I recommend talking to a Gastroenterologist and mentioning if it could be an Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn's Syndrome, Diverticulitis Colitis).
You also need to take into consideration the effects of smoking on lungs and esophagus.
An Inflammatory Bowel Disease might affect the whole digestive system, but it might just be two different diseases found together.
Not to forget, that it might just be an Infectious Disease of some sort. That's why you probably will need to see a few Specialists (Gastroenterology, Infectious Diseases, Hematology, ENT) - talk it out with your Physician.
Hope you find out what it is and that your husband will get better!