Asthma Management Handbook

Smoking and asthma


If a person smokes, or is exposed to other people’s tobacco smoke, this factor must be taken into account when investigating respiratory symptoms, assessing asthma control, and managing asthma.


  • increases the risk of asthma flare-ups in people with asthma
  • increases the risk of COPD
  • reduces the probability of achieving good asthma control
  • reduces therapeutic response to inhaled corticosteroid
  • accelerates long-term decline in lung function.

Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke during gestation or early childhood increases the risk of early childhood wheezing and adversely affects lung function, as well increasing the risk of other congenital and childhood conditions.

The use of electronic cigarettes by people with asthma should not be encouraged until more evidence is available about short-term and long-term safety of all ingredients, including flavouring chemicals.

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