The effects of smoking on the development of work related asthma and on the production of specific IgE and IgG antibodies to antigen from a contaminated humidifier are described for a sample of 258 workers from a printing factory. Current smoking was associated with low production of IgG antibody but with higher production of IgE antibody. No dose response for either antibody was found when numbers of cigarettes or pack-years smoked were considered. Work related asthma was detected in 12 workers by peak flow recordings. Six were current smokers and one was an ex-smoker. One subject with work related asthma had a high (and one a marginal) concentration of specific IgE to humidifier antigen.
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