“For the smoker, inhaling cigarette smoke is known to accelerate the destructive processes at work in the lungs and puts the development of lung disease on the “fast-track.” For Alphas who smoke, that fast-track becomes an “express train.” But it is not only the risk to the smoker that is of concern. Secondhand smoke can also cause considerable damage to the lungs of Alphas who do not smoke themselves.
In addition, children of smokers appear to have a much higher incidence of asthma than children of non-smokers. If your child is either an Alpha or an Alpha-1 An Alpha-1 Carrier is a person who has one normal ATT gene (M) and one defective AAT gene (usually S or Z). It does NOT mean you cannot get sick., the risk of developing lung disease in later life will be greatly increased by exposure to secondhand smoke. The risks associated with cigarette smoke, especially in the presence of Alpha-1, are clear and profound.
Recent long-term studies indicate that approximately one-half of all regular cigarette smokers will eventually die from their addiction. Since having Alpha-1 already puts you at an increased risk for developing lung disease, the damage inflicted by smoking will almost guarantee it. Therefore, your first priority for managing the risk factors associated with developing lung disease in Alpha-1 should be the elimination of exposure to all forms of tobacco smoke.”
To read more information about how smoking affects Alpha-1, more reasons why you should stop smoking, and ideas on how to quit, please read the section on smoking in AlphaNet’s Staying Healthy brochure: https://www.alphanet.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Staying-Healthy.pdf