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Health A-Z

Smoking: Is it affecting my children's asthma?

I've had asthma since the age of four, and I think my children may have inherited my tendency, though they only get wheezy when running around. Last night they both got wheezy in the evening and during the night had croupy coughs. By morning, they were back to normal again. My doctor said they might be sensitive to cigarette smoke in the house my husband smoked about three cigarettes last night, but he was in a separate room and put a blanket at the bottom of the door to stop smoke from escaping. Could just the smell of smoke cause the children to wheeze?

Dr Fred Kavalier answers your health question:

Children who are asthmatic, or have a tendency to wheeze, can be very sensitive to certain triggers, including cigarette smoke. Smoking in a different room doesn't protect children from exposure to the smoke. (Holding a cigarette out of the window doesn't work either.) It is vitally important that no one smokes in your house, as it's clearly harmful to your children. Ask your doctor about devices called spacers that are designed for children, who can find inhalers difficult to use.

Please mail your questions for Dr Fred to health@independent.co.uk. He regrets that he is unable to respond personally to questions.