History of smoking a possible co-factor of ME/CFS?

CFS patients - have you ever or do you now smoke cigarettes?

  • Firm ME/CFS diagnosis - currently smoke cigarettes

    Votes: 14 10.1%
  • Firm ME/CFS diagnosois - past cigarette use only

    Votes: 40 28.8%
  • Firm ME/CFS diagnosis - have never smoked cigarettes

    Votes: 69 49.6%
  • Unconfirmed or no ME/CFS diagnosis - currently smoke cigarettes

    Votes: 4 2.9%
  • Unconfirmed or no ME/CFS diagnosois - past cigarette use only

    Votes: 5 3.6%
  • Unconfirmed of no ME/CFS diagnosis - have never smoked cigarettes

    Votes: 7 5.0%

  • Total voters


Senior Member
Never smoked, hate the smell, cross the road/hold the breath to avoid even a molecule of smoke.

Interesting how many here have never smoked. If it were just Aussies I wouldn't be surprised (we now have bans on smoking on the footpath where i live). But overseas smoking rates seem to be so much higher.


Senior Member
I noticed when I started smoking in my teens I was not able to drink as much alcohol. It made me more intolerant - so interesting. I think smoking could possibly have been "a hit" among many (for me personally) that could have made me more vulnerable to getting ME. So, my 'hits' could have been; smoking, infection, antibiotics, flu x2, overexertion.

Smoking has had pluses and minuses but the minuses are greater. It's the most difficult thing to give up.
Los Angeles
I smoked socially (but I socialized a LOT!) until I was 38, when I had trouble conceiving. Although with hindsight I can see that elements of my illness were apparent at an earlier age, my stopping smoking pretty much coincided with the onset of fibro/CFS. Have always thought of this as a coincidence but since I'm now on a vasoconstrictor (midodrine) and smoking is also one, I'm beginning to wonder - would I have gotten really ill earlier if I can't smoked?
San Francisco, CA USA
My mother smoked when I was growing up, though to her credit, she always quit when pregnant -- and this was before the dangers of smoking were as widely recognized as they are now. I'm a former smoker who smoked off and on most of my adult life.

My ME/CFS journey started with a mono diagnosis in June of 2014, and I quit two months before that, because although I wasn't yet sick, I started to feel "off" in a way that's hard to describe. I hadn't been to a doctor in a number of years, so I knew I needed to go in for a physical. I also knew any doctor I saw would tell me to stop smoking, so I decided to just quit and take that issue off the table.

It was hard, but it was a relief to quit for many reasons. I was traveling a lot before I got really sick and it became almost impossible to find a hotel that allowed it. I was also both ashamed to be a smoker and really didn't want to bother people with my second-hand smoke, so the logistics of finding a place to enjoy a smoke in private were taking up a lot of my time and energy.

Having said all that, I miss it! I get such intense cravings out of the blue sometimes that the only thing that stops me from popping out to the corner store for a pack is my chronic fatigue which, has me housebound for now and unable to make the 1-1/2 block journey.

If I found out the end of the world was coming, I'd send my partner out for a carton and live it up a little in my final days. :)