There are just under 5 ½ million people living with Asthma in the UK and every year 250,000 people die of the disease.

On average this equates to 3 people every day. Asthma has been estimated to cost the NHS around £1 billion a year. These are worrying figures.

Especially when approximately 1 in 9 asthma deaths can be prevented.

Asthma attacks can be brought on by triggers. These triggers include animal hair, exercise, food, dust-mites, medicines, pollen, the weather, and tobacco smoke. It is no coincidence that since the introduction of smoke-free legislation in 2007 there has been a substantial decline in the number of hospital admissions for childhood asthma.

Asthma can be caused by smoking directly or as a result of second-hand smoke, or passive smoking. Numerous studies have shown that people with asthma experience more nasal symptoms, headaches, cough, wheezing, sore throat, hoarseness, eye irritation and generally worse asthma symptoms when they breathe second-hand tobacco smoke.

People with asthma who do smoke are more likely to experience hospitalisation and experience a more rapid decline in pulmonary function. They are more prone to chest infections too.

What is particularly worrying is that exposure to tobacco can have a significant impact on the treatments for asthma.

What’s the answer?

On World Asthma Day (7 May 2024) Feel Good Suffolk put a call out to smokers who have asthma or who know someone with asthma to quit smoking.

Second-hand smoke can be particularly harmful to children because they breathe more rapidly and inhale more pollutants than adults. One study found that parental smoking can be a cause for asthma in children and the likelihood of a child getting asthma increases with the number of smokers in the home.

How we can help.

Feel Good Suffolk have a range of support to help people to stop smoking. Support ranges from nicotine replacement therapy products and vapes, to access to the Allan Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking support.

Our Feel Good Suffolk Advisors are all trained NCSCT practitioners who can help you to find the right pathway to quitting for you.

How you can support someone to quit.

Smoking is an addiction, and it is hard to quit. But people are 3 times more likely to succeed in their quit attempt with support. So here are 7 quick quit tips to support your loved one.

  1. Be patient as they manage withdrawal symptoms. It’s important to remind them that these symptoms are only temporary.
  2. Understand their triggers. What prompts them to smoke? Their habits, social settings, and emotions. Knowing these can help you to put strategies in place.
  3. Come up with distractions. Try new things and keep them away from places they used to smoke.
  4. Suggest nicotine replacement therapy products. They come in an array of types from patches, gums, lozenges, nasal sprays and inhalers. Not to mention vapes.
  5. Talk about how they want to be encouraged. No one likes being nagged, find the right tone and above all be positive and encouraging.
  6. Be supportive through the hard times. Most smokers will have hard days and many have a ‘slip up’ and relapse. It’s important not to shame them. Bring them back to the reason they wanted to quit in the first place and understand why they are struggling. Problem solve together.
  7. Know when to seek outside help. If you are supporting someone without our help and you are finding it stressful, don’t forget there is always other support available.

Asthma and Lung UK say that one of the best things you can do for your own and your child’s lung health is to make sure they don’t breathe in tobacco smoke. Let today be the day you decide to join the thousands of people who decide to quit.


Author: Julie Chapman | Feel Good Suffolk