Many people report fewer breathing symptoms when they smoke (especially early on). This has led to the belief that asthma does better when smoking. Fortunately, this belief is not commonly held nowadays, because even though some people feel they do better with their asthma when they smoke, smoking leads to increased inflammation in the airways in the lungs and will almost always lead to a much greater and more rapid decline in lung function than would be seen with either asthma or smoking alone. So, for the individual that feels that smoking helps their asthma, unfortunately it is really just masking some of the symptoms, even while the asthma may be doing worse and while permanent changes may be developing.