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Smoking Kills but May Prevent Allergies

Smoking is one of the worst habits you can take up since it's linked to all sorts of health risks such as lung cancer, emphysema, and cardiovascular disease. That's a pretty convincing list to make anyone quit (or never start), but a recent study suggests one surprisingly good thing could come out of smoking — prevention of certain types of allergies.

Smoking cigarettes decreases the body's allergic response by obstructing the activity of mast cells (cells that contain histamine). This study was performed on mouse mast cells, but researches think the same antiallergy effect will hold true for people too. That's not to say you should take up smoking to cure your springtime sniffles and sneezing, but it could help explain why smokers are less susceptible to allergy symptoms.


draven83 draven83 6 years
I think many of you are being way too critical. Nowhere in the article is smoking encouraged. In fact, the author wouldn't even mention the fact that smoking prevents allergies without listing off all of the reasons why you shouldn't smoke. And seriously give smokers a little credit. Most smokers who are really trying to quit are well aware of the withdrawal symptoms. If they still try to quit smoking knowing that they could experience weight gain, insomnia, depression and headaches for months, I'm pretty sure allergies aren't going to deter them. I'm glad this article is hear because it is exactly what I was trying to find. Like some of the other people who commented, I would get sinus infections constantly when I was a smoker. I was looking forward to not having to deal with them as much once my body began to heal. I've been an ex-smoker for 3 months now and everyday I've had to deal with allergies like never before. I sneeze regularly and I have to carry tissues with me everywhere. It's pretty annoying. I'm happy to understand why it's happening though, and that it will hopefully get better in time.
darc5204 darc5204 8 years
This is perfectly good research that has a place in the science community, but I'm not sure it belongs on a health website.
dreamsugar dreamsugar 8 years
And I wonder if the allergy attacks 2nd hand smoke victims? When I went to college after living with my mother who is a long time smoker - I developed allergies. It took about 2 years for the allergies to go away.
dreamsugar dreamsugar 8 years
The benefits???? I flipping hate SMOKE. Take a Claritin or something.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
That's interesting, but I don't think I'll take up smoking anytime soon. I'll be curious to see what scientists will be able to do with the findings though. Like TidalWave said, maybe they'll use the data to find new antihistamines. Still, I think most people would rather suffer with allergies over having a lifetime of asthma and emphysema.
chibarosa chibarosa 8 years
Same here - when I smoked I had terrible sinus infections. After I quit the sinus infections went away, but soon afterward I started having what I call "allergy attacks" I had to start allergy treatments. I can deal with the allergies though.
starangel82 starangel82 8 years
That is interesting. I don't think it is a 'poor taste' article. It's just stating a fact. Just like taking allergy medicines can cause headaches, nosebleeds, nausea, etc. You know, when I smoked, I had horrible sinus problems. Since I quit, my sinus problems have improved, but my allergies have gone haywire. Still, it's not enough to make me want to start smoking again!
smaine07 smaine07 8 years
Actually I never had allergy problems until I smoked a couple years ago... Since then I have had HORRIBLE problems with sinuses and allergies..(I don't smoke now)
cnyc1a cnyc1a 8 years
Wow I must be in the small percentile that actually get's serious allergy attacks around those that smoke, even when I used to smoke. I'm so happy I quit and will never miss it.
margokhal margokhal 8 years
There's enough serious negatives to outweigh any possible benefit from smoking. Though this is interesting. Take allergy meds and antihistamines - they're about as expensive, if not less, as a pack of cigarettes, and things Claritin won't give you and those around you heart and lung disease and emphysema. Also, the article says it protects against SOME types of allergies, not all.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
It's a health issue, not a pro-smoking ad. It's not like Fit is encouraging people to pick up the cigarettes. And it explains why I suddenly got allergies the year I quit smoking when I'd never had them before.
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
It's educational for us to learn all of the effects of cigarette smoke. You know, because perhaps scientist's can use this knowledge to develop a better anti-histamine.
cmill38 cmill38 8 years
What's the big deal? It's a health issue. I'm certainly not going to take up smoking, but it's an interesting study that may lead researchers to finding more solutions to allergies that don't include cigs. I could certainly use a new remedy for my allergies.
xlove33 xlove33 8 years
wow, such poor taste to publish such a post. It doesn't take much for addicts to find a reason not to quit... you just gave them one and it comes from a "fitness" source... way to go.
darkoblivion darkoblivion 8 years
I'll just keep my horrible allergies. At least they won't kill me :)
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