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Canadian Respiratory Journal
Volume 15, Issue 5, Pages 275-279
Original Article

Influence of Current or Former Smoking on Asthma Management and Control

Louis-Philippe Boulet,1 J Mark FitzGerald,2 R Andrew McIvor,3 Sabrina Zimmerman,4 and Kenneth R Chapman5

1Unité de Recherche en Pneumologie, Centre de Recherche de l’Hôpital Laval, Institut Universitaire de Cardiologie et de Pneumologie de l’Université Laval, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
2Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
3Division of Respirology, Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health, St Joseph’s Healthcare, Hamilton, Canada
4AstraZeneca Canada Inc, Mississauga, Canada
5Asthma and Airway Centre, University Health Network, Toronto Western Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Copyright © 2008 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


BACKGROUND: In patients with asthma, smoking has been associated with accelerated decline in pulmonary function, poor disease control and reduced responsiveness to corticosteroids.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the influence of current and former smoking on self-reported asthma control and health care use in a large population of asthma patients.

METHODS: The present analysis was conducted following a telephone survey of adult Canadians aged 18 to 54 years who had physician-diagnosed asthma and a smoking history of less than 20 pack-years.

RESULTS: Of 893 patients, 268 were former smokers and 108 were current smokers. Daytime and nighttime symptoms, absenteeism from work or school, emergency care use for asthma in the past year, and use of a short-acting bronchodilator without controller medication were reported more frequently by current smokers than non-smokers and former smokers. Former smokers were not significantly different from nonsmokers with respect to most asthma outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS: Current smokers with asthma show evidence of poorer asthma control and greater acute care needs than lifelong nonsmokers or former smokers. These observations stress the importance of smoking cessation to help achieve asthma control.