RA and Smoking

RA and Smoking


What’s on this page?

What is the association between RA and smoking?

Dr Hutchinson, a consultant rheumatologist  at Royal Cornwall Hospital has been researching the association between RA and smoking for over a decade.   He said: “Heavy smoking is strongly associated with the development of Rheumatoid Arthritis. …This is a field I have been working in for ten years and in that time smoking has been confirmed as a key trigger factor in the development of Rheumatoid Arthritis. It is now the most accepted environmental risk factor.”

Treatments are also less likely to be effective if the patient is a smoker. “The response to treatment in smokers is significantly reduced,” says Dr Hutchinson. “It is really important that if you have been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and you are a smoker that you stop. As a smoker your chances of responding to treatment is half as good as a non-smoker.”

Dr Hutchinson says it is also important that family members of people with Rheumatoid Arthritis try and quit smoking. “It is important that people try to avoid smoking particularly if there is a family history of Rheumatoid Arthritis. While smoking accounts for nearly half of all cases, genetics also play a part.”

A recent Swedish study suggests that smoking can significantly increase a woman’s risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis compared with women who never smoked, even if a woman only smokes relatively low levels of between one and seven cigarettes per day. To see the article please click here:



Stop smoking services in Cornwall

The Cornwall Stop Smoking service offers a number of different ways to try and quit. It aims to offer FREE help and support to anyone who wants to stop smoking. It has been proven that using the friendly help and support of a trained NHS advisor plus medication on prescription you are up to four times more likely to successfully quit smoking.

The Stop Smoking Service can be contacted on  (01209) 215666 or e-mail smokefree@cornwall.nhs.uk

Stop smoking groups

Stopping smoking with a group is a very successful and lets people feel part of a team. You can share experiences and tips and can “buddy up “ with a fellow quitter and offer each other moral support and encouragement.

The groups vary from being closed fixed groups (i.e. limited time for people who sign up on the first week) to rolling drop in groups (i.e. on going groups that allow people to attend from time to time).

To see the list of groups and drop-ins throughout the county please click on the button below or call 01209 215666:

Click Here

GPs and pharmacies

There are over 100 trained Stop Smoking advisors working in Cornwall, with one in nearly every GP surgery. The advisors work in various settings including surgeries, hospitals, pharmacies, schools, Children’s Centres and other community venues.

The clinics are open at various times with some working out of hours and at weekends. The clinics are a mixture of drop in sessions, with no appointment needed, and those with booked appointment slots.

To see the list of clinics throughout the county please click link below or call 01209 215666: