Last updated: May 2020
Author: Asthma Program, Vermont Department of Health
The trend line well illustrates an annual bump that usually occurs as a result of New Year's resolutions among Vermonters and renewed efforts to stop smoking. In early spring, the Tobacco Program conducts marketing campaigns in the spring that stimulate an increase in registrants. The Asthma Program regularly works to support and/or complement these efforts by investing its own resources into advertising campaigns and referrals. The sharp increase around New Years 2019 continues this pattern. The winter campaign, which ran from January 1 through February 28, likely resulting in the increase through March 2019. In the fall/winter of 2015 and the spring of 2016, the Asthma Program invested in two online advertising campaigns intended to generate even higher bumps in the number of smokers who call the quit line. As seen in the data, it looks as though this was a success. On 802Quits.org, the asthma campaign generated 7,100 unique page visits and 60% more new visitors. The average time on the page was over 1 minute.
When a person inhales tobacco smoke, irritating substances settle in the moist lining of the airways. These substances can cause an attack in a person who has asthma.
In addition, tobacco smoke damages tiny hair-like structures in the airways called cilia. Normally, cilia sweep dust and mucus out of the airways. Tobacco smoke damages cilia so they are unable to work, allowing dust and mucus to accumulate in the airways.
Smoke also causes the lungs to make more mucus than normal. As a result, even more mucus can build up in the airways, triggering an attack.