People with asthma have airway passages that swell and narrow during an asthma attack. Although asthma triggers vary for different people, one very common trigger is cigarette smoke. One of the best ways to make sure your asthma is under control is to not smoke or be around others that do. If you already smoke, the best thing to do is quit.
What does it involve?
When you decide to quit smoking, choose a day to stop and make a plan. Make a list of reasons why you are quitting. Keep it where you can see it when you feel tempted. Spend some time thinking about when and why you smoke, your smoking triggers. Identify some coping strategies to distract or divert you when these situations occur. Make a list of 10 things you can do instead of smoking, such as calling a friend, eating a piece of fruit, going for a walk, or playing a game on your phone. Remove reminders of smoking such as ashtrays and lighters from your home.
Inform your loved ones and co-workers in advance that you are quitting, and ask them to support you. There are also quit-smoking hotlines, text services, and support groups you can use to help stay focused on your goal.
You may decide to use nicotine-replacement products such as nicotine gum, patches, spray or lozenges. You can also ask your doctor for prescription medicine such as bupropion (sold as brands such as Alpenzin and Wellbutrin) or varenicline (Chantix) to help reduce cravings and ease withdrawal. Make sure you have these on hand when you quit.
As you give up nicotine, be prepared for symptoms of withdrawal, which may include headache, nausea, irritability, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and fatigue. These symptoms should ease within a few days.
Don’t get discouraged if you fall off the wagon. Be persistent and keep trying. Allow yourself to celebrate smoke-free milestones such as 24 hours, one week, and one month smoke-free. Treat yourself to ice cream, a trip to the movies, or another favorite nonsmoking treat for each milestone.
It is also important to avoid second-hand smoke in the home and when you are out. Ask others not to smoke around you, and choose nonsmoking hotel rooms and sections in restaurants.
For more details, visit:
How To Quit Smoking — Centers for Disease and Control Prevention
Quitting Smoking: 10 Ways To Resist Tobacco Cravings — Mayo Clinic