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How harmful is secondhand smoke if you have asthma?

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Secondhand smoke, also called "passive smoke" or "environmental tobacco smoke," may be even more harmful than actually smoking. That's because the smoke that burns off the end of a cigar or cigarette has more harmful substances (tar, carbon monoxide, nicotine, and others) than the smoke that the smoker inhales.

When people with asthma are exposed to secondhand smoke, they are more likely to have the wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath associated with asthma.

From: Smoking and Asthma WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: "No Butts About It: Smoking Makes Asthma Worse." 

American Lung Association: "What Is Lung Cancer?" 

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: "Indoor Environmental Asthma Triggers - Secondhand Smoke."

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on May 12, 2018

SOURCES: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: "No Butts About It: Smoking Makes Asthma Worse." 

American Lung Association: "What Is Lung Cancer?" 

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: "Indoor Environmental Asthma Triggers - Secondhand Smoke."

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on May 12, 2018

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