Read this fact sheet for teens about smoking and asthma, courtesy of Greenwich Hospital/Yale New Haven Health.
It is easier to never start smoking than to try to stop.
You may remember family photos showing your parents, aunts, or uncles smoking. At that time, smoking was a more frequent habit. Today, we are more familiar with the hazards of smoking and how bad it is for our health.
Even with this information, some people still continue to smoke. Why is this? Once you start smoking it is very hard to quit because the nicotine in tobacco is very addicting. This means that your body becomes so used to the nicotine that you have to continue smoking just to feel normal.
Smoking and asthma are a bad combination.
You probably know that smoking leads to cancer, but do you know the health hazards with smoking when you have asthma? Smoking is very risky because of the damage that it does to your lungs. It increases the number of asthma flare-ups you may have and it makes breathing very hard.
When you have asthma, smoking will make you cough and wheeze more, and feel more short of breath. The smoke is very irritating to your airways and it makes them swollen and more narrow. It also causes your body to make more mucus that becomes very sticky and clogs your airways.
You may also cough more at night, which disturbs your sleep. You may have problems breathing during sports or other activities. You will probably need to use your rescue inhalers more, and all of this leads to asthma flare-ups with more frequent trips to the doctor or hospital emergency room.
If other people around you smoke...
You may find yourself around family, friends, and other people who do smoke. It is important to let them know how cigarette smoke makes your breathing harder and your asthma worse.
Tell others not to smoke in your bedroom, house, or car. It is your air and your health. You want to prevent as many asthma flare-ups as you can and you want to keep your asthma under control. You can't do either of these if you smoke or if you are around second-hand smoke.
Provided courtesy of Greenwich Hospital/Yale New Haven Health. For patient fact sheets see their website at www.greenhosp.org and click on Patients & Visitors, then Patient Education.