Bronchitis can be triggered by breathing in irritant substances such as smoke, chemicals in household products and or tobacco smoke. Smoking is the main cause of chronic bronchitis and it can affect people who inhale second-hand smoke as well as smokers themselves.
You can also be at risk of contracting bronchitis if you are exposed to materials that can damage your lungs, such as grain dust, textiles (fabric fibers), ammonia, strong acids or chlorine. This is sometimes referred to as occupational bronchitis. It usually eases once you are no longer exposed to the irritant substance.
A study carried out by researchers at the COPD Program at Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute in Albuquerque found out that smoking was associated with the overproduction of mucus that causes bronchitis. They reported their findings in the Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.