Nicotine may block disease

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The Independent Online
TWENTY cigarettes a day may protect smokers against a serious intestinal disorder, ulcerative colitis, which affects 30,000 people in Britain.

Professor John Rhodes, of University Hospital, Cardiff, told a conference in Athens that studies showed fewer smokers than non- smokers developed the disease - chronic inflammation of the colon - and that patients who smoked noticed improvements.

It is thought nicotine may thicken the mucus on the lining of the colon, thus protecting it. He also said that beneficial effects had been noted in patients who wore nicotine patches, used by people trying to give up the habit.

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