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Allergies

Allergy to cig smoke

07/10/2008

Question:

CAN YOU STILL GET AN ALLERGIC REACTION TO CIGARETTE SMOKE ON PEOPLES CLOTHES OR HAIR,EVEN IF THEY SMOKE OUTSIDE AWAY FROM THE PERSON WHO DOESN`T SMOKE?

Answer:

Reactions to cigarette smoke are often not allergic. Many, many people have irritant reactions to cigarette smoke. The answer to your question is YES, if you are around the clothes or smell from someone who is smoking you can have a reaction, even if they are not blowing the smoke right at or on you. This is thought to be responsible for an increase in childhood respiratory symptoms in children with parents who smoke. These same children also have more ear infections and upper respiratory infections.

The best treatment for these symptoms is to have the smoker talk with their doctor about quitting smoking. If you are still having reactions, it may be worth talking to your doctor to see if there are other causes besides cigarette smoke.

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Response by:

David  Hauswirth, MD David Hauswirth, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor
Pulmonary, Allergy, Crtitical Care & Sleep
Pediatrics
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University