How Does Smoking Cause Asthma?

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Asthma is a tendency of the airway to constrict with abnormal intensity, and exposure to cigarette smoke or second-hand smoke can increase the severity of asthma symptoms. Find out why it's so important for people with asthma to limit their exposure to smoke with help from a pulmonary disease research expert in this free video on the effects of smoking.

Part of the Video Series: Effects of Smoking
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Video Transcript

Hello I am Dr. David Burns. I am a Professor of Emeritus at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine. Asthma is a tendency of the airways, the tubes that you breathe through to constrict with abnormal intensity and that causes great difficulty in getting air in and out and causes you to make a wheezing sound as you breathe and may cause you to have a sensation that you can't get enough air and in very severe instances may lead to your not being able to get enough air and actual death. It is very clear that being exposed to second hand smoke increases the severity of asthma symptoms as does the, it also increases the likelihood that you will develop asthma. In adults cigarette smoking causes chronic obstructive lung disease another form of narrowing of the airways and in conjunction with someone who has asthma, smoking is a devastating and double whammy in terms of the effect that it has on the lungs dramatically increasing the severity of the damage to that lung. It is very important for people with asthma to stop smoking and for them to avoid second hand smoke exposure.

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