Cigarette smoke contains a number of toxic chemicals and irritants. People with allergies may be more sensitive to cigarette smoke than other people, 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 complications such as sinusitis and bronchitis.
Common symptoms of smoke irritation are burning or watery eyes, nasal congestion, coughing, hoarseness and shortness-of-breath.
Created by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Illustration copyright A.D.A.M., Inc.
Paula J. Busse, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Clinical Immunology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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