Cigarette smoke contains a number of toxic chemicals and irritants. People with allergies and asthma may be more sensitive to cigarette smoke than other people, and research studies indicate that smoking may aggravate asthma.
Smoking does not just harm smokers but also those around them. Research has shown that children and spouses of smokers tend to have more respiratory infections and asthma than those of non-smokers. In addition, exposure to secondhand smoke can increase the risk of complications such as sinusitis and bronchitis.
Common symptoms of smoke irritation are burning or watery eyes, nasal congestion, coughing, hoarseness and shortness-of-breath.
Created by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Updated and modified by A.D.A.M., Inc. Image copyright A.D.A.M., Inc.
Reviewed By: David A. Kaufman, MD, Section Chief, Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine, Bridgeport Hospital-Yale New Haven Health System, and Assistant Clinical Professor, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Previously reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. (6/18/2008)