Smoke and Have Asthma? Here's 20 Incentives to Quit!

by John Bottrell Health Professional

So you've come to terms with the fact you have asthma,
yet you continue to smoke.
Even if you've tried quitting a hundred times, what follows are
20 incentives for you to never quit quitting.

  1. Studies show that smoking has several irritants that increase the thickness of the air passages in asthmatic lungs, and increases the number of cells that produce mucous. This may explain why asthmatics who smoke experience increased asthma symptoms "such as increased shortness of breath and increased phlegm production."The study showed that quitting smoking can reverse this thickness. Likewise, the study revealed that it does not matter how many years you smoked or how much you smoked. If you quit, your lung function will improve.

  2. Studies show that chronic inflammation caused by smoking irritants can actually lead to adult onset asthma.

  3. Smoking itself is an asthma trigger that can cause asthma exacerbations now and in the future, and can make ongoing asthma attacks worse.

4. The asthma guidelines from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute note the #1 cause of severe asthma is smoking.

5. Likewise, according to "Egan's Fundamentals of Respiratory Care," 15-70% of those with COPD also have "reactive airways," which is asthma. So, if you continue smoking, you might move right into an even worse disease category.

6. It's a fallacy that asthma goes away with age. So, if you used to have asthma and smoke because you think you no longer have asthma (like former child asthmatics in denial), you are at an increased risk of developing severe asthma.

7. According to the Asthma Initiative of Mighican, smoke filled rooms can have up to six times the air pollution as a busy highway.

  1. The American Lung Association (ALA) notes smoking is associated with 90% of lung cancer deaths, and it's also significantly increases your risk for heart disease, stroke and harms nearly every organ in your body. It's also associated with a host of other cancers and diseases.

  2. Your smoking is dangerous to your your family members, friends and coworkers who inhale your second hand smoke. Even short-term exposure can potentially increase the risk of heart attacks and lung cancer.

  3. Smoking around children increases the risk of lower respiratory tract infections like Respiratory Syncitial Virus (RSV) and bronchiolitis, which can lead to hospitalization and even death.

11. Second hand smoke has also been linked with increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

  1. Second hand smoke can cause an asthmatic to have an asthma attack. Likewise, it can actually cause healthy children to develop asthma.

13. Believe it or not, third hand smoke has also been linked to disease. This is the residue of cigarette chemicals that are left on your clothes, your furniture, and carpet. This can be inhaled even if a person hasn't smoked in the room for days.

14. The ALA notes there are over 4,800 chemicals in cigarettes, 69 of which are known to cause lung cancer via 1st, 2nd and 3rd hand smoke. Some of these chemicals include: Arsenic, Acetic Acid, acetone, Ammonia, Benzene, Butane, Cadmium, Carbon Monoxide, Ethanol, Formaldehyde, Hydrazine, Hexamine, Hydrogen Cyanide, Lead, Methane, Methanol, Naphthalene, Nickel, Nicotine, Phenol, Polonium, Steric Acid, Styrene, Tar, and Toluene.

According to this brochure from the Michigan Department of Community Health, here's the
good news about quitting smoking:
as soon as you quit smoking your body starts to fix itself.

Consider the following:

15. Within hours after you stop smoking, your carbon monoxide level falls to normal and the oxygen in your blood increases.

  1. One day after you stop smoking your risk for heart attack starts to go down.

17. Two days after you stop smoking your nerve endings start to repair themselves so your senses of taste and smell start to return to normal.

  1. Two weeks after you quit smoking your lungs are working 30% better than before you quit.

  2. Within 1-9 months lung function continues to improve, cough, sinus congestion, fatigue and shortness of breath all decrease as your lungs regain normal function

  3. Within one year your risk of heart disease is cut in half, and within 15 years your risk of stroke, lung cancer and heart disease are that of a person who never smoked, and you can consider yourself fully healed.

So, now that you're ready to quit smoking, you can learn about the latest methods of quitting here.

Good luck.

John Bottrell
Meet Our Writer
John Bottrell

John Bottrell is a registered Respiratory Therapist. He wrote for HealthCentral as a health professional for Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).