CKAgger Gold.ffn
CKAgger Gold.ffn

July 23rd, 2003, 10:52 pm #1

About two months after I quit the first time I had some serious asthma attacks following physical exhaustion - one time, e.g., when running very fast to catch a bus (don't have a car and never wanted one :-)).

Now, one of my friends as well as one of my colleagues have both told me that they were treated for asthma shortly after their quits - as in my case, for both of them it was the only time they had ever been in treatment for asthma.

I got an inhalator at the time, and using the inhalator all attacks were rendered safe - the asthma disappeared completely after a few months.

Now, the question is: Does this (very anecdotical) experience indicate that quitting entails a limited risk of acquiring a transient asthma - and if so, with what prevalence? 10-20%, e.g.? It could be understood in terms of "frailness" of regenerating lung tissue - but that is pure speculation, as I am not a medical doctor :-).
On the other hand, non-chronic asthma is an eventuality which quitters might want to be prepared to, if the anecdotical connection I allude to is valid. Does anybody know this?

- quit for 5 Days, 15 hours and 54 minutes (5 days). I have saved kr 288,78 by not smoking 169 cigarettes. I have saved 14 hours and 5 minutes of my life.


July 23rd, 2003, 11:01 pm #2

Hi Carsten.

If I understand what you are asking correctly, then here is my answer.

Cigarettes contain all kinds of chemicals including bronchiodilaters that help keep the bronchioles in your lungs open. So perhaps your asthma attack could be due to the fact that you were sort of on an inhaler already by puffing a smoke, and by quitting your lungs weren't used to going off the bronchiodilater cold turkey.

I can't find the links that have that information about the dilaters in the cigarette smoke but I'm sure another freedom member will find it and post it for you to read.

Here is another article about health after quitting:

masked or hidden conditions - healthier before quitting?


I have not smoked for 2 months, 22 days, 19 hours, 1 minute (84 days).
1760 cigarettes not smoked. Money saved: $706.29
Life saved: 6 days, 2 hours, 38 minutes .

BillW Gold.ffn
BillW Gold.ffn

July 24th, 2003, 12:59 am #3

Hi Carsten!

We can't prescribe here, so saying your case might be due to that is out of the question: see your doctor. The link mentioned above is My Visit to the Lung Doctor , by none other than Ms Grumpy herself...... Yes, cigarettes contain bronchiodialators, so all those other good chemicals have a free path deep into your lungs.

You might seriously visit your doctor, and get an inhaler just in case, since you personally seem to have a history of this. Better to be on just the asthma medication than all the other stuff that comes with it in a cigarette.

BillW One year, five months, two weeks, one day, 3 hours, 59 minutes and 43 seconds. 15904 cigarettes not smoked, saving $3,180.75. Life saved: 7 weeks, 6 days, 5 hours, 20 minutes.


July 24th, 2003, 1:10 am #4

Thanks, Bill for clarifying my post. And I forgot to say that we cannot prescribe or diagnose here and that you should always speak with your doctor if you have a medical concern.


smokefreeJD Gold
smokefreeJD Gold

July 24th, 2003, 1:17 am #5

I'd like to echo the others in saying that if you discover breathing troubles after quitting that you didn't suffer from before then you really should see your doctor.

In fact I had the opposite effect from my quit. All my life I had asthma both exercise and allergy induced. It was always a struggle to do physical activity and I always always always had to have an inhaler with me. It was the first thing I grabbed on my way out the door... and running out was always a huge traumatic ordeal.

Now almost 10 months into my quit I can RUN for 1/2 hour... and I do not own a single inhaler... haven't bought one since before I quit!

Go see your doctor... it's the best way to determine what is going on with you and only you... like someone else said... smoking could've masked something else.

Kicking Butt for 9 Months 2 Weeks 5 Days.
Silver Club.

CKAgger Gold.ffn
CKAgger Gold.ffn

July 24th, 2003, 1:37 am #6

Thanks a lot for the response - I realize that no medical advice except from "see the doctor if in doubt - but never take another puff!" can be given on this forum.
But I think I wanted to know if asthma was a very common symptom for quitters and I think the fact that Jill even got rid of her asthma tells very clearly that this is not the case - it happens, but is not an "expected" or very common reaction. Which is very well :-) - but I think I will go see the doctor at any rate in a week or two and if she hears anything astmatic, I'll ask for an inhaler just in case.

Thanks a lot

I have been quit for 5 Days, 18 hours and 39 minutes (5 days). I have saved kr 294,62 by not smoking 173 cigarettes. I have saved 14 hours and 25 minutes of my life.

John (Gold)
John (Gold)

July 24th, 2003, 2:49 am #7

Carsten, the cigarette is by far the most highly engineered drug delivery device in the history of the world. It not only makes sucking down 4,000+ nasty chemicals seem almost tasty, it can also hide the fact that those 4,000+ chemicals are destroying the lungs, blood piping, mind and body.

Carsten, search as you might, you'll find no medical research reference suggesting that quitting smoking causes asthma but what you will find are thousands indicating that each and every puff damages and/or destroys a bit more of your lung capacity. As pointed out above, and in the material below, quitting does not cause asthma but the engineering behind nicotine delivery clearly can mask it.

What's in a cigarette?
Cigarettes appear to be very simple products - paper tubes filled with tobacco. But, in fact, cigarettes are highly sophisticated packages, engineered to deliver doses of the addictive drug nicotine.

A huge number of additives and flavourings are added to cigarettes to make nicotine more attractive and palatable. The European Union has a list of over 600 additives that manufacturers may use in the creation of their cigarettes.1 And, when smoked, cigarettes release over 4,000 chemicals, a number of which are carcinogenic (cancer causing).2

Cigarette companies have spent decades perfecting their product, which is why people find it so hard to give them up. Many of the additives, such as chocolate, sound innocent. But their purpose is to keep smokers smoking by making the experience as pleasurable as possible. Ingredients are also added to mask the smell and even visibility of 'side-stream' smoke from the burning tip of the cigarette, to minimise discomfort to non-smokers.3,4,5 Unfortunately, these ingredients make it harder for non-smokers to see, and therefore avoid, other people's smoke.

Below is a list of just some of the more interesting ingredients you can find in a normal cigarette.
Nicotine Nicotine from tobacco leaves is the main addictive ingredient in cigarettes. It is delivered into smokers' lungs in a potent mixture of smoke particles and gases. The nicotine is rapidly absorbed into the blood and reaches the brain within about 10 seconds. At this point the smokers experiences a nicotine 'hit' or 'kick' - this is when the receptors in the brain produce chemicals called dopamines. The brain soon comes to expect regular doses (or 'hits') of nicotine and suffers withdrawal symptoms when the supply is interrupted.

Nicotine stimulates the central nervous system, increasing the heart beat rate and blood pressure. This results in the heart needing more oxygen.
Carbon monoxide All cigarette smoke contains carbon monoxide - the same poisonous gas given off by car exhausts and faulty gas fires. Carbon monoxide prevents the blood from carrying oxygen round the body by binding itself to the blood's haemoglobin. In heavy smokers, their blood's capacity to carry oxygen is reduced by as much as 15 per cent.6
Tar 'Tar' is the collective term for the thousands of chemicals that are released in cigarette smoke. Tar is the sticky yellow-brown substance which stains smokers' teeth and fingers. It is deposited in the lungs every time a smoker draws on a cigarette. Smoking 20 to 60 low to high tar cigarettes a day will coat your lungs in 1 to 1.5 pounds of tar every year.7 Tar is responsible for most of the damage to the health of your lungs.

Hydrogen cyanide Visible smoke accounts for only 5-8 per cent of the output of a burning cigarette. The rest is made of invisible gases - including hydrogen cyanide.7 This poisonous gas reduces the body's ability to transport oxygen. Other invisible gases, such as nitrosamines, damage the body's cells and can trigger cancer tumours. Cigarette smoke also contains chemicals that can produce gene mutations that have been linked to lung cancer.
Ammonia Adding ammonia to a cigarette means that the smoker 'freebases' the nicotine - in much the same way as a crack user takes cocaine. Ammonia speeds up the delivery of so-called 'free' nicotine by raising the pH (alkalinity) of tobacco smoke. Raising the pH of smoke changes the chemical form of nicotine so that it is more rapidly absorbed by the body. The result is a much stronger nicotine hit.8
Sugar The most common tobacco additives are sugars of various kinds.9 Sugar makes up about 3 per cent of the total weight of a cigarette.10 When a cigarette is lit, the sugars begin to burn and produce a chemical called acetaldehyde.11 Acetaldehyde enhances the addictive effect of nicotine.12
Organic acid salts Nicotine on its own produces smoke that is harsh and irritating. Adding organic acid salts masks the harshness of the smoke and produces a smoother taste. In addition, organic acid salts (such as levulinic acid) also make the brain more receptive to nicotine.13
Cocoa Cocoa contains a chemical called theobromine, which encourages the airways to expand.14 This 'bronchodilator effect' makes it easier for the smoker to breathe deeply. So they take in greater amounts of smoke and nicotine. Cocoa butter may also be added: it is believed to reduce the harshness of smoke and create a smoother smoking experience.15
Pyridine Pyridine acts as a depressant on the central nervous system. It works with nicotine to boost the effect of smoking.16
Chocolate & honey Flavourings such as chocolate17 and honey help disguise the bitterness of nicotine. The sweet taste makes cigarettes more palatable.
Menthol Without additives tobacco smoke not only tastes bad, it is also extremely irritating to the throat. Menthol numbs the throat so the smoker cannot feel the abrasive effect of the smoke. In this way the body's natural reaction to an irritant can be overcome.

Liquorice Liquorice is one of the most effective flavourings in cigarettes.18 According to the British Association of Tobacco Manufacturers (BAT) it produces a 'mellow sweet woody note.'18 This 'greatly enhances the quality of the final product.' 'Quality' flavourings play a vital role in masking the bad taste of low quality tobacco. Glycyrrhizin - an ingredient of liquorice - also expands the airways, helping the smoker to breathe in more smoke.19
Fillers Cigarettes contain chopped up tobacco leaf. But extra bulk is created by adding 'fillers' made from the tobacco stems and other bits of waste product.20 Fillers are mixed with water, flavourings and other additives. Some brands have more fillers than others. A high filler content makes a cigarette less dense. The amount of nicotine delivered may be slightly reduced.
Paper The type of paper used in the tube wrapping of a cigarette can effect its strength. More porous paper lets more air into the cigarette, diluting the smoke. This may reduce the amount of tar and nicotine that is inhaled.20
Filters Filters, made of cellulose acetate, trap some of the tar and smoke before they can reach the smoker's lungs. They also cool smoke and make it easier to inhale. Filtered 'low tar' cigarettes (with ventilation holes in the sides of the filters) were developed by the tobacco industry in response to health concerns. But evidence suggests that low-tar cigarettes do not result in smokers inhaling lower doses of nicotine.21,22,23 It appears that smokers compensate for the diluted effect of these cigarettes by inhaling more deeply or frequently. Smokers can also block the ventilation holes in the filters with their fingers to increase the nicotine being inhaled. This is something they may do subconciously.
  1. Department of Health. London. March 2000R.
  2. BAT December 12th, 1986, Mutagenic Activity of Flavour Compounds. FN AQ2222, BN 400916808-400916815
  3. BAT, Casings and Flavourings,BN401375070, FN EQ 2295
  4. BAT 1987, June 15th. Studies into alternative burn additives that reduce visible sidestream. FN AW 1428, BN 402385586-402385589.
  5. BAT September 9th, 1983, The addition of sugar solutions of Ca(oh)2 in sugar to cigarette paper. BN 100480228-0229 FN J562
  6. Royal College of Physicians. Smoking or Health. London, Pitman, 1977
  7. What's in a Cigarette? K. H. Ginzel, M.D.
  8. Henningfield, Jack E. Verbal Testimony. Jan 30 1997
  9. Santa Fe natural tobacco Co, 1994
  10. Tobacco additives. Cigarette engineering and nicotine addiction. C Bates, M Jarvis, G Connolly. 14 July 1999.
  11. DeNoble V.J. Verbal Testimony 1/3/97 p77
  12. Philip Morris 1982, Evaluation of the DeNoble nicotine acetaldehyde Data, Tobacco Resolution, BN 2056144727-4728
  13. RJR 1989, Lippiello PM, Fernandes KG. "Enhancement of nicotine binding to nicotinic receptors by nicotine levulinate and levulinic acid." September 25 1989.BN508295794
  14. Philip Morris, Bates number 2060535086
  15. BAT October 1967, Cocoa Butter As A Tobacco Additive. BN 105534584, FN B4263
  16. 16. BAT, The absorption and mechanism of action of pyridine and its interaction with nicotine, FN AW2730, BN 402419398-9486
  17. Tobacco Reporter, September 1979
  18. BAT, Tobacco Flavouring For Smoking Products, BN104805407, FN F1500
  19. Farone WA, Verbal testimony, Public hearing on proposed regulation: Reports on added constituents and nicotine ratings, Massachusetts tobacco control program, June 12th 1997
  20. Action on Smoking and Health. FACT SHEET NO. 12. August 2001. Benowitz NL, Hall SM, Herning, RI et al. Smokers of low-yield cigarettes do not consume less nicotine. New England Journal of Medicine, 1983; 309: 139-42.
  21. Bates C., Jarvis M., Letter Tobacco Control 1999;8:106-112
  22. Bates C., Jarvis M. Low Tar: why low tar cigarettes don't work and how the tobacco industry fooled the smoking public. 1999 Edition. March 1999.
© BUPA 1996-2003

CKAgger Gold.ffn
CKAgger Gold.ffn

July 24th, 2003, 3:07 am #8

Hi John,

it's humbling to think of - the poison I've been giving myself for so long and never allowed myself to really think of or face as such

once you quit, the perspective changes, I think
I realize I'm just so fortunate that I quit before being hit by any major health problem

it all strengthens my resolve to never take another puff.

I have been quit for 5 Days, 20 hours and 9 minutes (5 days). I have saved kr 297,81 by not smoking 175 cigarettes.

John (Gold)
John (Gold)

July 24th, 2003, 4:39 am #9

Don't feel alone, Carsten, as you were in great company - about a billion of us! Very few of us knew the particulars of our predicament. We didn't want to hear the part the were telling us, and the big secret was kept hidden until just recently.

I'm on a few mailing lists and today one of them sent me a tobacco industry document created on April 14, 1972 that put a big lump in my throat. It was written by Claude Teague, Assistant Director of Research at R.J. Reynolds and relates to nicotine engineering. It all but forcasts the arrival of NRT. I'll see if I can't squeeze it in below.

Please note that its not offered to villify the tobacco industry, engaged in marketing a legal product, but to show you that your chemical captivity was no accident and that it wasn't your fault that you didn't know the truth. By the way, the above is an actual pack of Camels from Canada containing that nation's addiction warning label. John

Research Planning Memorandum on the Nature of the
Tobacco Business and the Crucial Role of Nicotine
April 14, 1972

The paper contains the following notable quotes:

"In a sense, the tobacco industry may be thought of as being a specialized, highly ritualized and stylized segment of the pharmaceutical industry."

"...Thus a tobacco product is, in essence, a vehicle for delivery of nicotine, designed to deliver the nicotine in a generally acceptable and attractive form. Our Industry is then based upon design, manufacture and sale of attractive dosage forms of nicotine, and our Company's position in our Industry is determined by our ability to produce dosage forms of nicotine which have more overall value, tangible or intangible, to the consumer than those of our competitors."

The planning memorandum also discusses how to interest non-smokers (also referred to as "pre-smokers") in using cigarettes, when the product seems to have no overt benefits:

"...if we are to attract the non-smoker or pre-smoker, there is nothing in this type of product that he would currently understand or desire. We have deliberately played down the role of nicotine, hence the non-smoker has little or no knowledge of what satisfactions it may offer him, and no desire to try it. Instead, we somehow must convince him with wholly irrational reasons that he should try smoking, in the hope that he will for himself then discover the real 'satisfactions' obtainable. And, of course, in the present advertising climate, our opportunities to talk to the pre-smoker are increasingly limited..."

Original Full Document in PDF Format
HTML Summary (source of the above summary post)


Rickrob53 Gold
Rickrob53 Gold

July 11th, 2004, 7:33 am #10

Sometimes, a bit of good information is buried within a post. I'm not sending this to the top so much for asthma as I am for the posts from John concerning whats in a cigarette. Very informative!



October 2nd, 2004, 12:29 pm #11

I also have what's in a cigarette questions for John:

After 40 years, I developed asthma, chronic bronchitis and some emphysema. I haven't taken the breathing test yet, only chest xray and physical exams, but I am told I have COPD (Emphysema and/or asthma and chronic bronchitis). Now I have no medical , ah, no expensived tests.....

I have neve been able to use an inhaler because the epinephrine causes me to have incredibly acute anxiety attacks, nausea, insomnia, agitation, etc. I can no longer stand the smell of perfumes, chemicals, nail salons..all sorts of things. They make me feel allergic and asthmatic. My question: does the asthma gradually improve over time? Quite truthfully, my doctors are not all that enlightened on nicotine, NRTs or the addiction in general. Or even answers to the questions to the questions I'm asking here. medical advice. Any clinical studies to which you can refer me regarding asthma and quitting? }}}

Thank you, al.

Mary Ann

Joined: November 11th, 2008, 7:22 pm

July 10th, 2009, 3:09 am #12

Smoking affects eotaxin levels in asthma patients

J Asthma. 2009 Jun;46(5):470-6.

Krisiukeniene A, Babusyte A, Stravinskaite K, Lotvall J, Sakalauskas R, Sitkauskiene B.
Department of Pulmonology and Immunology, Kaunas University of Medicine, Kaunas, Lithuania.


BACKGROUND: Chronic airway inflammation is most important pathological finding in asthma. Cigarette smoking may modify type of inflammation as well as may influence disease severity and response to the treatment.

OBJECTIVE: Thus the aim of this study was to investigate whether cigarette smoking may have an influence on the levels of eotaxin-1, eotaxin-2, eotaxin-3 and IL-5 in patients with stable mild/moderate asthma. METHODS: 45 steroid naive asthmatics (mean age: 55.2 2.2 yrs) and 23 "healthy" smokers and non-smokers control subjects (mean age: 54.4 9.7 yrs) were investigated. Asthmatics were divided into two subgroups according to their smoking histories: asthmatic smokers (n = 19) who currently smoke and have a history of > 10 pack-years and asthmatic never-smokers (n = 26). BAL and induced sputum were performed. Cytospins of induced sputum and BAL were stained with May-Grunwald-Giemsa for differential cell counts. Eotaxin-1, eotaxin-2, eotaxin-3 and IL-5 concentrations in serum, sputum and BAL supernatant was measured using a commercial ELISA kit.

RESULTS: In sputum supernatant from asthma smokers was significantly higher concentration of eotaxin-1 than in non-smokers asthmatics (203.4 10.0 vs. 140.2 9.5 respectively, p < 0.05). In non-smokers asthma patients levels of BAL eotaxin-1 strongly related to percent and absolute numbers of BAL eosinophils and neutrophils (Rs = 0.737 and Rs = 0.514 respectively, p < 0.05). The number and percent of sputum neutrophils and eosinophils, obtained from smokers asthmatics, significantly correlated with eotaxin-2 concentration in sputum supernatant (Rs = 0.58 and Rs = 0.75 respectively, p < 0.05). IL-5 levels in the serum and sputum from asthmatic never-smokers were significantly higher than they were from asthmatic smokers and "healthy" smokers. Asthmatic never-smokers showed a significantly higher amount of IL-5 in serum and sputum than the asthmatic smokers showed.

CONCLUSIONS: This study showed the elevated levels of sputum eotaxin-1 as well as serum, sputum and BAL eotaxin-2 in asthmatic smokers without a significant increase of eosinophils compared to asthmatic never-smokers. The eotaxin concentrations were related not only with number of eosinophils but also with the number of neutrophils in all the studied tissue compartments. The data herein permits a suggestion that smoking may influence change in asthmatic airway inflammation by stimulating the production of eotaxins. ... 0902846349