When a 2012 research study was released that showed the children of smokers were at high risk of developing severe urinary disorders including the symptom of IC, we were stunned (1). Children between the ages of 4 through 17 who sought care from a pediatric urologist for severe urinary symptoms were included in the study. Half were exposed to cigarette smoke in a car and 23% had mothers who were smokers. Researchers found that the greater their exposure to second hand smoke, the worse the children’s bladder symptoms.

Cigarette smoke releases thousands of cancer causing chemicals which pass from the lungs, through the bloodstream to the kidneys where they collect in the urine. The bladder wall is then exposed to high concentrations of toxins thus explaining why smoking is the leading cause of bladder cancer (2).

For the IC patient, smoking could be even more devastating. Because the bladder wall in interstitial cystitis is damaged, these carcinogens and toxins travel more deeply into the bladder wall where they WILL cause yet more severe inflammation AND, I believe, a much greater risk of bladder cancer.

For the sake of the health of your children, your family and your IC, you MUST stop smoking immediately!

– Jill Heidi Osborne MA


Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. “Second-hand smoke affects bladder function in children, study suggests.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 June 2012.

Surprising Link: Smoking and Bladder Cancer. Cleveland Clinic Health Hub. 22 October 2013