Can You Be Allergic to Cigarette Smoke?

There seems to be a consensus that you just can’t be allergic to cigarette smoke. Cigarette smoke is currently classified as an irritant. Those who claim to be allergic to cigarettes are said to be I personally do not believe this to be true, but I am definitely not an allergist nor have I read all the scientific literature. As smoker with unidentifiable food allergies, I know first-hand that we still have a lot to learn about allergies and their causes. Therefore, cigarette smoke may contain an allergen that has yet to be identified.  

Before claiming to be allergic to cigarette smoke, you should ask yourself the following questions.   They will help you determine whether or not you are really allergic to cigarettes or merely sensitive.

Are You Allergic to More Than Just Cigarettes?

Cigarette smoke is an irritant. In other words, it might cause an allergic reaction to a different allergen. Smoke may even trigger anallergy attack that would normally not occur. For example, if you’re mildly allergic to shrimp, being in an environment with a lot of second-hand smoke can cause a more serious allergic reaction.

If you don’t believe you have other allergies. Constant smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke may also cause newallergies to develop. Your best bet is to keep a dietary diary, and see if there is a correlation between food or environment and cigarette smoke. If there is no correlation, you may be allergic to cigarette smoke.

Do Antihistamines Alleviate Your Symptoms?

If antihistamines are not alleviating your cigarette smoke allergy symptoms, there is a chance that you are allergy free. You might either be sensitive to smoke or have vasomotor rhinitis. The chances of the later depend on your answer to the next question.

Are You Sensitive to Other Strong Odors or Weather?

If other odors like perfume or incense trigger allergic reactions, there are very high chances that you are not allergic to cigarettes. You should definitely go see a doctor, because you may have vasomotor rhinitis or other nasal issues.

Have You Ever Visited an Allergist?

Allergy tests are the best way to diagnose allergies. However, allergies to cigarettes cannot really be tested by the typical exam. In any case, allergists may be able to discover an allergy that has been triggered by the effects of cigarette smoke. This is where your allergy diary will come in handy.

Still Think You Are Allergic to Cigarette Smoke?

Just avoid the smoke! If this is hard or impossible to do, here are some ways to prevent allergic reactions to cigarettes

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