upset tummy.
DR. told me I should have stayed on it a little longer and those symptoms would go away..
maybe I will try again.

Posted By : getting by - 2/28/2009 2:19 PM
I tried the Chantix and it made me nauseaus for about twenty minutes, but then it would pass. I didn't quit, sadly to say. But I think if I would have tried harder, it would have helped.

Hugs, Karen

  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies

Posted By : ladybugdreams - 3/1/2009 12:15 PM
I quit about 8 years ago, I had been a smoker for about 31 years.  I decided I was going to quit but I was going to make it as painless as possible.  I prayed alot.  I started on the gum which in itself is so addictive that it is almost impossible to get off it.  I bought the 4 mg because it was only a few dollars more then the 2mg, I cut them in half so I had twice as much.  I chewed the gum for months which is really hard on the teeth.  I cut the 4mg into thirds & then into quarters & took myself down that way.  I still couldn't go cold turkey so I had to use the patches to get off the gum.  But I cut them up as well.  A friend called the company for me & they said sure, cut them no problem, so I did.  first I cut them in half & then into thirds then into quarters.  When I quit using them I didn't have the sudden drop off & cold turkey.  I know how hard it is to quit smoking but it can be done.  I would never smoke again but I have often thought about that gum.  Was I ever hooked on it.  LOL  hugs, Denise

 I have:  Fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, Holt-Oram Syndrome, nasal allergies, food allergies, depression, TMJ, anxiety

Married to a wonderful supportive husband & between us we have 4 children & 7 grandchildren

As apples of gold in silver carvings is a word spoken at the right time for it.    Prov. 25:11

Posted By : kelly71 - 3/1/2009 12:56 PM
As y'all know, Chantix was what helped me quit. I totally agree with you, Miriam-it's a miracle drug. I had tried gum, patches, and everything else you could think of but when I tried the Chantix, it was like a gift from God. Of course, I did have to have will power and determination, but as I started to lose the craving for nicotine, I knew I could do it. Yes, there was more than a few times when I almost gave in, but I did it. I always say that I don't know if I'm ever gonna break down and smoke again, but I'm not gonna do it today. tongue

FINALLY dxd with fibro on 06/13/08
Neurontin, Ibuprofen for pain-which doesn't help
Zoloft & methadone (NOT for pain) for sanity-which doesn't help, BTW
Klonopin for anxiety (Guess what?  Doesn't help!)
Aciphex for reflux
Quit smoking 08/29/08 (used Chantix)
"I'll take the Chivas instead"
-Kelly Clarkson

Posted By : aprince - 4/4/2009 1:14 AM
I quit smoking on chantix though I have tried to do cold turkey on two occasions, but of no use. I have smoked for around 5 yrs with pack a day. Thanks to chantix and the support my family provided me. It really helped me to get over my nicotine addiction and I don’t feel craving anymore. There is one thing which I would like to share and which helped me a lot initially, try having a glass of water when you feel craving the most. It a tough road but it's worth so best luck to all those who want to give up smoking.

Posted By : Sherrine - 4/4/2009 11:07 AM

I had a friend that used acupuncture to quit smoking.  He was a 3 pack a day smoker and hasn't smoked in 3 years now.  They put the needles in the cartiledge in the ear.  OUCH!

I came across this and it uses the same basic technique...auricular treatment...but no needles!  They have been using this in a hospital in Miami.  Here is an article about it.  It's calles Zerosmoke.

I did buy this for each of my daughters for Christmas but they haven't tried it.  mad    Hopefully, some day they will.  It cost $40 last Christmas.  Hope this can help some.  Oh, there is a 30 money back guarantee, too.


Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7

Posted By : kelly71 - 4/4/2009 9:50 PM
Thanks to y'all for always giving me props for quitting. BTW, I'm totally tooting my own horn here, but it has been over 7 months since I quit. So, woo-hoo for me! tongue Everyone is gonna have to find the thing that works for them, but I'll always swear by Chantix. But, the thing that is the most important is that you have to be ready to quit. Don't try to do it for someone else. When you are ready, do it for you. No one forced me to quit, I was just done with it. If you want to quit, make sure that it's your decision. Good Luck! yeah

Fibro, Anxiety, Chronic Pain

Lyrica 100mg BID, Klonopin 1mg BID, Zoloft 100mg BID, Methadone 75mg (methadone maintenance-NOT for pain), Ibuprofen 800mg QID prn, Prilosec OTC

I'll take the Chivas instead-Kelly Clarkson

Posted By : Grailhunter - 4/5/2009 9:44 AM
This is by no means a defense of smoking. I am trying like crazy to quit myself. But I have researched the daylights out of smoking, and nicotine and in their study they should have included the statistics on the percentage of people with Fibro smoking versus normal controls with no pain problems or mental/mood disorders. There is a little more going on here then we just want to light up.

On what would be the total population in general, smoking has dropped to around 30 percent. When you look at the percentage of the population with depression disorders it jumps to 50 percent. On the percentage with major pain disorders and depression its 70 percent. For people with major psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia it is 90 percent.

There actually seems to be a logical reason for this beyond we just have more stress, so more impetus to light up, although that is probably a major issue. Or that well, we feel like crud anyhow, so we might as well have something going on.

My question on that study where the non smoking Fibro people had less pain then the smoking ones is that pain and degree of Fibro problems are completely subjective. I do believe that, actually know that nicotine will increase pain levels and bother your sleep, just like coffee or any other number of stimulants. But what I am wondering is on that study, is how much of the difference was nicotene, versus the possibility that the smokers in general had higher degrees of issues to begin with, which was a major part of why they were smoking.

Here is why I ask that. Most of the current studies on Nicotene show that it has a number of powerful effects. First, its a major anti-depressant. The drug companies are going crazy trying to come up with anti-depressants based on what nicotine does, without it actually being nicotine, since they can't patent that. They have also found that Nicotine helps people with Schizophrenia to tone down their symptoms. So they are working on that. In other words, the people with depression and up to schizophrenia are actually effectively self medicating.

Another thing that Nicotine does is to mitigate allot of negative side effects of opiate and opiod class pain killers. You still get the pain killing effect, but the nicotine takes out a substantial amount of the cognitive, drugged out side effects.

Lastly, they have found that Nicotine does not harm the nervous system and receptors, it appears to provide some protection for them.

Essentially, what I am saying in all of this, is that those of us that are smoking, aren't just smoking, we are self medicating on top of it. We may have had issues for a very long time, that might be a major part of why it is so extremely hard for some people to quit. Nicotine is a powerful, unsubscribed medication. And like all medications, it has side effect trade offs.

Personally, I am giving up the smoking for my health in general. The smoking part is totally destructive for me. I have a feeling I will be weaning down off those patches for quite sometime though.

Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, IBS, Diverticulitis, Costocondritis, Thorasic Degeneration, Mild Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, Mild Hilar Lymphodenopathy, Depression, Anxiety. Dyspnea. Disequilibrium.

Klonopin, Percocet, Baclofen, Ibuprofen, Valerian, Greens Plus, Magnesium, Vitamin C, COQ 10, B Complex, Niacinamide, Glucosomine, Condrotin, MSM, L-Carnitine, D-Ribose.

Posted By : getting by - 4/5/2009 10:44 AM
Maybe people could get the nicotine in another form other than cigarettes, as in gum or patches. I do know that smoking limits the blood flow in our systems, and we have problems with that anyway with the fibromyalgia. It makes me tired. And I know that has to do with the blood flow and poor circulation from smoking.

I am glad that you are not defending smoking, just the nicotine as a drug itself. I too smoke and want to quit, but have to be ready to do so. I have cut down a lot. Mostly due to the cost. And I believe that the tabacco companies are adding other chemicals to keep us addicted.

Best wishes to you.

Hugs, Karen

  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies

Posted By : Grailhunter - 4/5/2009 11:44 AM
Regarding the concept of the tobacco companies adding chemicals to make you want to smoke more. In my opinion this is a fact.

Two years ago when I moved to California, the only job I could find that my body would just barely handle was working in a smoke shop. It was part time, 3 days a week, had a low traffic flow and it allowed me to go back and forth between sitting and standing. I hated the concept of working in a smoke shop. I am peddling drugs and death. But it was that or live under a bush.

I can tell you by watching what people smoke and by my own switching around from different brands there is no doubt in my mind they are adding chemicals that make you smoke more, and Phillip Morris and the Marlboro brand is pumping in the most. But RJReynolds and Camel brand are not far behind. These two companies are nothing better then Hitler and Stalin working together, and working here makes me feel like one of their little privates in their army of death.

I have noticed very clearly over these two years that the people that smoke cigars, pipes, and any of the brands of cigarettes that do not have additives tend to smoke far less then the ones that smoke cigarettes with additives. I also noticed that wearing a patch will not cut down my smoking during the day, probably because I am at work and stressed and have 10,000 cigarettes behind me, but when I get home, I feel no urge to smoke until I get back out the next day. I also noticed that sticking a additional filter tip on the end of a ultra light, where you are blocking more of the chemicals they are adding to make you want to smoke more helps. You, or at least I smoke less at work with that extra filter on there, turning it into a super ultra light. Once your blocking 90 percent of the smoke, but still getting the fixation of hand to mouth and inhaling, the nicotine patches are much more effective. Its not a answer for quitting because your not stopping your fixation, but your smoking does go way down and that has to be the reduction of the chemicals they are adding.

This is my last weekend on this job by the way. I am moving back to my daughters in Arizona. I have taken many tries at giving up smoking in these two years, but I just can't get it done with a wall full of packs of cigarettes behind me. I am going to quit in Arizona if I have to wear patches, suck lozenges and chew pencils in half.

Edit: I just had to add this in. I have had to make use of County Mental Health places for medications that most MD's don't want to prescribe, for oh, about 8 years now. I have used four different ones and I found something odd and very consistent about them. I noticed that most of the out patients smoked, which wasn't surprising, but it also seemed that the majority of all of the staff smoked also, especially the Doctors, Therapist and PA's working under the Doctors. Even the regular staff seemed to be running well above the National average. I guess that old saying of people getting into mental health work because they have allot of issues themselves could be true if the amount of running to the smoking area is any gauge.

Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, IBS, Diverticulitis, Costocondritis, Thorasic Degeneration, Mild Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, Mild Hilar Lymphodenopathy, Depression, Anxiety. Dyspnea. Disequilibrium.

Klonopin, Percocet, Baclofen, Ibuprofen, Valerian, Greens Plus, Magnesium, Vitamin C, COQ 10, B Complex, Niacinamide, Glucosomine, Condrotin, MSM, L-Carnitine, D-Ribose.

Post Edited (Grailhunter) : 4/5/2009 1:25:23 PM (GMT-6)

Posted By : Grailhunter - 4/8/2009 10:17 AM
Just bring this back up to the top so its on the frontpage for Statgeek. He wanted to see this study.

Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, IBS, Diverticulitis, Costocondritis, Thorasic Degeneration, Mild Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, Mild Hilar Lymphodenopathy, Depression, Anxiety. Dyspnea. Disequilibrium.

Klonopin, Percocet, Baclofen, Ibuprofen, Valerian, Greens Plus, Magnesium, Vitamin C, COQ 10, B Complex, Niacinamide, Glucosomine, Condrotin, MSM, L-Carnitine, D-Ribose.

Posted By : precious007 - 3/26/2017 1:29 AM
I know this is an old thread but just wanted to share my opinion on quitting smoking, especially for someone suffering with multiple physical and mental issues. People with depression and anxiety have a much harder time quitting smoking and a much lower rate of actually quitting, it is somewhat logical to me.

I have fibromyalgia, IBS, disc potrusions and other spine issues, depression, anxiety (*unspecified mood disorder) and I am quit for almost 20 days now, is it easy? No it's not, it's very hard to say the least. Smoking is just not worth it, not even worth it if you'll have a better state of mind.

©1996-2017 LLC  All rights reserved.

Advertise | Privacy Policy & Disclaimer