LETTER: Help an asthmatic breathe easierTo the Telegram: Asthma is a serious, sometimes life-threatening disease that affects almost 20 million people in the United States. In fact, every day in America:
To the Telegram:
Asthma is a serious, sometimes life-threatening disease that affects almost 20 million people in the United States. In fact, every day in America:
• 40,000 people miss school or work due to asthma.
• 30,000 people have an asthma attack.
• 5,000 people visit the emergency room due to asthma.
• 11 people die from asthma.
There are many uncontrollable triggers that cause an asthma attack, but one trigger we can control is exposure to cigarette smoke.
Cigarette smoke can permanently damage lungs. It contains more than 250 toxic chemicals that are known to cause cancer; it also causes a person to cough, wheeze and have shortness of breath.
I lived in an apartment building that allowed smoking. The person who lived downstairs smoked and the smell of the smoke came into the apartment I was living in. It not only caused my clothes and furniture to smell like smoke, but I had trouble getting a full breath after living there for some months and began exhibiting asthma symptoms. I play flute for a living so this impacted my life greatly. I eventually moved from the building.
If you have asthma and smoke, the best thing you can do is quit. And if you have a child in the house, you should take it outside.
When a child is exposed to tobacco smoke, their lungs become irritated and airways become much narrower. According to the American Lung Association, an estimated 400,000 to one million asthmatic children have their condition worsened through exposure to secondhand smoke.
As we celebrate Asthma Awareness Month this May, let’s make it a little bit easier for those with asthma to breathe. Let’s not expose them to secondhand smoke unnecessarily.
Smokers looking to quit can visit www.wiquitline.org for free tips and resources.