The Bottom Line On Smoking & Asthma

african american woman blowing out cigarette smokeSecondhand smoke is bad for everyone’s health, but even worse for the millions of children and adults with asthma: If you have asthma, any exposure to cigarette smoke can lead to an asthma attack, and frequent exposure to cigarette smoke can make asthma symptoms even worse.

Cigarettes do not cause asthma, in the sense that people don’t become allergic to cigarette smoke but contact with cigarette smoke either by actively smoking or through secondhand exposure can trigger asthma symptoms. An asthma attack occurs when your airways become irritated and inflamed. Cigarette smoke is one item on a long list of potential asthma triggers.

Smoking and Asthma

Though many airborne pollutants can trigger an asthma attack, cigarette smoke is especially dangerous. The single most important environmental factor that can make asthma worse is tobacco smoke.