Bronchial asthma and addiction to smoking: the consequences of a bad habit

Asthma and smoking are incompatible concepts. Nicotine vapors negatively affect the entire body, especially the respiratory system. Toxins from tobacco smoke are strong allergens and cause irreversible changes in the lungs and bronchi.

In addition, the production of mucus increases, which impairs the functioning of the respiratory system. Answering the question whether it is possible to smoke with asthma, it is worth noting that this habit harms both the patient himself and the people around him.

Causes and symptoms of bronchial asthma

Bronchial asthma is a chronic respiratory disease. With this disease, periods of remission and asthma attacks alternate with bronchospasm . The disease is characterized by the degeneration of the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract with an increase in the reactivity of the bronchi. With frequent colds and allergic reactions, the walls of the airways thicken, the lumen narrows, the mucus becomes more viscous, thereby preventing gas exchange.

Bronchial asthma attacks are often associated with the exposure of the patient to an allergen. Due to the increased sensitivity of the mucous membranes, the respiratory system instantly reacts to the pathogen with bronchodilator . The initial stage of the development of the disease is described as a cough with insignificant sputum production, shortness of breath, headache, deterioration of general well-being with further increase in frequency and intensification of attacks. The cough becomes strong and cannot be stopped with conventional drugs, shortness of breath increases, wheezing occurs, and inhalation becomes difficult. The duration and consequences of an attack may vary, but more often it lasts from a few minutes to an hour.

The main cause of the onset of the disease is considered precisely the allergic reaction with hypersensitivity of the immune system. The most common triggers are viruses, fungi, bacteria, dust, pollen, animal hair. In childhood, frequent colds and genetic predisposition can provoke the disease. In adults, the reason lies in the chronicity of pathologies and sluggish inflammatory processes leading to the degeneration of bronchial tissues. For example, smoking cannot cause bronchial asthma at once, but it can create all the conditions for its development in the future.

At the initial stages, the manifestations of asthma in smokers do not differ from those typical for other patients, the difference is only in the number of attacks. The appearing changes in the bronchi during smoking in bronchial asthma gradually aggravate the course of the pathology. The mucus becomes thicker, the cleansing of the respiratory apparatus is disturbed, and the patient’s condition deteriorates sharply.

The relationship between smoking and asthma

It is impossible to get directly sick with bronchial asthma from smoking. But with long-term preservation of the bad habit, the risk of developing pathology in smokers doubles. Instant death from asthma does not occur, patients suffer all their lives, and smoking in this case only increases the symptoms and prevents long-term remission.  

The patient can suffer from attacks not only because of his own smoking, but also if he is in the company of smokers and only inhales fumes.

The effect of smoking on the bronchopulmonary system

Because of asthma and smoking, the entire breathing apparatus suffers. Under the influence of pathology in asthmatics, there is a thickening of the walls of the bronchi, a narrowing of the lumen and thickening of mucus. Cigarettes for asthma only add viscosity to the secretion. The lower parts of the lungs and the ciliated epithelium are completely filled with this substance. The ciliated epithelium degrades and the hairs die off. The walls of the lungs lose elasticity and atrophy. The cleansing function is impaired, and any contamination freely penetrates the bronchi, which provokes severe coughing and choking.

Asthmatics are particularly affected by the tobacco smoke of flavored cigarettes, since not only the tar contained in it, but also additional odors provoke a strong allergic reaction. They are also carcinogenic.

When smoked, asthma is more pronounced. Cigarette smoke irritates the mucous membranes, which triggers an attack. Exposure to tobacco products lowers the local immunity of the upper respiratory tract, which increases the risk of infection and the development of respiratory diseases.

Nicotine tar contained in tobacco smoke, even after one smoked cigarette, pollutes the air for two days. At the same time, airing is ineffective. The variety of complications and consequences of smoking in people with asthma should be a reason to reconsider the lifestyle and quit smoking. At the same time, passive smoking has even more harm than active smoking.

Implications of smoking for asthmatics

Smoking for asthma is an unacceptable combination. The consequences of smoking in bronchial asthma can be very dire. Tobacco addiction provokes attacks that are difficult to control. Even secondhand smoke is harmful. The smoke exhaled by a smoker with particles of mucus and microorganisms is released into the environment, and then, when inhaled, it settles on the mucous membranes of the surrounding area, provoking infection and inflammation.

Smoking in asthma nicotine affects the effectiveness of drugs against the disease. Due to increased metabolism, they practically cease to perform their direct functions and do not help the patient. This makes it harder to manage seizures, which can lead to asthma from smoking. The patient has to significantly increase the dose of drugs to achieve the result.

Due to the irreversible consequences, prolonged smoking in bronchial asthma is fraught with the development of pneumosclerosis and pulmonary emphysema. Respiratory failure occurs, the nervous and cardiovascular systems fail.

When asked whether people who smoke with asthma can develop a disease of the digestive system, it should be noted that the risk is high. Smoking triggers gastroesophageal reflux, gastric juice is thrown into the esophagus, and sometimes even penetrates the bronchi, provoking an attack.

Ways to get rid of a bad habit

Treatment of asthma and smoking primarily involves getting rid of the bad habit, as if it is present, attacks become more frequent and difficult to control. Disease therapy includes getting rid of allergic inflammation and bronchial dilation.

Smoking against the background of bronchial asthma provokes a narrowing of the bronchi, and they become clogged with mucus. And nicotine not only causes addiction, but also acts as a powerful allergen and provokes an inflammatory process.

To quit an addiction, a person himself must realize the need for this measure, otherwise no doctor and rehabilitation centers will be able to help him. You can stop smoking both abruptly and gradually. But, given the possible stress for the body, it is better to give up nicotine not immediately.

At first, the number of cigarettes remains the same, but only half of them should be smoked. After a few weeks, you can begin to reduce the number of smoke breaks. When the number of cigarettes per day reaches 1-2 pieces, you can completely say goodbye to the habit.

It is important to note that it is impossible to increase the intensity of smoke intake, at the time of restructuring of the body, this often happens involuntarily. The patient, trying to get the usual dose of nicotine, inhales the smoke more and keeps it in the lungs longer.

At the initial stage of adaptation, the symptoms of the disease may become brighter, and the condition of the asthmatic often worsens, therefore, during the period of quitting smoking, it is necessary to monitor the course of the pathology with a specialist. To facilitate this period, the doctor may suggest psychotherapy, hypnosis, acupuncture, special tablets and chewing gums, and skin applicators. The main thing is not to return to the addiction even if you feel worse.


To the question: is it possible for patients with asthma to smoke, the answer of doctors is unequivocal – asthma and nicotine addiction are incompatible. This bad habit not only takes money away, but also worsens the condition of the asthmatic.

Changes in the bronchi intensify the symptoms and complicate the course of pathology, nullifying all therapeutic measures. It takes at least 5-10 years to restore the body after smoking, even if the addiction is a thing of the past.

event_note March 17, 2021

account_box Kroll

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *