Things that make your allergies or asthma worse are called triggers. Smoking is a trigger for many people who have asthma. It is important to know your triggers because avoiding them is your first step toward controlling your asthma.
You do not have to be a smoker for smoking to cause harm. Exposure to someone else's smoking (called secondhand smoke) is a trigger for asthma attacks in children and adults.
Smoking weakens the lungs. When you have asthma and you smoke, your lungs will weaken more rapidly. Smoking around children with asthma will weaken their lungs, too.
If you smoke
If you smoke, ask your doctor or nurse to help you quit. There are many ways to quit smoking. List the reasons why you want to quit. Then set a quit date. Many people need to try quitting more than once. Keep trying if you do not succeed at first.
Devereux G, Matsui EA, Burney PGJ. Epidemiology of asthma and allergic airway diseases. In: Adkinson NF Jr., Bochner BS, Burks AW, et al., eds. Middleton's Allergy Principles and Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2013:chap 48.
Denis Hadjiliadis, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.