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Friday, March 7, 2014
Smoking and Tobacco
Smoking and tobacco
How does smoking cause asthma all the time?
You can still have asthma even if you don't smoke. Asthma is a chronic inflammation (swelling/narrowing) of the airways with an increased secretion of mucus in the airway. The narrowed airway is responsible for the difficulty in breathing with the familiar "wheeze." Asthma can be a life-threatening disease if not properly managed.
According to the American Lung Association, asthma is caused by an increased reaction of the airways to various stimuli (triggers). Triggers range from viral infections to allergies, to irritating gases and particles in the air. Each person reacts differently to the factors that may trigger asthma, including:
- respiratory infections, colds
- cigarette smoke
- allergic reactions to such allergens as pollen, mold, animal dander, feather, dust, food, and cockroaches
- indoor and outdoor air pollutants, including ozone
- vigorous exercise
- exposure to cold air or sudden temperature change
- Lung function declines faster than average in people with asthma, particularly in people who smoke and in those with excessive mucus production (an indicator of poor treatment control).
In 2003 it was estimated that 20 million Americans currently have asthma. Of these, 11 million Americans (4 million children under 18) had an asthma attack.
An excellent website to refer to is the American Lung Association: www.lungusa.org
Kathy Vesha, RN, BSN, MA
The Ohio State University