Dangers of Smoking While Using Oxygen
Supplemental oxygen -- a life-saving therapy for many diseases and conditions -- poses serious safety risks when used while smoking. Normal air contains 21 percent oxygen, while supplemental oxygen can contain up to 100 percent oxygen. Although oxygen itself is not flammable, it creates an environment in which fires can easily ignite and burn quickly. You should never smoke inside a home where supplemental oxygen is in use.
Smoking while on oxygen increases the risk of fire. Once ignited, fires burn hotter and more rapidly in oxygen-rich surroundings. This leads to larger fires that are harder to extinguish and more difficult to escape. Sparks created from striking a match or lighter are enough to ignite a fire while oxygen is in use. Fires endanger the lives of people who are on oxygen, others in the home or surrounding area and emergency personnel who respond to the fire.
- Smoking while on oxygen increases the risk of fire.
- Fires endanger the lives of people who are on oxygen, others in the home or surrounding area and emergency personnel who respond to the fire.
Risk of Burns
Ribs Cracking and Stretching
After oxygen is turned off, increased oxygen levels still linger on the hair, skin and clothing of anyone receiving oxygen therapy. This creates the danger of serious burns on the head and face if smoking materials are brought toward the mouth and burns on the remainder of the body if clothing ignites.
People who require supplemental oxygen generally suffer from serious heart or respiratory diseases. Continuing to smoke is likely to worsen the medical condition that necessitates oxygen. Talk with your doctor about resources and treatments to help you quit smoking.
Ribs Cracking and Stretching
Dangers of Home Oxygen Use
Breathing Problems Caused by Exposure to Toxic Mold
The Effects of Inhaling Smoke From a Bonfire
Smoking & Wheezing
How to Get the Smell of Cigarettes Out of Your Nose
Health Dangers of Gas Grills
Causes of Low Blood Oxygen Levels
How to Heal Burned Skin From Glycolic Acid
What Is a Non-Rebreather Mask?
- Mass.gov: A Firefighters Guide to Educating Occupant(s) on the Hazards of Smoking and Home Oxygen Use
- Massachusetts General Hospital: Smoking and Home Oxygen: Doubling the Danger
- International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: The Importance of Knowing the Home Conditions of Patients Receiving Long-Term Oxygen Therapy
- World Health Organization: Oxygen Therapy for Acute Respiratory Infections in Young Children in Developing Countries
- Things to Know When Using Oxygen Therapy. American Lung Association. August 23, 2018
- The Long-Term Oxygen Treatment Trial Research Group. A Randomized Trial of Long-Term Oxygen for COPD with Moderate Desaturation. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2016;375(17):1617-1627. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1604344.
- American Lung Association. Supplemental Oxygen. 2017.
- Shah SA, Velardo C, Farmer A, Tarassenko L. Exacerbations in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Identification and Prediction Using a Digital Health System. Eysenbach G, ed. Journal of Medical Internet Research. 2017;19(3):e69. doi:10.2196/jmir.7207.
- Turan O, Ure I, Turan PA. Erectile dysfunction in COPD patients. Chron Respir Dis. 2016;13(1):5–12. doi:10.1177/1479972315619382
- Traveling with Oxygen. American Lung Association. October 3, 2018
- Nishimura M. High-flow nasal cannula oxygen therapy in adults. J Intensive Care. 2015;3(1):15. Published 2015 Mar 31. doi:10.1186/s40560-015-0084-5
- Abdo WF, Heunks LM. Oxygen-induced hypercapnia in COPD: myths and facts. Crit Care. 2012;16(5):323. Published 2012 Oct 29. doi:10.1186/cc11475
- American Thoracic Society. Patient Education Information Series. Oxygen Therapy. 2016.