About Cystic Fibrosis

Dangers of Smoking to People with Cystic Fibrosis

The condition called cystic fibrosis is a life-long hereditary ailment that affects the mucus and sweat glands. This chronic, autosomal recessive disorder is due to a defective gene produced by an irregularly-formed CTFR gene protein. The result is an over-secretion of mucus in the respiratory ducts. It significantly impairs the lungs and increases the susceptibility of infection in patients when bacteria breed on excess mucus secretions in the respiratory airways. Both smoking and second-hand smoking can have a drastic effect to lung health in people suffering from cystic fibrosis.

Having this vulnerability to infection, it is important for people with cystic fibrosis to consider the impact of cigarette smoking and second-hand smoking to their health. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation cannot over-emphasize the detrimental effects and dangers of smoking to CF patients.

Effects of Cigarette Smoking to People with CF

A person who has CF can never smoke cigarettes without suffering its dire consequences. Even if the patient only complains of mild symptoms of lung disease, smoking can seriously compromise lung function capacity. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention or CDCP cannot over-emphasize the dangers of smoking. According to their published reports, smoking in young people can impede lung growth rate and decrease the level of maximum lung function; smokers, as a group, have more rapid decrease in Forced Expiratory Volume or FEV in one second with age; and in young people, regular smoking is responsible for cough and increased frequency and severity of lung ailments. Simply put, cystic fibrosis and smoking would never fit together. Smoking may even disqualify patients for lung transplant.

Effects of Second-Hand Smoking to CF Patients

Second-hand smoking also poses a threat to patients with CF. The term called environmental tobacco smoke or ETS includes the smoke that burns at the cigarette end and the second-hand smoke exhaled by a smoker with each breath. ETS contains toxic gases and irritants that can aggravate CF conditions. Children exposed to second-hand smoke have increased risk of suffering from colds, bronchitis, pneumonia and respiratory infections and are more likely to get hospitalized. Abnormal lung function in cystic fibrosis patients have worsened when they were exposed to second-hand smoking.

Nicotine in cigarettes has also been proven to regulate weight, thus tobacco smokers tend to gain less. Low-birth weight should also be a major concern to women who smoke during pregnancy. Studies even show that the amount of a child’s exposure to ETS is directly related to the height and weight of a child with CF.

Knowing the effects of smoking and second-hand smoking to people with cystic fibrosis can aid parents and patients to become more cautious of being exposed to cigarette smoke and taking care of their lung health. If parents who have children suffering from cystic fibrosis are having a hard time to quit smoking, choosing to quit and getting help may be the first best thing that they can do for their children.

Disclaimer: This website provides general information about cystic fibrosis and in no means should be taken as a medical or health advice. Please consult your doctor before acting on any of its information.