Nicotine may offer protective and therapeutic effects against ulcerative colitis (UC), but data are limited and results have been somewhat conflicting. If nicotine has value in acute UC it is likely to be modest. Other constituents of cigarette smoke may play a role in the protective effect of smoking against UC. A trial of nicotine therapy may be appropriate where licensed pharmacological options have been unsuccessful.
Director of Pharmacy, Regional Drug & Therapeutics Centre (Newcastle)