Colleagues E-Cigarette 'Perfume' Triggers My Asthma


I have CVA (Cough Variant Asthma) and a colleague at work who sits next to me has started using e-ciarettes, it seems that the 'perfume' that they use is a very good trigger for my asthma. Even when it clings to his clothes the asthma is triggered. Does anybody else with asthma/CVA here notice the same thing with e-cigarettes?

Many thanks for any observations people have.


12 Replies

  • I am a newly diagnosed (possibly) CVA, my husband uses an ecig and I haven't noticed an issue, I don't feel the smell lingers - not that I have ever had a good sense of smell. However, I will look out for this. Are they using a particular ""Flavour""?

  • Thanks Chellernay,

    I certainly get affected by certain scents - particularly the new fad for 'sour' smells. My colleagues is kind of vanilla, but there is a sour side to it. As we are learning a lot of these e-cigs and their liquids contain many, many different chemicals, so it may not even be something I can't detect by smell which is the trigger. My CVA gets worse in damp weather, or near humid locations - beach, rivers etc. As you will see asthma has a million different triggers for many people.

    Hope you get a clear diagnosis soon.

  • Hi Mark

    I am (unfortunately) around a lot of people that use these ecigarets regularly, and it is something I can not avoid. I DEFIANTLY notice that they are a big problem for my asthma.

    The people are other students mostly those on the same courses as me using them outside out building, in the corridors, even in classrooms, as well as when we are out on practicals. I spoke to the tutor who of course has all my medical info, and so knows I have asthma but he has not really done anything. He wrote about it in the next course news email thing he does but nothing changed. No-one seems to accept that it is a problem, I talk to the people and ask them to stop and they reply 'it is just water, stop being silly' or their is one of them that does it the most and has asthma too and seems fine from it, so I can not work out what I am supposed to do. My only option I have now is to run away from anyone who is even holding one, although I then realize how stupid I have been as running is also a trigger! I have not had asthma long, I used to be able to suddenly run with no problems..

    Anyway, it is nice to know I am not the only one with a problem with the things, just sorry that I have nothing to suggest.

    If you find any way of solving the problem I would love to know!

  • Hi Dipka,

    it seems we are all triggered by several different things. The other asthma sufferer should be aware of this. Perhaps you need to take it higher in the establishment, above your tutor. 'Smoking' in enclosed spaces should not be permitted, but I know that many places of work are too slow on reacting to the e-cigarette phenomenon.

    Hope you get some luck with your battle!

  • Hi Mark

    You would have thought that they are the most understanding, but he's one of the worst for doing it when he shouldn't. Although I think it is more of a badge that it is cool to blow the smoke (vapour) out over a larger area as possible, which of course is brilliant for me trying to avoid it, but that is the game those with the e-cigarettes play.

    The college do have set smoking areas and now set e-cigarettes areas so the two are separate but still always away from everywhere else. As in for both you can only use them in the set areas. But, well I think within my subject area they are not so bothered and more focused on other things than the smoking. I have basically gave up with it. We have a tutor who is more strict than last year, he has shouted at them in lessons a few times when he sees it but they still do it, and I do not want to be spending all my time trying to find the tutor and tell him about it, or work out who is higher than him.


  • Hi Dipka,

    it is frustrating, but in my case it is affecting my health, have taken it up the chain so to speak, because I need action. Perhaps there is a more effective path to report this. It's years since I went to college - is there such as thing as a 'Wellbeing Officer"" or similar? Or a medical office where you can go and present yourself with a tight-chest? Best of luck.


  • Hi Mark

    If you have cough variant asthma those e-cigs will really rigger it - they should be being treated as normal cigarettes and subject to the no smoking oolicy, do you have HR where you work? If so def speak to them about it, your colleague also needs to know he/she is affecting your health.

    Good luck x

  • I have had asthma since I was 8 years old, and yes I was a smoker for 10 years (i know its stupid) but I switched to e cigs over a 3 years ago and haven't looked back since! Doesn't even affect my asthma at all! I spoke to CloudCig™ before I started to make sure, I will be safe but they said it was up to myself and it has been fine!

  • I thought I was the only one! E-cigs are my worst trigger. With pollen I feel the narrowing and the mucus production (oops, TMI) and with cigarette smoke I can just feel it getting tighter and tighter until I do something about it…but with E-cigs it feels like my bronchioles have just clamped shut suddenly. I have narrowly missed having to call an ambulance on more than one occasion and I'm sure there will be a day when I end up texting the emergency services because of that. Even when my asthma is well-controlled, inhaling E-cig vapour will knock me down for a good week at least. The worst thing is that people think E-cigs are totally safe and that the 'No Smoking' signs in buildings and on public transport don't apply to them. Some places even make it clear that they do not allow electronic smoking devices on their premises (the ice rink, the bus station etc.) yet still people think they are exempt or that they won't get in trouble because it's 'just an E-cig'.

    I have CVA too but when I come into contact with E-cig smoke my lungs constrict so much that I am not even moving enough air to cough which is a very scary thought.

    Sorry for the little rant but you know what, I honestly thought I was the only one or that it might be psychological or something because everyone else I know with asthma seems to be fine with them! Asthma sucks but it's actually good to know that I'm not the only one!

    I also find that the smell of ethanol - on people's breath, clothes if they are a heavy drinker, or in the lab at college - triggers tightness in a similar way but on a less severe level. Mind you, this is coming from the person who had to leave biology the other day because I had a contact allergic reaction to the glitter crayons I was using (yes, I am in sixth form. Yes, I have my own packet of Crayola glitter crayons. Yes I probably need to act my age!)

    Good luck and to the person with problems on their course it's really bad that the people there are not doing enough to crack down on this.

  • E cigs set me off big time. Thought it was just me being weird.

  • I have cough varmint asthma and e cigs are terrible for me. I have to leAve a room if someone is using one.

  • Hello Mark

    Yes I had an Asthma attack caused from being in a room where people are useing e-cigarettes. One of them was useing one with a strong sweet smell which set off an attack. felt rough for the rest of the day.

    And unless the goverment of health bodies say there is a problem, work have said they will not ban the use of E-Cigarettes in doors.


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