Most asthmatics are sure that the causes of their illness are caused by allergic reactions and unfavorable environmental conditions, excluding the influence of bad habits or not paying special attention to them. Smoking in asthma is one of the factors that provoke an exacerbation of the disease, hinder the work of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems and accelerate the development of irreversible pathological changes. Getting rid of nicotine addiction can significantly improve the well-being of a sick person and reduce the frequency of attacks, but continuing to smoke, an asthmatic person not only reduces the effectiveness of the treatment, but also puts his own life at risk.
Can I smoke with asthma?
The negative effect of nicotine on the body is described in sufficient detail in the scientific literature. The authors of the conducted studies point to the possible consequences of a bad habit and advise to get rid of the addiction as soon as possible. The danger of smoking in bronchial asthma has been proven by laboratory and clinical experiments, and also follows from the peculiarities of the pathogenesis of the disease and the effect of nicotine on the smoker’s body.
Reasons why asthmatics should not smoke:
- Nicotine enhances sputum production, as a result of which the lumen of the airways narrows, oxygen delivery to the lungs becomes difficult and signs of hypoxia develop. Due to lack of air, tissue metabolism suffers, the body is under increased stress. Tobacco smoke is a strong chemical irritant and can provoke an allergic reaction, which in asthmatics is expressed in attacks of a suffocating cough. It doesn’t matter how the allergen enters the respiratory tract. It has been proven that secondhand smokers often suffer from the effects of nicotine as well as smokers. Many sources mention that it is possible to get rid of the harmful effects if, instead of ordinary cigarettes, use electronic counterparts or a hookah. It is these devices that advertisers recommend for patients with bronchial asthma. This statement has no scientific justification, since nicotine, passed through a liquid or entering the body in the form of vapor when smoking vapes , remains the same chemical and does not change the principle of action in any way.
- Bronchial asthma is a disease in which pathological changes in the bronchi lead to increased swelling and increased mucus production. As a result, a state of respiratory failure develops, which is aggravated by the influence of allergens and chemical compounds. These are the consequences for the smoker. Smoking ordinary or electronic cigarettes, vapes , hookah or pipe leads to an accelerated production of mucus, and also supplies the body with the strongest poisons, which together contributes to an increase in the frequency of attacks of bronchial asthma and accelerates the course of pathological processes.
Asthmatics suffering from the genetic form of the disease should also give up the bad habit. The mechanism of occurrence of bronchial asthma in them is due to heredity, but the pathogenesis of the changes occurring in the bronchi is no different from other types of the disease. The harm of smoking can be traced both during an exacerbation, when the attacks become more severe and more frequent, and during remission, which is accompanied by symptoms of respiratory failure and hypoxia in people who smoke.
Why smoking is prohibited in asthma
A dangerous addiction to nicotine is the cause of heart disease, lungs, gastrointestinal tract, blood, smokers often suffer from neurological disorders, complain of hormonal disruptions and disorders in the genitourinary system. The harm that smoking causes to the body is difficult to overestimate, and it is especially important for patients with bronchial asthma to quit the bad habit as soon as possible. Modern techniques help to give up cigarettes. You can try to smoke fewer cigarettes, use patches, take pills or see a psychologist, but the main key to success is a strong desire to get rid of addiction forever and stay healthy.
The effect of smoking on the work of the bronchi and lungs
Nicotine leads to a decrease in tissue elasticity, which is why people who smoke are more likely to develop diseases such as pulmonary emphysema or pneumosclerosis. Violation of the permeability of the bronchial mucosa and increased sputum production also negatively affects the condition of the smoker, and in bronchial asthma, these pathological changes are often the cause of increased frequency of attacks and the occurrence of asthmatic status.
Deterioration of immunity
Long-term exposure to the chemicals in tobacco smoke can weaken the immune system. The bronchial mucosa in patients with bronchial asthma is thinned due to constant irritation with sputum, therefore, inflammatory reactions develop faster than in healthy people. A common cold or flu virus in asthmatic smokers often leads to complications – bronchitis or pneumonia, and against the background of low immunity, these diseases are more severe.
Respiratory diseases are closely related to pathologies of the heart and blood vessels. Long-term hypoxia, from which patients with bronchial asthma suffer, against the background of smoking progresses rapidly and leads not only to respiratory, but also to heart failure. Constant shortness of breath, fluctuations in blood pressure and pulse, changes in blood composition – all these violations lead to irreversible consequences and threaten human life. If an asthmatic person continues to smoke, he will face diseases such as stroke, heart attack, intermittent claudication, which can cause disability or death.
Secondhand smoke and asthma
Together with nicotine, heavy metal compounds, carcinogens and volatile mixtures contained in tobacco smoke enter the human body. People who smoke receive a large dose of these substances, so it is much easier to trace the relationship between a bad habit and the development of diseases, including bronchial asthma. Passive smoking is harmful in that the consequences of the toxic effects of chemicals are determined only when a sufficient concentration of poison is accumulated in the tissues. Prolonged stay in a smoky room and inhalation of poisoned air can be the reason for the development of an uncontrollable attack of bronchial asthma – status asthma. Blockage of respiratory receptors and obstruction of the bronchi leads to the fact that the usual drugs used by asthmatics cannot penetrate the tissues and do not help to stop a coughing attack. This condition poses a serious threat to a patient with bronchial asthma and can lead to death.
Passive smoking is also dangerous because a non-smoker inhales concentrated vapors of chemical compounds to which his body is not accustomed. The smoker gradually saturates the tissues with toxic substances and develops resistance to them, which people without a bad habit do not have. Patients with bronchial asthma may face the consequences of passive smoking of cigarettes or vapes on the street, at work, in public institutions, therefore, knowing about the negative effects of tobacco smoke, they must take care of their own safety. It is good if it is possible to avoid exposure to toxic substances and go out into fresh air. In the event that this is difficult, doctors recommend taking medicine in advance for prevention or at the first symptoms of an onset of an attack of suffocation.