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Does smoking cause asthma? and is taking albuterol daily as a substitute for asthma medication dangerous in the long term?

By March 9, 2009 - 7:40pm
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EmpowHER Guest

Indeed smoking is one of the major Causes of Asthma amongst young adults. When a person inhales tobacco smoke, irritating substances settle in the moist lining of the airways. These substances can cause an attack in a person who has asthma.

In addition, tobacco smoke damages tiny hair-like structures in the airways called cilia. Normally, cilia sweep dust and mucus out of the airways. Tobacco smoke damages cilia so they are unable to work, allowing dust and mucus to accumulate in the airways.

Smoke also causes the lungs to make more mucus than normal. As a result, even more mucus can build up in the airways, triggering an attack.

February 21, 2011 - 10:20pm

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory condition of the lungs and airway, and smoking causes inflammation of the lungs and airway...sounds like a strong association to me! The official, carved-in-stone cause of asthma is unknown, but there are several combinations of environmental, genetic and lifestyle factors that can lead to asthma, including smog, smoking, and heredity. You can read more bout asthma at EmpowHer's Asthma medical encyclopedia

Are you asking if someone without asthma can develop this condition by smoking? I do not believe there have been any scientific studies proving this very fact, but it does seem very likely, as Coach Virginia mentioned, smoking causes inflammation, and is an allergen in itself. Asthma is defined by a declining in lung function, and this decline happens more rapidly in people who smoke and in those with excessive mucus production (an indicator of poor treatment control). (Source: American Lung Association).

An important note: having asthma is one thing, but then controlling it is another important factor. A person would not be said to properly "controlling" their asthma if they smoke, and would indeed by exacerbating the symptoms, which can be life threatening. Additionally, asthma symptoms can cause severe shortness of breath and low levels of oxygen in the blood; smoking also causes the depletion of oxygen in the blood and shortness of breath...a scary combination.

You can learn more about asthma and albuterol at these resources below:
- Albuterol, MedlinePlus
- Asthma Fact Sheet, American Lung Association
- What is Asthma?, American Lung Association

March 10, 2009 - 2:17pm
(reply to Alison Beaver)

Hi Alison,

You bring up so many true points and I appreciate that.
Thank you for the valuable information and I must say, it was SO helpful!!


March 10, 2009 - 6:14pm

Dear MakavellianRose, you pose a good question and hope to provide you with a good answer. There are many triggers to asthma, smoking is one of them. Asthma presents with a combination of problems in the lungs, bronchial muscle spasms, swelling of the mucus lining, and increase mucus production. Asthma attacks are triggered by many allergens and/or environmental irritants. I put cigarettes in this category so my answer will be a BIG YES!, smoking could very well be a trigger to asthma attacks or make matters worse. Allopathic medicine treats asthmatic conditions with albuterol and other similar inhalers. The FDA has determined these drugs are safe to use on a long term basis but a while ago, there were rumors that inhaler production was going to be eliminated as air borne particles of this type of drugs were being sent into the air thus causing damage to the Ozone. I am not sure what came about this plan. If you want to learn more about the effects of inhalers such as albuterol, I suggest you visit this site additional information http://www.emedtv.com/articles-a-to-z-page-6.html

March 9, 2009 - 9:28pm
(reply to Coach Virginia)

Dear Coach Virginia,

Thank you so much for the valuable information and you are correct about certain inhalers causing damage to the ozone so now I get a new version which is much smaller and much more potent.


March 10, 2009 - 6:12pm
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