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Cystic Fibrosis

Smoking & Alcohol


As you may already be aware, tobacco use and smoking can be particularly harmful for people with Cystic Fibrosis and can have a huge impact on lung function. Smoking should be avoided to prevent damage to your lungs. You should also avoid second hand smoke too from other people. You can find out more about the effects of smoking here

If you do smoke, it is really important to try to give up smoking for your health and lung function. If you would like to stop smoking, there are several different treatments that can help with this. You can find out more information about these treatments here.

E-cigarettes contain nicotine, just like cigarettes, and can help people give up smoking or reduce the number of cigarettes they smoke. However, the long-term effects of vaping with an e-cigarette are unknown and we do not currently know the effect of vaping on the lungs, the heart, other organs, or the risk of cancer. Recent studies suggest there may be some negative effects of vaping on the lungs, which are similar to the effects of smoking. Some of the effects on the lungs appear to be related to inhaling the flavourings used in vaping devices. This is because they are currently unregulated. You can find out more information on the flavourings and their potential toxicity to the lungs here. Because we do not really know yet the potential effects of vaping for health, we would recommend you don't use e-cigarettes and instead use some of the other treatments talked about above to try to give up smoking.  


Too much alcohol can damage your liver and immune system, which can increase your likelihood of infections. A lot of alcohol or other substances may leave you with a hangover, which may mean you are less likely to do things to take care of yourself, like your Cystic Fibrosis treatments.

If you are smoking or taking other substances and would like some support with this, you can talk with your Cystic Fibrosis team who will be able to support you or signpost you to other services that can help.

Cannabis and other illegal drugs

It is important to be aware that some drugs can affect the lung when inhaled and have an direct impact on your Cystic Fibrosis health. Cannabis is one of the commonest inhaled illegal drugs and can cause lung damage, both used by itself or mixed with tobacco. Tobacco and cannabis can worsen symptoms in Cystic Fibrosis, causing wheezing, cough and increase risk of infections  and can cause significant worsening of the lung damage associated with Cystic Fibrosis. Talk to frank is a helpful and impartial website that discusses all the 'highs and lows' of illegal substance misuse.  You can also talk to you Cystic Fibrosis team for more information or support.