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Smoking makes asthma worse

Smoking makes asthma worse

Smoke of any kind irritates your child's lungs. This leads to more swelling in the lungs and to muscle tightening around the airways. In short — smoking makes asthma worse!

Keep your child's environment smoke-free. This includes your home, car, daycare and any other place your child spends time. Smoke particles get stuck in drapes, furniture and car seats, and can make your child's asthma worse.

These can help:

  • Do not smoke in the house or car even when your child is not in there.
  • If anyone smokes they should go outside, away from your child.
  • Use a smoking jacket when you smoke outside and remove it when you are inside. Wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Sit away from smoking sections of public places.
  • Never burn candles or incense in your home.
  • Do not use fireplaces and kerosene heaters to heat your home.
  • Tell others about the dangers of smoke for people with asthma.

So you think you might want to quit smoking?

If you think you might want to quit smoking for yourself or for a loved one, then you are one step closer to being nicotine free. There are many tools you can use to help yourself live tobacco free. Here are just a few ideas from the Centers for Disease Control.

Make a quit plan

Planning can help you successfully quit smoking. Creating a plan with strategies to keep you focused and motivated will increase your confidence and improve your chances of quitting smoking for good.

  • Pick a quit date – Choose a day within 2 weeks. Circle it on your calendar or place it where you will see it daily.
  • Let loved ones know you are quitting and explain how they can help you quit.
  • Remove reminders of smoking. Remove cigarettes, ashtrays, lighters. Clean so the smell of smoke does not trigger a craving.
  • Identify your reasons to quit smoking. Remind yourself of the reasons you want to quit smoking every day. Make a list of the reasons you want to quit and keep it where you can see it daily.
  • Identify your smoking triggers. Are there certain activities, times, feelings that are connected with wanting to smoke? Write these down and create a plan to deal with cravings.
  • Develop coping strategies. Nicotine replacement therapy is one way to help deal with withdrawal during the early days when you stop smoking. There are many over the counter aids and also medication that can be prescribed by your physician. You can also develop non-medicine strategies. Use smokeFreetxt:; or download a free no smoking app such as quitSTART or QuitGuide
  • Set up rewards for quit milestones. Celebrate individual milestones including being 24 hours smoke free, one week smoke free and one month smoke free. Plan out your milestones ahead of time and plan your rewards with any smoke free activity such as a nice dinner or day at the movies.

How to manage cravings

You won’t be able to avoid all your triggers and dealing with triggers take practice.  It is important to have a plan to beat that urge to smoke. Cravings typically last 5 to 10 minutes.  Make a list of things you can do to get through the craving. Here are a few to try.

  • Call or text someone.
  • Find a local quit line. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW to connect to the state quit line.
  • Use the National Cancer Institute quit line. 1-877-44U-QUIT.
  • Try SmokefreeTXT to get support sent to your phone.
  • Use an app such as QuitGuide.
  • Think about your reasons for quitting, calculate your savings and decide what you want to do with the money. It will keep your mind busy while the craving passes.
  • Keep your mouth busy. Chew gum or keep hard candy with you. Drink water.
  • Do something else. If a craving hits, stop what you’re doing immediately and switch to doing something different.
  • Go for a walk or jog.
  • Take slow, deep breaths. Inhale slowly through your nose and exhale through your mouth 10 times or until you feel more relaxed.
  • Go to a smoke free zone such as a public place and do what you have done in the past when you have been in a smoke free area such as a store or movie.
  • Try nicotine replacement therapy.
  • Do a good deed. Taking the focus off of yourself and how you are feeling and instead directing your attention to another person’s needs can help you cope.

Meet the team

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Kathleen Bowden, MSW, AE-C
Kathleen Bowden MSW, AE-C Pulmonary medicine
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Ginger A Mary, DNP, CPNP-PC, AE-C
Ginger Mary DNP, CPNP-PC, AE-C Pulmonary medicine
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Michael S Schechter, MD, MPH
Michael Schechter MD, MPH Pulmonary medicine
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