|Somtimes I get an asthma attack from
cigarettes,and other times not.Im wondering if
the difference is in me or in the kind of smoke
from different cigarettes?Can you help with this
question? Thanks for your help.
|Question Date: 1999-01-25|
I wasn't sure about this question, so I asked a
friend of mine who is studying to be a doctor.
She told me that you are right, the difference
could be either you or the type of cigarette. You
could eventually find out what types of cigarettes
are more likely to bring on an attack and avoid
them and the people who smoke them.
Just a guess, but different manufactures put
different chemicals into cigarettes.You could very
easily be sensitive to one of the chemicals that
they use...or gets changed after burning. You
should watch what brand effects you. You may
never know which chemical it is, since the
chemical make-up of the cigarettes is considered
propitiatory information (ie. they won't release
it--company secret), but this may change since a
lot of lawsuits are being filed against the
Cigarette industry. Keep your eyes open and maybe
somebody will publish.
Good question! You noticed a pattern and came up
with 2 hypotheses to explain it. Let's start with
what causes asthma. Asthma can have different
causes, such as allergies, infection, or an
irritant like smog or cigarette smoke. What
happens is that the bronchioles (the tubes that
carry air to the deepest part of the lungs) get
smaller. This is probably a way for the lungs to
protect themselves from whatever nasty things are
around. Whether you have an asthma attack at a
particular time may depend on what's going on in
your body. All cigarette smoke is bad in the same
way. It contains "tar" and nicotine along with
other chemicals caused by burning the tobacco,
paper, glue, and the pesticides and fertilizers
that were sprayed on the tobacco as it
Given that smoking has been proven to
be so bad, why do you think people still
This site has more information on
the link between smoking and
site is pretty technical, but with your teacher's
help, you should be able to understand it
In addition to the fact that different cigarettes
have different chemicals in them that you may be
more sensitive to, you could have a changing
sensitivity to all cigarettes in general. For
example, some days your asthma may be more easily
triggered in general, not just by cigarettes and
other days your asthma is not so easily triggered.
This could be due to fluctuations in hormones
that your body produces naturally or environmental
factors that you are unaware of. Environmental
factors may include things you are allergic to,
pollens, dust, molds, etc. these allergens will
commonly cause/aggravate asthma.
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