Smoking and Asthma
Did you know that smoking cigarettes can make your asthma worse? It also turns your teeth yellow, gives you bad breath, and makes you smell like an ashtray. There are also deadly diseases like cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, stroke, and heart disease that are directly linked to smoking. You have lots of good reasons never to start smoking or to quit smoking if you already smoke.
Effect on airways
When you have asthma, your air tubes (bronchial tubes) react to things that bother them by swelling, squeezing tighter, and producing mucus. It's harder for air to get through the narrowed tubes. That's why you have trouble breathing during an asthma attack. Cigarette smoke can set off this reaction. Breathing in the smoke can make you cough, wheeze, and feel short of breath.
Just say no!
You might think you can stop smoking whenever you want. But it's not that easy. Cigarettes contain nicotine. Nicotine is a powerful drug. You can become addicted to it. And that can make it hard to stop smoking. Besides nicotine, cigarette smoke contains more than 7,000 other chemicals. Many of them are poisonous. The chemical that stains teeth yellow is called tar. If tar does that to your teeth, imagine what it does to your lungs. Smoking can make your breath smell bad and can cause wrinkles later on.
Here are more reasons to steer clear of cigarettes:
Smoking spoils sports. Smoking makes it hard for oxygen to get to your muscles. This can affect how well you do in sports. People who smoke tend to run slower than nonsmokers. And they can't run as far.
Smoking harms your health. It narrows your blood vessels. This makes your heart work harder. Smoking also causes many types of cancer. And it can cause heart disease and stroke.
Smoking causes sickness. You're more likely to catch colds and the flu if you smoke. And it may take longer to get better when you're sick.
Smoking dulls your senses. It makes it hard to taste and smell things. You won't enjoy your favorite foods as much.
Smoking costs money. Don't let your money—and your health—go up in smoke. Make your body a smoke-free zone!
- Kolbus, Karin, RN, DNP, COHN-S
- newMentor board-certified, academically affiliated clinician