Say a person quits smoking (cold turkey), can it cause frequent bowel movements like 3-4 times a day and this frequent bowel movement lasting for month or more maybe. And because of frequent bowel movement sometimes there can be blood in stool. Can quitting smoking has these effects?

  • Did the person take any medicine to help quit smoking? I think not from your question but want to make sure. Also was there any previous episode of abdominal discomfort / bowel problems or blood in stool?
    – rncardio
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 6:41
  • @rncardio No medication for quitting but weak digestion(not everyday but if eat street food or too spicy food).
    – Totoro
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 8:09
  • The person should not wait for answers here and consult a doctor. This seems like an individual related question and I believe such questions are not encouraged on this forum.
    – rncardio
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 8:25
  • An occasional cigarette can relax the bowels and encourage movement. I have found that when slightly backlogged it can stir things on and 'put a round in the chamber'. A sudden absence of this assist may in the short-term lead to some disruption.
    – PCARR
    Commented Jul 12, 2016 at 16:24
  • I quit smoking cold turkey Jan. 2018. I am now having bowel movements 2 to 3 times a day. I do eat more especially sweets to fill that sweetness after meals.
    – Gina
    Commented Apr 6, 2018 at 1:35

2 Answers 2


No one can prove that quitting smoking doesn't cause frequent bowel movements in a particular individual, but it's not a symptom generally associated with quitting smoking. The usual symptoms are:

Nicotine cravings.
Anger, frustration, and irritability.
Weight gain.

As a former smoker, I would add increased appetite and difficulty sleeping to that list. But as you can see, nothing in the list even hints at gastrointestinal disturbances or changes in bowel habits.

But most important is your mention of blood in the stool. Frequent bowel movements in and of themselves don't cause blood in the stool, nor does quitting smoking. Bleeding somewhere within the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is what causes blood in the stool.

The possible reasons for blood in the stool are numerous:

benign and malignant tumors; inflammation such as infectious colitis or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD); ulcers such as peptic ulcers; esophagitis; or a traumatic tear such as may occur in the anus (fissure) or the lower end of the esophagus.

The article quoted above goes on to say:

Intestinal bleeding is potentially serious and demands investigation – often as an emergency.

Trying to guess what the cause is on an internet forum is impossible since even doctors with intimate access to the patient often have difficulty diagnosing the cause of bloody stools. However, seeing a doctor about the frequent bowel movements and especially the bloody stools is exactly what the person needs to do, and the sooner, the better.

  • 2
    As a doctor who fairly frequently sees patients with bloody stool (in the Emergency Department, no less), I can assure you it is rarely difficult to determine the cause. There are rare causes (e.g. Osler-Weber-Rendu) and some causes take a few days to pin down (e.g. Shigella), but the diagnosis is most often pretty straightforward. (Nice link, btw. +1) Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 20:26

When quitting cigarettes a person will likely increase food/fluid consumption.This is to compensate for the loss of hand to mouth activity each puff you take from the cigarette is now absent from the body's normal activity so a person tends to snake more not knowing that they are not more hungry just pleasing the bodies addictiveness to a hand to mouth movement it has grown used too.So more eating and drinking than normal is the reason for more bowel movement not the lack of nicotine or additives in cigarettes.

  • 4
    Welcome to health SE. This website strongly encourages answers supported by references. You can always edit your question to add some. Thanks!
    – Lucky
    Commented Oct 26, 2015 at 2:14

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