What does this mean for doctors?
Doctors are probably not going to start recommending that patients continue smoking. For people with ulcerative colitis, it could be a real decision. Some patients could actually find themselves confused about whether they should quit smoking or not. The obvious answer becomes blurred when symptoms of a very uncomfortable disease are involved. If the chances of being sicker if they quit smoking go up, there is not going to be much incentive in quitting. Stopping smoking in itself is no easy task. Going through nicotine withdrawal and having symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease acting up may be too much for some to take. The truth is, cigarette smoke does provide some level of protection against flare ups.