Smoking & Asthma
Everyone knows the perils of smoking. According to the American lung association’s web site (lungusa.org) over 438,000 American lives are lost each year due to smoking related deaths and smoking is the most important source of preventable morbidity… worldwide.
That said, the complications and repercussions of the asthmatic smoker are too numerable to mention. To complicate matters even further and (hopefully) push you away from smoking whether or not you’re asthmatic, smoking is often responsible for the onset of asthma symptoms and should be avoided at all costs!
The fact is that tobacco smoke can be a trigger, even secondhand. Despite the fact that walking down the street, outside of restaurants or bars, in public gatherings, and just about everywhere else, smoking is everywhere, there are steps you can take to avoid your exposure.
You’re, of course, not supposed to just stay locked away in a box if you’re an asthmatic. But new laws in cities and towns recognizing the debilitating effects of cigarettes are on your side; they’re creating a literal loop-de-loop of hurdles to stand in the way of a few trying to ruin the party for everyone. Meanwhile, there are some preventable steps you should take to make your journey a lot easier.
The law: In major cities across the country and in bars and restaurants, smoking has evolved from a commonplace thing, to a ‘outside ten feet of the front door’ thing. All over, in cities and towns, on the ground and in the air, smoking is on the outs. On all major US airlines, smoking is prohibited; even the US House of Representatives took steps to eliminate smoking in the Capitol. In your hometown, make sure you know the law and make sure it’s enforced. While traveling, find out about your destination city and the policies and practices therein.
Your reaction: Tobacco smoke, even secondhand smoke, can trigger asthma. If you suffer from asthma you can curtail your exposure to second hand smoke by not allowing it in your home, car, or anywhere else you spend a lot of time. Don’t hang out with your buddy while he gets one last drag, wait for him inside, and don’t be afraid to stand up to your friends who are just trying to make life shorter for themselves. Come up with witty banter to get you out of situations if you’d feel to bossy telling them what not to do. Just do something! Act up, for your life. Know yourself. Know how greatly it affects you and avoid situations where it’s likely to be a problem.
Asthmatic Smoker: The sad fact is that smoking is an addiction. Even for the serious sufferer, they are sometimes too dependent on the nicotine to quit. Talk to people: your friends, your family, your doctor, your pastor. Find any outlet you can where you can get the support you need. Smoking is a serious problem that should be handled as such. Nicotine patches, therapy, counseling, all are good options for a better tomorrow.
Don’t wait until tomorrow. Get help now. The scary fact about cigarette smoking, especially for the asthmatic, is that every breath could be your last.