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Your Environment. Your Health.

Cigarette Smoke

a cigarette above a flame

Cigarette smoke contains a number of toxic chemicals and irritants. People with allergies may be more sensitive to cigarette smoke than others and research studies indicate that smoking may aggravate allergies.

Smoking does not just harm smokers but also those around them. Research has shown that children and spouses of smokers tend to have more respiratory infections and asthma than those of non-smokers. In addition, exposure to secondhand smoke can increase the risk of allergic complications such as sinusitisIllustrated Dictionary and Resource Directory of Environmental and Occupational Health and bronchitis: Illustrated Dictionary and Resource Directory of Environmental and Occupational Health.

Common symptoms of smoke irritation are burning or watery eyes, nasal congestion, coughing, hoarseness and shortness of breath presenting as a wheeze.

Preventive Strategies

  • Don't smoke and if you do, seek support to quit smoking. Contact Puff-Free Partners, such as:

National Cancer Institute  


Nicotine Anonymous  


American Lung Association  


Centers for Disease Control


American Cancer Society  


  • Seek smoke-free environments in restaurants, theaters and hotel rooms.
  • Avoid smoking in closed areas like homes or cars where others may be exposed to second-hand smoke.

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