Exposure to ‘passive’ tobacco smoking from parents during childhood and spouse during adulthood increases the risk of developing asthma by 69%

May 29th, 2010 | Thrissur

Asthmatics in the city come together to appeal to smokers to quit smoking

On the occasion of World No Tobacco Day, Breathefree, a public service initiative by Cipla brought together the asthmatics in the city to appeal the smokers to quit smoking by flying anti-tobacco slogans on colourful kites. Cigarette smoke is not only a predominant trigger for asthma but it has now been established that exposure to passive tobacco smoking from parents in childhood and spouse during adulthood increases the risk of developing asthma by 69%. Of all asthma patients, 49% of them have a history of growing up with smoking parents and could have developed asthma due to the early exposure to tobacco smoke.

Addressing the press conference, Dr. Col.V.P.Gopinathan said, “Children who already have asthma, when exposed to passive tobacco smoking at home often experience worsening of their symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and breathlessness and are also at an increased risk of getting an asthma attack. These children are therefore more likely to require emergency treatment which at times could include hospitalization. Also, it has now been well-established that the efficacy of asthma medicines is significantly reduced when the asthma patient has parents smoking at home.”

Commenting on the effect of cigarette smoking on asthma kids, Dr. DineshaPrabhu, H.O.D. (Pulmonology) of Government Medical College said “Parents should realize that cigarette smoking not only causes irreversible damage to their own lungs, but could also result in the development of asthma in their kids who were not born with it. Even breathing in very small amounts of tobacco smoke could set off a severe attack in children with asthma and these attacks would be worse than those suffered by children with asthma who are not exposed to tobacco smoke.”

Dr. Judo, Chest Physician from WestFort Hospital said, “Children of mothers who smoked during pregnancy are more likely to have respiratory problems and have increased chances of developing asthma. Early exposure to tobacco smoke at home affects the growth of the lungs in a child and will develop respiratory ailments. We therefore request that as responsible parents one must quit smoking for the sake of the child.”

In adults, cigarette smoking and asthma is associated with poor symptom control, reduction in response to asthma medication and an accelerated decline in lung function. Asthma is a chronic respiratory disorder of the lungs in which there is inflammation (swelling) of the airways in our lungs. Due to this inflammation, the airways are narrowed and the lung becomes vulnerable to various allergens which act as triggers for an asthma attack. Cigarette Smoke is one of the major allergens which could trigger asthma.

To support asthma patients and their families in understanding asthma, its symptoms, and the triggers and to remove the myths associated with the condition and its therapy, an extremely informative website – www.breathefree.com has been created by Cipla. The website is a step towards helping asthma patients in leading fulfilling lives as it gives them the knowledge and the confidence required to manage a chronic condition like asthma.

About Cipla
Cipla laid foundations for the Indian pharma industry way back in 1935. At a time when the British ruled India and medicines were neither readily available nor affordable, Dr. K. A. Hamied founded Cipla towards making the country self-reliant in healthcare. He built Cipla with a promise “Never again will India be starved of essential drugs.”

Over the years Cipla has grown to be one of the most respected names in pharmaceuticals not just in India but worldwide. It’s state- of -the art R&D centre has given the country and the world many firsts. This includes the revolutionary AIDS cocktail for less than a dollar a day. With over 40 manufacturing units across the country, Cipla manufactures over 1200 products in various categories and has a presence in crop care and veterinary too.

With a turnover of over 5000 crores, Cipla today serves doctors and patients in over 176 countries. It has earned a name for maintaining one global standard across all its products and services. Cipla continues to support, improve and save millions of lives with its innovative drugs and devices.