Simply being around cigarette smoke or smoking yourself may be part of your problem. Nothing makes my blood boil more than meeting a CAID sufferer who smokes. We all know that smoking is harmful to the body in several ways. What you might not realize is that it is extremely harmful to the respiratory system. Forgetting about your own risks of emphysema and lung cancer, smoking is one of the most harmful things you can do to yourself or a family member that has asthma or sinus disease.
When tobacco smoke is inhaled, the irritants settle in the lining of your nose, sinuses, and lungs and can set off an inflammatory response that can end up as an asthma attack. Smoke also paralyzes, and often literally burns, the ciliated hair cells which are essential for moving these and other irritants out of your body. Study after study has shown that smoking increases the risk of sinusitis. According to one report, people who smoke 11 or more cigarettes a day are about 16 percent more likely to have at least one more case of sinusitis than nonsmokers. People with sinusitis should avoid being around cigarette smoke because secondhand smoke can make symptoms more severe. The report on secondhand smoke speculated that nicotine as well as other chemicals in tobacco smoke may promote sinusitis by affecting the nose and its secretions.
The courts are on my side as well. Entire cities, like New York City, have outlawed cigarette smoking in public spaces, including restaurants and bars. In July 2002, a flight attendant for TWA won a $5.5 million verdict in her lawsuit against tobacco companies, blaming secondhand smoke for her chronic sinusitis problems. The plaintiff was a flight attendant for 14 years before cigarette smoking was banned on airplanes.