Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Smoking, Comorbid Conditions in Persons with MS

Disabil Health J; 2017 Oct; Newland, Flick, et al

Given the associations between smoking and comorbidities in individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS), health care providers should both (1) assess smoking history and quit attempts, and (2) encourage individuals with MS who smoke to become non-smokers and refer for treatment, as indicated, according to a recent study. In order to increase the chances that individuals will be successful in becoming non-smokers, clinicians would do well to also assess and treat depression in their patients who smoke and are also depressed. Researchers used a web-based survey to obtain cross-sectional data from 335 individuals with MS. They then examined the associations between smoking variables (current use, frequency, and quit attempts) and comorbidities, and found:

  • The prevalence of participants who ever smoked was 50%, which is greater than that reported for the general population; 20% were current smokers.
  • Migraine headaches were associated with current use and everyday smoking, and those with recent failed quit attempts had a higher prevalence of depression than those who were current smokers but who did not attempt to quit or had successfully quit in the past year.


Newland P, Flick L, Salter A, Dixon D, Jensen MP. The link between smoking status and co-morbid conditions in individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS). Disabil Health J. 2017;10(4):587-591. doi:10.1016/j.dhjo.2017.03.005.