Asthma UK community forum
9,865 members16,628 posts

Asthma Third Hand Smoke/Cigarette sensitivity - Any help is appreciated :)

Hello, I am new to this site. I just did a search on Asthma Support and this is the first thing that came up. I searched this out of desperation. I have had asthma my entire life. It has been at stages where I have gone into respiratory arrest and it has had it's years of being undetectable. I have mostly been in control of it for the bulk of my adult life by controlling triggers and strengthening my immune system. I am now in a dilemma. I live with my husband who smokes. I seem to have developed an extreme sensitivity to it. He goes outside to smoke but, the traces are still left around the house by the residues stuck to/in him and the flow of air coming inside from his smoking area outside of the windows on one part of our house. It seems to be getting stronger and I am reacting very badly to it. I have more asthma attacks than usual and countless other symptoms with airway irritation and chronic infections to name a few. He is really trying and does not understand why I am so sensitive that even his smoking outside/on the side of the house is affecting me. It's even to the point that I start coughing, choking and wheezing if I am near him or where he usually sits. My appreciation to all that post a response. Cheers!

Thanks so much to everyone!!!!!! I really really appreciate you sharing your personal experiences and all of the good tips - I will definitely ask him to wear a certain jacket when he goes smoking and leave it outside or put it directly in the wash, I think it could work! And He came home last night and said that he will quit -Yay! That's a good start. Cheers to all! :)

7 Replies

Hello and welcome to the forum. I am also extremely sensitive to ciagarette smoke after growing up with a pipe smoker (thanks Dad!) and then working for several years with a chain smoker (this was before smoking was banned in workplaces). The only solution is to get your husband to stop smoking, I cant see any alternative. Even if he doesnt smoke near you, you can still smell the smoke on his clothes and it lingers round the house. This would be enough to really badly affect me and I wouldnt be able to tolerate it.

From another point of view, it is obviously very bad for your husband and you could emphasise that aspect. Sorry I can't be of more help, but I appreciate it is a difficult situation.



I know what you mean! The smell/fumes coming off some people is awful. My asthma is not as severe and I haven't been admitted. Worst bit I find is people smoking outside hospitals etc where you can't dodge them-so much for non smoking sites, it's never enforced. Also work with lung and other cancer patients which is difficult. Not sure what the answer is, would he consider giving up? And it would save a lot of money too these days.


Hi notbuying,

I hate going shopping in town, simply because people are either smoking huddled in doorways, or in crowded shops i can always smell people who smoke.

It sets me off with that nasty cough so i need to use blue.

People tend to give you that look, you know the one i mean.

I feel like grabbing each smoker & saying

What you lookin at? Your stink set this off!!!

I also hate getting home stinking of cig smoke cos of them.

Consequently, i dont go in town much :(

Hope your husband can manage to quit. I have a mate who quit a couple yrs ago. He said the lozenges really helped him.

Now he says he can smell smokers as they walk past, but he could never notice before packing in.

Good luck to your husband & hopefully this will help you also.

BTW, welcome to the forums

Howie :)


Not sensitive to cigarette smoke but know what you mean. Friend of ours smokes though he has cut down a lot recently. Goes outside for quick smoke that takes all of three minutes then when he comes back in.. Phew! stinks far more than if he had just lit up indoors and taken his time over it.

PS Try leaving an apple in the room overnight and see if it makes any difference. My mum would do that when chain smoking family visited. Really got to us otherwise. Apples will soak in smoke fumes - remember to toss the apple in the bin the next day. Nothing worse than coming across a shrivelled and nicotine clogged apple a week later. LOL

Edit: spelling


Hope the apple goes in green recycling bin or compost heap GrannyMo!!


Smoky apple put in compost bin :)


I also react badly to cigarette smoke - so much so that on several occasions I have brought a book home from the library only to find that I can't breathe if I keep it in the house, so I have ended up wrapping it in many layers of plastic carrier bag and hanging it out of the window where it can't hurt me any more. A nice long shower to get rid of lingering smells on hands and hair and all my clothes in the washing machine and all's well again. Mind you, I've felt all sorts of idiot taking my well wrapped book back to the library and asking if they'd mind not unwrapping it until I've left!


You may also like...