Fireworks Make an Appointment Ask a Question Search Conditions It’s easy to get caught up in the beautiful spectacle of a fireworks display, but for Americans with breathing problems, the poor air quality following fireworks can literally take their breath away. If you have a respiratory condition such as asthma or COPD, fireworks can affect air quality and your health. Fireworks shows can cause enough second-hand smoke and irritants to trigger symptoms that might require more asthma medication than normal, or even a more aggressive intervention. Tips for breathing easy on July 4th: Those with poorly controlled or severe asthma may want to limit or avoid fireworks. Don’t get too close to a large amount of fireworks smoke or particulates. Don’t sit immediately downwind of a large local show or even the neighborhood display. Take your everyday asthma meds regularly. If you sometimes need an inhaler, take it with you. See your doctor if you symptoms increase.