Smoking cigarettes may cause Crohn's disease, a new study confirms.
For the first time, researchers found exposure to chemicals in tobacco may increase the risk of developing the agonising condition.
South Korean scientists discovered mice who inhaled cigarette smoke showed signs of intestinal inflammation - a sign of Crohn's disease.
Cigarette smoking activates specific white blood cells in the lung, which might later move to the colon, triggering bowel inflammation, they found.
It provides another reason for smokers to give up the notoriously bad habit, along with their increased risk of lung cancer and heart disease.
New treatments, or even a cure, for the debilitating bowel condition may be in the horizon due to the breakthrough findings.