Understanding Risks

Asthma and Second–hand Smoke

Smoking is a habit that's seen as a scourge around the world in terms of overall health, and that's for good reason. Smoking is as harmful to a person as any habit in existence, and those who smoke during their lifetimes tend to live shorter lives than those who don't. When it comes to asthma, smoking is obviously as harmful as any activity for someone who has this disease, but what's being discovered now is that secondhand smoke also presents an extreme danger to asthma patients.

Below is a brief look at the issue of secondhand smoke as it relates to asthma, and if you are fighting this disease, you need to take whatever steps are necessary to eliminate secondhand smoke from your life as much as you possibly can.


What is Secondhand Smoke?

Secondhand smoke is smoke that is inhaled by those who are not directly inhaling tobacco smoke. Secondhand smoke has also come to be known by other names, including passive smoke and environmental tobacco smoke, and it's been the subject of innumerable studies by several different entities.

What these studies have concluded is that secondhand smoke can contain as many as 4,000 different chemicals in every breath, many of which are not only known carcinogens, meaning cancer-causing agents, but also dangerous asthma triggers. Additionally, secondhand smoke travels farther than just a few feet from the person who is smoking. It can penetrate any opening and travel throughout any structure.

Secondhand Smoke and Asthma

Clearly, the presence of any smoke in the atmosphere that's being used by someone with asthma is dangerous. The reasons are many, and in the short-term, the imminent danger is that this smoke will trigger an attack. Those who have asthma have lung tissue that's already more sensitive than that of others, and it does not take more than a breath or two to potentially trigger an attack.

In the long-term, more asthma attacks over the course of a lifetime can lead to a premature breakdown of lung tissues in an asthma patient, and this risk does not even include the potential for developing the same conditions as other smokers, including COPD, emphysema and lung cancer.

In short, if you are around secondhand smoke regularly either at home or in the workplace, work to eliminate it. Try to get the smoker or smokers to quit, and if you must deal with it at work, avoid areas where people smoke at all costs.