May 18th, 2009
05:02 PM ET
Can cigarette smoke help allergies?
By Elizabeth Landau
Since allergy season began in late March, I have been trying to avoid settings where a lot of people are likely to be smoking. Even outside in Atlanta’s hipster neighborhood of Little Five Points, I found myself coughing uncontrollably last week when walking past a group of people smoking on a corner. Allergists agree that cigarette smoke aggravates allergies.
But a new study recommended by the Faculty of 1000 Biology challenges this conventional wisdom. Researchers at Utrecht University in the Netherlands took mast cells, which play a role in the immune response to allergies, from mice, and treated them with a smoke-infused solution.
They found that the smoke treatment prevented the mast cells from releasing inflammation-induced proteins, which is what normally happens when exposed to allergens. The smoke solution did not affect other mast cell immune functions, the researchers said. This anti-allergy effect would likely hold true for humans, they wrote.
The general idea that smoke would help allergies is surprising, said Dr. Stanley Fineman, allergist with the Atlanta Allergy and Asthma Clinic.
“In humans, we know from the patients that we see that cigarette smoke is very irritating to the mucosa, the lining of the airways,” he said. “People who have allergies tend to have inflamed respiratory mucosa.”
Years of patient work has shown that smoke is detrimental to people with allergies, he said.
Whatever benefits to allergies cigarette smoke may theoretically carry, the costs are hard to ignore: Cigarette smoking accounts for about 30 percent of all cancer deaths nationwide, according the American Cancer Society. About 87 percent of lung cancer deaths, the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women, are caused by smoking. Smoking can also lead to other types of cancer.
Editor's Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.
About this blog
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.
This is a very interesting article. Please, share more like this!
Impressive! Thanks for the post
I'm not sure where you are getting your information, but great topic.
Keep this going please, great job!
Thanks for wonderful information I used to be in search of this info for my mission.
This website was... how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something that helped me. Thanks a lot!
best i have ever seen!Hello, always i used to check webpage posts here early in the daylight, for the reason that i love to gain knowledge of more and more.
Your style is so unique in comparison to other people I have read stuff from. Thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this site.
This blog is great check it out
Wow this blog is very nice!
Impressive! Thanks for the post
You need to be a part of a contest for one of the highest quality websites on the web. I most certainly will highly recommend this web site!
Pretty! This has been an incredibly wonderful post. Thank you for providing this information.
I'm very pleased to find this page. I want to to thank you for ones time just for this wonderful read!! I definitely loved every part of it and I have you book-marked to look at new information on your blog.
discount pharmacy card https://pharmacylo.com/ usa pharmacy online
I'd like to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this website. I'm hoping to check out the same high-grade blog posts from you in the future as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my very own website now 😉
An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker who was conducting a little research on this. And he in fact ordered me lunch because I discovered it for him... lol. So allow me to reword this.... Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending some time to discuss this subject here on your internet site.
buy brimonidine online brimonidine tartrate ophthalmic
Spot on with this write-up, I really believe that this web site needs a great deal more attention. I’ll probably be returning to see more, thanks for the advice!
Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thank you, However I am encountering issues with your RSS. I don’t understand the reason why I cannot join it. Is there anybody else having the same RSS problems? Anyone that knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanks!!
Hello, i feel that i noticed you visited my website so
i got here to go back the favor?.I'm trying to to find things to
enhance my website!I suppose its adequate to make use of
a few of your ideas!!
I was very pleased to discover this web site. I wanted to thank you for ones time just for this wonderful read!! I definitely savored every little bit of it and i also have you saved as a favorite to check out new information in your site.
This website really has all of the information and facts I wanted about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.
Excellent post. I'm experiencing a few of these issues as well..
Greetings! Very helpful advice within this article! It is the little changes that will make the biggest changes. Thanks for sharing!
Great post. I'm going through a few of these issues as well..
It’s hard to find educated people on this subject, but you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks