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How Can Bronchitis Be Prevented?

You can't always prevent acute or chronic bronchitis. However, you can take steps to lower your risk for both conditions. The most important step is to quit smoking or not start smoking.

For more information about how to quit smoking, go to the Diseases and Conditions Index Smoking and Your Heart article and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's "Your Guide to a Healthy Heart." Although these resources focus on heart health, they include general information about how to quit smoking.

Also, try to avoid other lung irritants, such as secondhand smoke, dust, fumes, vapors, and air pollution. For example, wear a mask over your mouth and nose when you use paint, paint remover, varnish, or other substances with strong fumes. This will help protect your lungs.

Wash your hands often to limit your exposure to germs and bacteria. Your doctor also may advise you to get a yearly flu shot and a pneumonia vaccine.

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March 1, 2011