0
Communications to the Editor |

Cigarette Smoking, Asthma, and Emphysema FREE TO VIEW

Tsung O. Cheng
Author and Funding Information

The George Washington University Medical Center Washington, DC

Correspondence to: Tsung O. Cheng, MD, FCCP, Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, The George Washington University Medical Center, 2150 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20037



Chest. 2003;124(6):2408. doi:10.1378/chest.124.6.2408
Text Size: A A A
Published online

To the Editor:

I read with interest the recent report of Silverman et al (May 2003)1 about cigarette smoking among asthmatic adults. What impressed me most was their finding that, although 50% of current smokers admitted smoking worsens their asthma symptoms, only 4% stated that smoking was responsible for their current exacerbation.1 A similar scenario exists in patients with pulmonary emphysema.

In my practice, I saw many patients with chronic cor pulmonale due to pulmonary emphysema who are invariably cigarette smokers. They continue to smoke, despite the obvious fact smoking made their cough worse. The invariable answer to my question why they continued to smoke if smoking made their cough worse was that cigarette-induced cough loosened their sputum. This seems to be a universal response of cigarette smokers, in both the United States and China where cigarette smoking is rampant.23

In Chinese, xiao tan is the equivalent expression for loosening the phlegm. What I usually did for these patients in China was to ask them to perform a simple FVC test to measure the FEV1 before and after they smoked a cigarette. I then showed how the FEV1 fell instead of rising after they smoked a cigarette. Such a visual demonstration that cigarette smoking worsened instead of improving the airway obstruction usually did more good than my constant preaching of the harm of smoking. As they say in China, one picture is better than a thousand words.

References

Silverman, RA, Boudreaux, ED, Woodruff, PG, et al (2003) Cigarette smoking among asthmatic adults presenting to 64 emergency departments.Chest123,1472-1479. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Cheng, TO Smoking and diabetes in Chinese men [letter]. Postgrad Med J. 2001;;77 ,.:551. [CrossRef]
 
Cheng, TO, Chen, TO Help with tobacco control [letter] [published correction in Lancet 2001; 358:766]. Lancet. 2001;;358 ,.:511
 

Figures

Tables

References

Silverman, RA, Boudreaux, ED, Woodruff, PG, et al (2003) Cigarette smoking among asthmatic adults presenting to 64 emergency departments.Chest123,1472-1479. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Cheng, TO Smoking and diabetes in Chinese men [letter]. Postgrad Med J. 2001;;77 ,.:551. [CrossRef]
 
Cheng, TO, Chen, TO Help with tobacco control [letter] [published correction in Lancet 2001; 358:766]. Lancet. 2001;;358 ,.:511
 
NOTE:
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

  • CHEST Journal
    Print ISSN: 0012-3692
    Online ISSN: 1931-3543