woman with smoke
When we’re in pain, sometimes we just want comfort, which can include smoking cigarettes. Or maybe we don’t have the willpower to quit because we’re in so much pain. You probably start to bargain with yourself — would quitting smoking really make that much of a difference? We did some research for you.

Will Quitting Smoking Help My Migraines?

Nicotine can constrict blood vessels in the brain

Nicotine as a rule tightens vessels, and slows blood flow. This decreased flow decreases brain activity. And you know what less blood and less activity in the brain has been shown to cause? Migraines.

Smoking can stimulate pain nerves

Smoking has been shown to irritate nerves in the throat. When your nerves are overstimulated, you’re more susceptible to pain — including migraines.

Cigarettes smell — and odors are migraine triggers

You’ve been tracking your triggers in this app, so you know — or will soon know — what causes your migraines. The acrid smell of cigarette smoke is a frequent trigger for many migraine sufferers.

The science is there

In 2009, a study clearly showed smoking increases migraines — especially if the patient is smoking five or more cigarettes daily. In fact, migraines increased the more cigarettes patients smoked. Unfortunately, quitting smoking often comes with a withdrawal period which has a symptom of — you guessed it — migraines. Often people will assume these withdrawal headaches mean smoking doesn’t affect their migraines.

The bottom line is smoking won’t help your migraines, and will most likely make them worse. It’s worth looking into cessation programs, which can feel like a lot when you’re in pain and have limited willpower. However, if you’re able to do an experiment and get through the initial nicotine withdrawal, you may find immense relief — fewer or no migraines.

Our Team: We are Here to Help

We are a small, dedicated app development team that wants you to better understand your migraines and triggers. Everyone on the team has lived with migraines at some point in their lives. We are your community, and we’re here to help. Reach out any time with questions. [email protected].

As always — please seek the advice of a doctor for medical questions. Our app team cannot give medical advice.

Track Your Triggers

Get the Migraine Insight Tracker – iOS App Store

Write to us [email protected]