Asthma control & prevention through quitting smoking

July 5, 2011

If you have asthma, quitting smoking is a great idea. Medical experts have known for a long time that smoking is a big risk factor for asthma — both being a smoker, as well as being exposed to secondhand smoke.

Smoking is bad news for people who have asthma or for children who have parents who smoke. Both smoking or being exposed to secondhand smoke have been proven to increase the risk of developing asthma, as well as to trigger asthma symptoms in susceptible people.
- The effects of smoking on asthma
Tobacco smoke is the most crucial indoor irritant in your environment related to triggering asthma symptoms, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health.
The NHLBI goes on to say that asthma patients should not smoke or be exposed to passive tobacco smoke.
Studies show that being exposed to tobacco smoke leads to the following: - Decreased lung function - Increased need for asthma medicine - More frequent absences from school and work
Perhaps worse is the fact that being exposed to maternal smoking is a strong risk factor for babies developing asthma.
- Smoking and Teens
Research in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine strongly suggests that teens who smoke at least 300 cigarettes a year also increase their risk for developing asthma — by as much as 4 times.
More than 2,600 children between the ages of 8 and 15 who were initially asthma-free were followed for 5 to 8 years in this study.
Those who smoked regularly were four times as likely to develop asthma in the next 8 years as those who didn't smoke. This risk doubled if their mothers had also smoked while pregnant with them.
So, if you are the parent of a teenager, it's important to do everything you can to help prevent them from starting to smoke.
Quitting smoking starts with you, by the way. Be sure you have the facts and protect your child.
- Help for quitting smoking
Do you smoke? If so, quitting smoking can be one of the best actions you can take if you have asthma. Or, if you are a parent of a child with asthma or live with someone who has asthma, your quitting smoking is something they will benefit from as well.
Our Quit Smoking section on has many helpful articles, strategies, and resources to help you quit smoking. Expect to see positive results right away.
Seeing how much better you or your children feel when you quit smoking can be quite a motivator.
You can also get help with quitting smoking from a joint effort from the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI), the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Center for Child Health Research, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Children's National Medical Center (CNMC).
Their aim is to reduce secondhand tobacco smoke exposure of children. They list a number of quit smoking resources you may want to explore.
(Source: asthma.about)