Skip to main content
Last Updated: February 27, 2019


Air Quality: Solution 4 – Avoid Tobacco Smoke

Images: UNC CEHS COEC and QuitlineNC logo

Big Idea: Avoiding exposure to smoke is the best solution to prevent the asthma trigger.

Talking Points:

  • In the US, about 20% of people with asthma smoke, and a much higher percentage lives around smokers. The best way to deal with this asthma trigger is to avoid it altogether.
  • Talk to youth at an early age about the hazards of smoking, before they even start.
  • Similarly, pregnant and new mothers should never smoke or be around tobacco smoke.
  • Take steps to keep tobacco smoke out of homes and cars, whether the windows are up or down. Remnants of tobacco smoke, often called third-hand smoke, linger in clothing, carpet and furniture. So don’t accept the argument that smoking is safe if the windows are open!
  • Stopping smoking is easier said than done. Nicotine is addictive, and at least 35 million people try to quit each year. Quitline NC provides a number of free resources for smokers attempting to quit, including a coach, treatments and a referral process for health professionals to use.

CDC, 2013. Percentage of People with Asthma who Smoke. 
NC State Center for State Health Statistics. Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, PRAMS stats on pregnant mothers smoking
National Institute on Drug Abuse, updated 2017.
Winickoff, J. et al, “Beliefs about the health effects of ‘thirdhand’ smoke and home smoking bans.” Pediatrics. 2009 January

Categories: Air Quality