How smoking affects your psoriatic arthritis


Can smoking affect your psoriatic arthritis?

Smoking can increase your risk of developing psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and can make your PsA symptoms worse.

Studies have found that people with PsA who smoke have more joint pain and fatigue compared to those who have never smoked.  The more you smoke and the longer you smoke, the higher your risk of developing PsA and worsening its severity. Smoking can also make your psoriasis worse.

Studies suggest that smoking causes inflammation that can lead to or worsen autoimmune diseases such as PsA.


Can smoking affect your treatment?

Smoking may make your PsA treatment less effective. Research suggests people with PSA who smoke have a poorer response to treatments and are less likely to follow their treatment plan. One study found that non-smokers with PsA who were being treated with a biological therapy responded better to treatment than smokers. It is believed that smoking may affect the body’s ability to absorb these medications.

The good news is that quitting smoking can help improve your response to PsA treatments.


What about e-cigarettes?

E-cigarettes, also known as vaping, are battery operated electronic cigarettes. They work by heating flavoured liquid into steam to release nicotine and chemicals. Many people smoke e-cigarettes because they think they are less harmful. Whilst e-cigarettes contain different chemicals than regular cigarettes, they are still bad for your health and further research in to the long term effects of using these are yet to be established. It is however known that E-cigarettes have been linked to bone density and mineral loss, increase in blood pressure and heart rate, and can reduce the effectiveness of some medications.


What steps can you take to quite smoking?

Not everyone can quit smoking the same way. It may take a few tries before you stop smoking completely. For information and support to help you quit smoking:

  • Call the QUITLINE 13 78 48 to speak with a trained Quit Specialist. who can provide advice, encouragement, and support to help you quit

  • Visit the Department of Health’s How to Quit Smoking website.
  • Get help from you doctor who can provide advice on strategies including, nicotine replacement therapies.

This resource has been developed based on the best available evidence. A full list of references are available upon request.