Patients' perspectives on smoking and inflammatory bowel disease: An online survey in collaboration with European Federation of Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis Associations

World J Gastroenterol. 2020 Aug 7;26(29):4343-4355. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v26.i29.4343.

Abstract

Background: Smoking has detrimental effects on Crohn's disease (CD) activity while data on ulcerative colitis (UC) are conflicting. Little is known about the use and impact of alternative smoking products in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD).

Aim: To understand the patients' perceptions of the impact of smoking on their IBD and to assess differences between CD and UC patients.

Methods: The questionnaire was developed by Philip Morris Products SA in cooperation with European Federation of Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis Associations. The final survey questionnaire consisted of 41 questions divided in 8 categories: (1) Subject screener; (2) Smoking history; (3) Background information; (4) IBD disease background; (5) Current disease status; (6) Current therapeutics and medications; and (7) Current nicotine/cigarettes use and awareness of the impacts of smoking on IBD. The questionnaire was submitted online from 4th November 2019 to 11th March 2020 through the European Federation of Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis Associations website to IBD patients who were current smokers or had a history of smoking.

Results: In total 1050 IBD patients speaking nine languages participated to the survey. Among them, 807 (76.9%) patients declared to have ever smoked or consumed an alternative smoking product, with a higher proportion of current cigarette smokers among CD patients (CD: 63.1% vs UC: 54.1%, P = 0.012). About two-thirds of the participants declared to have ever stopped cigarette smoking and restarted (67.0%), with a significantly higher proportion among UC patients compared to CD patients (73.1% vs 62.0%, P = 0.001). We also found significant differences between CD and UC patients in the awareness of the health consequences of smoking in their disease and in the perceived impact of smoking on disease activity, for both cigarettes and alternative smoking products.

Conclusion: This survey found significant differences between CD and UC patients in both awareness and perception of the impact of smoking on their disease. Further efforts should be done to encourage smoking cessation for all IBD patients, including UC patients.

Keywords: Alternative smoking products; Cigarettes; Crohn's disease; Inflammatory bowel disease; Marijuana; Nicotine; Tobacco; Ulcerative colitis.