Effect of cigarette smoking on gastropharyngeal and gastroesophageal reflux

Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2001 Feb;110(2):190-3. doi: 10.1177/000348940111000216.


Gastropharyngeal reflux appears to be associated with various otolaryngological complaints. Cigarette smoking is known to affect adversely the defense mechanisms against reflux of acid gastric contents into the esophagus. To study the relationship between gastropharyngeal, as well as gastroesophageal, reflux and cigarette smoking, 15 subjects underwent 24-hour double-probe pH monitoring while smoking their daily amount of cigarettes. The percentage of time the pH was below 4 during the smoking period was significantly higher than the percentage of time the pH was below 4 during the nonsmoking period, proximal, at the level of the upper esophageal sphincter, as well as distal, above the lower esophageal sphincter. These findings demonstrate that smoking increases gastropharyngeal and gastroesophageal reflux. Smokers with complaints and disorders caused by reflux should therefore be advised to stop smoking in order to reduce reflux.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Gastric Acidity Determination
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / diagnosis
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / etiology*
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory / methods
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Supine Position
  • Time Factors
  • Wakefulness