Is tobacco smoke an allergen?

Second-hand smoke is often referred to as an allergen because it causes reactions usually associated with allergies. Many people complain of being allergic to cigarette smoke because it irritates their eyes, nose, or throat, but this is usually not a true allergy, because the immune system is not involved.

These symptoms are more likely a case of over-sensitivity to smoke. Although tobacco smoke itself has not been proven to cause allergic reactions, studies show that it can increase the irritation in people already suffering from asthma, hay fever, and food allergies. Many tests have been conducted on both adults and children to determine the effect of second-hand smoke on allergies.

The results showed that if you have asthma and breathe second-hand smoke, you could trigger an asthma attack. Also, children exposed to cigarette smoke over a long period are two to four times as likely to develop allergic reactions and asthma than children of non-smoking parents. Even smokers sometimes suffer irritating effects from their own tobacco smoke. These findings suggest tobacco smoke plays a significant role in allergies even though it’s not directly responsible for the allergies.

source: koinlocal6.com

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