Why Does Nicotine Make You Poop?

If you’ve ever smoked a cigarette or vaped for a long period of time, and suddenly felt an urge to run to the toilet, you may be surprised to learn that you are not alone.

In the same way that a hot cup of coffee, beans, or a fair amount of fiber will have an effect, shall we say, on your bowels, so will nicotine. 


Because we tend not to toilet and tell, you’ve probably not even realized that this is common among smokers, and maybe thought it was just you. But it certainly is not.

Nicotine, much like caffeine is a stimulant that speeds up digestion and has you sprinting to the toilet in no time. 

Does Nicotine Cause You To Poop?

Now, there is no definite answer to this question; however, a lot of smokers will tell you that they do often need to go number two after puffing a cigarette. This could be due to the fact that nicotine is a stimulant, a laxative-like stimulant in particular. 

What this means is that while you’re smoking away, the nicotine you are inhaling is influencing the muscle contractions in your bowels. Essentially, this causes your stool to be pushed out of your colon a lot quicker.

Unsurprisingly, there isn’t an awful lot of research on this specific topic, but since it is something that most smokers and vapers experience, maybe there should be. 

Now while nicotine can seem to make you poop more, it isn’t technically a laxative. The result is just similar. But if you have constipation, don’t start reaching for a pack of  Marlboro just yet, as it won’t relieve it in this instance. 

Perhaps a smoker’s love of combining a morning smoke with a hot cup of coffee is the real culprit? 

What Does The Research Say?

For what little research there is, it is inconclusive. A few studies have been conducted but further research is required to make anything definitive. 

There is a study where eight non-smokers were given either 2mg of nicotine or a placebo. Bowel motility was then measured for one hour but there was no significant difference between either group. So no real data supported the hypothesis. 

Does Smoking Cause Loose Stools?

Smoking cigarettes can cause a whole variety of health problems, although I am sure you are already well aware of this. Issues such as Crohn’s disease, pancreatitis, and gallstones can all be caused by excessive smoking.

These issues can go undiagnosed for some time and all of these can affect how loose your stool is. 

This being said there is not enough evidence to fully support that smoking will cause a healthy person to have loose stool. 

Does Nicotine Make You Have Diarrhea?

For your casual smoker or vaper, the likelihood of it causing you diarrhea is slim. However, too much nicotine can have severe side effects such as stomach ache, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

So you might want to think again before you rinse through your pack of cigarettes or vape in record time. 

Typically, the need to poop won’t strike immediately after you’ve put out your smoke. But a lot of smokers will tell you that their morning cigarette will certainly get things moving, although there is no direct evidence that supports this.

Although most morning smokers will pair their cigarettes with a nice cup of joe, perhaps this combination is what gets things flowing so easily. 

Caffeine And Nicotine 

As I’ve mentioned before, most smokers will argue that there is nothing nicer than a smoke paired with a cigarette for breakfast (although this certainly isn’t a healthy choice for your most important meal of the day.)

Since nicotine and coffee are both stimulants that contract your bowels, you are essentially pushing out your stool in a double-dosed speeding-up process.

And while it won’t happen every time, it is likely that this combination will speed up your bowel movements. 

Some Friendly Advice

To all the smokers who may be reading this who truly believe that a cigarette is going to make them poop for certain, it’s not true. So if you’re ever tempted to light up just to help you go to the toilet, please think of better ways to do so.

There are so many different ways to make it easier to go to the toilet, and opting for the choice that contains over 7000 harmful chemicals isn’t really the wisest idea. 

If you’re looking for ways to improve your bowel movements that will not increase your chances of catching severe and life-threatening illnesses, try increasing the amount of fiber in your diet, drinking plenty of water, eating lots of fruit and vegetables, as well as becoming more active.

Not only will doing this increase your ability to poop, but also promotes a healthier happier lifestyle. Something that cigarettes can not do. 

Final Thoughts

So frustrating as it may seem, although every smoker collectively agrees that lighting up that cig does in fact make them need to poop, there really isn’t any evidence to support that it is true.

So if you haven’t already started please do not let this be the reason that lets you begin. 

Not only is it an increasingly expensive habit, but it also really does no good whatsoever for your body to be smoking. Even tobacco companies themselves know this, you’ve seen the warning labels on the packets after all. 

Quitting smoking can feel like a very difficult thing to do as nicotine is highly addictive so it is important to try and quit as soon as possible.

There are usually plenty of support systems you can use to help you, as well as purchases such as nicotine patches or nicotine gum. 

If you are hoping to quit, it is important to have a support system around you so always ask friends and family for help. While it may seem hard at the beginning, I promise that you will be glad that you did in the long run!  

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