This is a post that will get some debate. One of the biggest cards that the anti tobacco crowd play is the “but I have asthma” gambit. I have done some research and it may literally be all in the mind. Please feel free to disagree with me, but please provide some papers that back up your hypothesis.
Firstly nicotine suppresses asthma, see study on Norwegian rats.
Secondly there are numerous studies that show that smokers and children of smokers have substantially less asthma, please see Swedish study.
Thirdly there is a condition called psychosomaticism. It is where the mind believes something is going to happen and the body mimics the physical effects even though there is no exposure. Scientists believe that asthma itself has a psychosomatic facet in its adoption. They found that many asthmatics had and overbearing and controlling parent. See link.
Fourthly the amount breathed in by non smokers is minimal, 0.1%-1% at the very most.
So in conclusion it is quite possible that asthma attacks brought on by smoking are literally in the mind of the athmatic.
“To ascertain the effects of nicotine on allergy/asthma, Brown Norway rats were treated with nicotine and sensitized and challenged with allergens. The results unequivocally show that, even after multiple allergen sensitizations, nicotine dramatically suppresses inflammatory/allergic parameters in the lung including the following: eosinophilic/lymphocytic emigration; mRNA and/or protein expression of the Th2 cytokines/chemokines IL-4, IL-5, IL-13, IL-25, and eotaxin; leukotriene C4; and total as well as allergen-specific IgE.”
“Children of mothers who smoked at least 15 cigarettes a day tended to have lower odds for suffering from allergic rhino-conjunctivitis, allergic asthma, atopic eczema and food allergy, compared to children of mothers who had never smoked (ORs 0.6-0.7)
CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates an association between current exposure to tobacco smoke and a low risk for atopic disorders in smokers themselves and a similar tendency in their children.
“The most common psychosomatic respiratory illness is asthma. Marked by recurrent bronchial constriction, edema, and excessive secretion, the clinical picture is manifested by recurrent attacks of dyspnea and prolonged expirations with wheezing and coughing. During the attack, the patient usually is tense, anxious, and frightened in the face of experiencing a lack of availability of vital air.”
“The most highly exposed workers, both living and working with smokers, would potentially inhale over 20 cigarette equivalents (CE) per annum as based on the upper decile levels. Housewives living with smokers could inhale up to 11 CE per annum as based on the upper decile levels. Locations outside the workplace, including the home, contribute most to overall RSP and ETS particle exposure. Consideration should be given to extending the personal monitoring period in cities where levels appear to be quite low.”