Surprising Facts about Smoking’s Effect on Bladder Health

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OWINGS MILLS, Md., Nov. 13, 2017 — Most people know about the effects of smoking on the lungs, but did you know that smoking is also a leading risk factor for the development of bladder cancer and other bladder conditions such as urinary incontinence and painful bladder syndrome/interstitial cystitis? And, according to the American Cancer Society, smokers are at least three times as likely to get bladder cancer as nonsmokers.

“What many people do not realize is that the harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke are absorbed into the blood, pass through the kidneys, and collect in the urine that is stored in the bladder. These chemicals cause damage to the inside of the bladder and increase the chances of getting bladder cancer and other bladder diseases,” explained Rian Dickstein, M.D., F.A.C.S., director of the Bladder Cancer Program at Chesapeake Urology.  “Quitting smoking is the number one thing a person can do to help prevent bladder cancer and also help avoid recurrence of this disease.”

In addition to bladder cancer, smoking has negative effects on individuals living with other bladder conditions such as:

  • Interstitial cystitis (IC), also known as painful bladder syndrome. IC is a chronic inflammatory condition of the bladder lining that causes pain and pressure in the pelvic area around the bladder. IC is most common in women, affecting up to eight million young and older women in the U.S. every year. Smoking and the chemicals in tobacco are known bladder irritants and may make the symptoms of IC, such as pain, urinary frequency and urgency, worse.
  • Urinary incontinence. Chemicals present in cigarette smoke are bladder irritants. Smoking has been shown to exacerbate the symptoms of overactive bladder (OAB) including urinary urgency and frequency. In addition, many longtime smokers experience “smoker's cough,” or a persistent cough, which can lead to urine leakage often associated with stress urinary incontinence (SUI).

“We understand that quitting smoking is very difficult,” added Dr. Dickstein. “We work with patients to provide resources for quitting to help people improve their bladder health and lead a healthier lifestyle.”

Access Chesapeake Urology's “You Can Quit Tobacco” pamphlet for information and help with quitting smoking:

Learn more about bladder cancer and the resources available to diagnose and treat the disease –

Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network:

About Chesapeake Urology
Chesapeake Urology is a fully-integrated urology practice providing a comprehensive array of urologic services to its patients. The Company, including its Urological Consultants division, operates 25 medical offices and 17 AAAHC-certified ambulatory surgery centers in Baltimore, Harford, Howard, Carroll, Montgomery, Prince George's, and Anne Arundel counties and in Baltimore City, and has a staff of more than 725 including 87 physicians, 80 which are urologists. Chesapeake has been named one of the top places to work in healthcare nationally by Modern Healthcare magazine and Becker's ASC Review, and locally by the Baltimore Sun, Baltimore magazine and the Baltimore Business Journal.  For information about Chesapeake Urology, please visit

Patricia Schnably, VP of Marketing and Communications
Chesapeake Urology Associates
443-738-8107; [email protected];     

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SOURCE Chesapeake Urology Associates

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Brad Bennett

Brad Bennett

Brad grew up in a small town in northern Iowa. He studied chemistry in college, graduated, and married his wife one month later. They were then blessed with two baby boys within the first four years of marriage. Having babies gave their family a desire to return to the old paths – to nourish their family with traditional, homegrown foods; rid their home of toxic chemicals and petroleum products; and give their boys a chance to know a simple, sustainable way of life. They are currently building a homestead from scratch on two little acres in central Texas. There’s a lot to be done to become somewhat self-sufficient, but they are debt-free and get to spend their days living this simple, good life together with their five young children.
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