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Cystic fibrosis and cigarettes


I am a mother of a 15-year-old teenager who has cystic fibrosis. I have just learned this morning that last week, she smoked two cigarettes.

I wanted to know what can be the consequences of her gesture. I am enormously put under stress.

Thank you for your answer
The cigarette smoke is a mixture of gas and particles which contains 4000 substances. Inhaled, it constitutes an irritation of the respiratory mucous membrane, modifies the bronchial secretions and favors the growth of germs. Experimental studies even highlighted that it inhibited the functioning of the protein CFTR which is already abnormal in cystic fibrosis.
It is particularly harmful for people who have respiratory mucus that is already thick and viscous as in cystic fibrosis. The consumption of hashish has the same harmful effects.
Few studies adress active smoking of young CF patients. Of a population of patients older than 15 years, 46 % report to have tried to smoke but only 3 % to 12 % pursue active smoking (Ortega-Garcia JA and Mc Ewan FA, JCystFibros on 2012).
The exposure to tobacco smoke of other smokers, that is the passive smoking, must be also avoided. Between 23 % and 59 % of the patients are regularly exposed to it depending on the country. It was well demonstrated that the passive smoking had a negative impact on the respiratory function of the patients (Collaco JM, JAMA on 2008).
More than other people, CF patients have to protect themselves from smoke of tobacco. In France, the “law Evin” aims at this protection.
It is also important to inform early young patients about the risks of smoking on their health.
If she is not quitting smoking, you should not hesitate to ask for advice the doctor of your CF center who will possibly turn to a center of tobacco addiction specialized in help for cessation of smoking.

Best Regards,
Dr Nadine Dufeu