Are You Allergic To Cigarette Smoke?


Is just a single breath of smoke sufficient to ruin your day? As quickly as the individual subsequent to you lights up, the 1st point to cross your thoughts is the unpleasant memory of your final clash with secondhand smoke and the runny nose, sneezing, and congestion that followed. For some, the reaction to cigarette smoke closely resembles an allergic reaction, which leads them to think that they have “smoke allergies”.

There are a lot of “smoke allergy” myths that in fact make it tougher to appropriately treat your situation. This report will aid you inform if ascertain regardless of whether you are impacted by “smoke allergies” and what you can do to far better guard oneself from the illnesses related with smoke exposure.

#1 Myth: “Allergic to Smoke”

No a single is genuinely allergic to smoke. A huge quantity of persons insist that they are allergic to smoke made by cigarettes or cigars, but the truth is that they have obtaining an allergy-like reaction due to other wellness situations. Understanding specifically why you really feel like you are obtaining allergy attack when about a smoker is the crucial to understanding how to stop future symptoms.

Why do I say that there is no such point as a smoke allergy? Since technically smoke is not an allergen – but it is an irritant. This tiny distinction explains why most persons really feel no relief when they take antihistamine allergy medicine immediately after exposure to smoke. The crucial to avoiding the troubles triggered by cigarette smoke is figuring out what form of sensitivity you have and how very best to treat it.

Who is Prone to “Smoke Allergies”?

  • Kids and Infants
  • Elderly Persons
  • Men and women with allergy history (anybody with allergies, asthma, eczema, and so on)
  • Men and women exposed to heavy smoke for extended periods of time

From time to time persons who are sensitive to tobacco smoke will also knowledge allergy-like symptoms when they encounter robust odors, perfumes, climate modifications or temperature modifications.

Symptoms of Cigarette Sensitivity

For some persons, exposure to tobacco smoke can trigger a list of symptoms:

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Watery, burning eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Post nasal drip
  • Congestion
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headache

These symptoms seem shortly immediately after exposure to cigarette smoke and final for hours afterward. In addition to these symptoms, persons who are in smoky environments on a every day basis are much more probably to knowledge continuous respiratory infections like sinusitis and bronchitis as properly as the improvement of wheezing and asthma.

Tobacco Smoke Exposure

A lit cigarette is capable of releasing more than four,000 distinct chemical compounds into the air (80 of these are recognized or suspected carcinogens). From time to time avoiding conditions exactly where persons are smoking is nearly not possible. Normally a household member will smoke indoors, or a public spot like a bar or restaurant will enable smoking. Based on the severity of your reaction, just the smell of smoke on someone’s clothes or in a space exactly where a person had smoked can trigger irritation. So, even even though avoidance of tobacco smoke is the very best process to stop “smoke allergies”, it may well not be a sensible remedy.

Two Primary Sorts of Smoke Sensitivity

The very best way to treat your “allergy” to smoke is by 1st identifying what sort of sensitivity you are experiencing. There are two types of smoke sensitivity:

  • Smoke Aggravating Underlying Allergies: your physique is weakened by smoke and starts reacting to all the tiny bits of pollen, dust and dander that commonly would not have been a issue.
  • Vasomotor Rhinitis: this is a situation that has the precise identical symptoms as allergic rhinitis (or nasal allergies), but can not be treated by antihistamine allergy medicine.

Smoke-Aggravated Allergies:

An allergen is a little particle that is created up of proteins that the physique errors for a harmful intruder like a virus or other germ. Smoke consists of tiny tar ash particles (you can see these particles in the kind of a white cloud made by burning tobacco). But tar ash particles are not the identical as a accurate allergen due to the fact they are not protein primarily based, but a kind of carbon.

As an alternative of getting tagged as an allergen, smoke particles are classified as an irritant. Irritants can trigger you fairly a bit of discomfort, worsen illnesses like asthma and allergies, and trigger other critical wellness troubles. So, in health-related terms, no a single can genuinely be allergic to smoke, but they can endure complications to their current allergies or other illness.

If you have allergies or allergic asthma, smoke can trigger an allergic reaction due to the fact it is placing an additional strain on your physique and immune program. The speck of cat dander drifting by means of the air that would not have typically set off a violent reaction but with the addition of tobacco smoke, your physique can no longer deal with the allergens. Asthma becomes harmful when mixed with exposure to tobacco smoke-even deadly for some.

You are probably to knowledge complications to current allergies if:

  1. You know that you are allergic to other factors like pollen, pets, mold or dust mites.
  2. You have eczema or meals allergies.


  • Steer clear of as numerous conditions as you can exactly where you are exposed to smoke.
  • See an allergist to optimize your current allergy remedy, or see if you have created new allergies.
  • Run an air purifier to lessen the quantity of allergens in the air. Even a smaller sized, transportable air filter like a household smoke eater is productive at removing allergens in guest rooms of smoking household members.

Vasomotor Rhinitis:

Vasomotor Rhinitis is a kind of inflammation and irritation of the nasal location as properly as the throat and eyes. Seasonal or indoor allergies are named “allergic rhinitis”. This situation is distinct from the allergic form due to the fact it is not triggered by allergens. For this explanation, Vasomotor Rhinitis is in some cases named “non-allergic rhinitis”. It causes numerous of the identical symptoms that an allergic reaction would, but is triggered by hugely sensitive or excessive amounts of blood vessels in the delicate tissue of the sinus location. The symptoms you knowledge are trigger by your nervous program rather than allergens.

What this signifies is even though yet another individual may well be in a position to tolerate cigarette smoke, a individual with vasomotor rhinitis will knowledge a lot of discomfort with the identical quantity of smoke. So you are not overreacting when you complain about even little amounts of smoke – these little amounts Genuinely ARE affecting you much more severely than these about you.

In addition to cigarette smoke, generally robust odors or climate situations will also trigger symptoms, so you may well uncover that numerous elements of your atmosphere trigger allergy-like symptoms. Some persons even have allergic rhinitis and vasomotor rhinitis simultaneously.

You are probably to have vasomotor rhinitis if:

  1. You are hugely sensitive to other components like perfume, robust odors, modifications in climate, modifications in temperature, or even spicy foods.
  2. Walking into a slightly warmer (or cooler) space tends to make your nose runny or painfully stuffy.
  3. Antihistamine medicines do not alleviate the symptoms.


  • Steer clear of as numerous conditions as doable exactly where your situation could be aggravated. This involves smoke, as properly as some other vasomotor rhinitis triggers like wearing perfume, burning scented candles, and so on.
  • Speak to your medical doctor about remedy solutions. Some more than the counter medicines like oral decongestants and saline nasal sprays may well present you some relief. Some prescription medicines that have been established productive are antihistamine nasal sprays (as opposed to oral antihistamines which commonly have no impact on vasomotor rhinitis), anti-drip anticholinergic nasal sprays and corticosteroid nasal sprays.
  • Limit your exposure to smoke and smoke odor as this is generally the trigger of numerous vasomotor rhinitis situations. Use an air purifier like a home smoke eater to decrease airborne pollutants.

A Note to These with Current Allergies:

Inhaling even little amounts of smoke more than a extended period of time can in fact trigger you to create new allergies or even asthma. In young kids, second hand tobacco smoke inhalation significantly increases the likeliness of building allergies when they get older. If you reside with a smoker, you are probably to have much more situations of bronchitis, pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, and other respiratory illnesses.

The very best point you can do for oneself make your living space a zero-tolerance smoke location. If this is not an selection, you could want to think about an air purifier as an investment in your wellness.

Some of the symptoms of sinusitis (sinus infection) can closely resemble the vasomotor rhinitis and allergic rhinitis described in this report. Be confident to see your medical doctor to aid you diagnose your situation if tobacco smoke has you feeling below the climate.

Bear in mind: usually be confident to speak to your medical doctor or allergist about your symptoms and remedy.