- Cigarette smoking worsens Crohn's disease (CD) but ameliorates ulcerative colitis (UC). In Israel, where there is no epidemiological association of smoking with CD, we examined the effects of current smoking on the course of CD and UC. Patients at nine public hospitals completed a questionnaire detailing their smoking history, disease course and treatments; subjects altering their smoking habit after the onset of disease were excluded. Sixty-four smokers and 144 nonsmokers had CD, and 34 smokers and 158 nonsmokers had UC. No differences were found between CD smokers and nonsmokers for hospitalizations, operations, and requirement for corticosteroid and immunosuppressive treatment. By contrast, UC smokers had less extensive disease than nonsmokers (P < 0.02) and fewer hospitalizations (P = 0.01) and operations (P = 0.025). Our results agree with a minority of studies showing no adverse effect of smoking on the course of CD, and confirm the protective effect of smoking in UC.