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Acne and smoking: is there a relationship?

Alireza Firooz1*, Reza Sarhangnejad1, Seyyed Massoud Davoudi2 and Mansour Nassiri-Kashani1

Author affiliations

1 Center for Research & Training in Skin Diseases & Leprosy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, 79 Taleghani Avenue, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Dermatology, Baghiat-Allah University of Medical Sciences, Mollasadra Avenue, Tehran, Iran

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Citation and License

BMC Dermatology 2005, 5:2  doi:10.1186/1471-5945-5-2

Published: 24 March 2005



There are contradictory reports on the relationship between acne vulgaris and cigarette smoking. The objective of this study was to examine the relation between acne and cigarette smoking in a case-control study.


A questionnaire on smoking habits was offered to 350 patients with acne vulgaris and 350 patients suffering from skin diseases other than acne, aged 15 – 40 years, attending in a skin clinic in Tehran, Iran. The patients completed the questionnaires anonymously in the waiting room.


Two hundred and ninety-three patients with acne (response rate 83.7 %) and 301 patients with other skin diseases (response rate 86.0 %) completed the questionnaires. Twelve acne patients (4.1 %) and 27 control patients (9.0 %) were current smokers (odds ratio = 0.43, 95% confidence limits 0.22 – 0.87, p < 0.05). But after adjustment for sex, this difference was not significant (odds ratio: 0.61, 95% CI: 0.30–1.26, p > 0.05, Mantel-Haenszel test).


An association between acne and cigarette smoking was not found in this study.