Smokers triggering asthma, everywhere... - Asthma UK communi...

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Smokers triggering asthma, everywhere. Any management strategies?


I have cough variant asthma which is currently not well controlled at all. I am waiting to see a specialist but that isn't until the 10th September and unable to be moved forward despite going to a and e.

Cigarette smoke is one of the triggers and I struggle just walking around towns and cities. I currently breath out or hold my breath when I see someone smoking and walk past but sometimes I miss it or havw to take a breath and it sets me off coughing.

Has anyone got any strategies for coping in cities or areas where it is essentially impossible to avoid smokers.

I'm currently on fostair, fexofenadine and montelukast and am currently having to take lots of salbutamol to stop me coughing.

It is so debilitating and currently basically ruining my life and what normal activities can do.

Is there any way anyone knows of, of speeding up the specialist appointment?


10 Replies

Im totally with you Elmo16, cigarette smoke triggers me also and I have friends that smoke too.

I just either try to avoud areas such as pubs that have smokers outside or if i do encounter them, i move as far away as possible and always have my inhaler on me, hope this helps xx

Have you heard of air filters you can wear around your neck? I don’t know for sure if it will help but they sell it online at sharper image. I wear it sometimes just in case.

I feel the exact same way. I always cross the street or pull my jumper over my nose and mouth, doesn't always help though. I don't know if you feel this is extreme but if it affects you a lot, you could get a mask to put on if you're in places that are likely to have more smokers. I found this on Amazon but there are lots more.

3 Pack Activated Carbon Filter Anti Dust Face Mouth Mask, WITERY Warm Anti Dust Mask Anti-fog Mask Antibacterial Activated Carbon Filter Adjustable Earloop Mouth Mask Face Masks for Men Women

I always wear a scalf thin in summer thick in winter find it helps to cover my mouth when I'm in these situations Im 61 years old only just discovered the benefit from doing this wish I'd done this year's ago great for frost as well .

I know how you feel elmo16. I have Brittle Asthma and I live in HK where there are no out door smoking bans unlike my home country of Australia. Where you can't smoke anywhere outdoors any more. So here is what I have to do. I went online and bought a 3m respirator that can filter out 99.9 % of cigarette smoke and other particles. This has made a big difference to my life. Yes people laughed at me at first but it is better then being in the hospital on a breathing machine. I hope that helps you.

Hi Elmo, just want to say, same here, I get the same reaction and are using the same avoidance techniques. I found the above comments very interesting helpful and useful. Thank you for posting your experience. There are many of us who feel the same which is comforting to know we are not alone in experiencing this. I hope more countries will ban smoking outside in public places. Keep trying new methods to take care of yourself and your asthma and all the best with your specialist appointment.

Cigarette smoke triggers my asthma as well.

Cigarette smoke triggers my asthma too. Not fun.

Cigarette smoke too, but seemly worse is fires, ((I’ve wondered if it’s the mold in the wood??)).

Summer brings a lot of forest fires, last year we were surrounded by forest fires from Canada & Oregon & California, & eastern Washington. These were all 1/2 of a state away & I was a desperately ill. My strategy then is to go to the local beach, the air is fresher there...& otherwise be indoors, house closed up...

When all is good, we go camping & then it’s camp fires. I hibernate in the RV, & if family is exposed to the smoke, I toss their clothes out over night, or seal the clothes in plastic bags. Goofy way to live.

I can’t tolerate wood burners 🤦‍♀️

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