How exactly do they screw up asthma? Well, every time you see someone use an inhaler (whether or actual asthma, or a disease of some sort that would need an inhaler) they always take a puff, suck in for a brief second, and immediately let it out, usually the instant after removing the inhaler. I'm sorry to report, but this NOT how it is done. Not even close. It's so blatantly wrong it actually hurts, and Hollywood has been at this for a long time. When you use an inhaler the object is to get the medicine deep into the longs, hold it there for a suitable amount of time so it can get into all the little cells and what not. This produces the maximum amount of relief. Think of it this way: you wouldn't take an aspirin, lick it, and expect it to work the same as swallowing the whole pill, right? Exactly.
Hollywood has NEVER got this right (at least, not that I have seen) and it's disturbing and annoying. Stop it. Seriously. It's not that hard to say "Mr. Actor (because for some reason almost all asthmatics on film are male, because there are absolutely no women with asthma at all right?), could you please suck in and hold your breath for five seconds after pretending to take a puff? Thank you."
What prompted this rant? The Goonies. Don't get me wrong, I love the film too. It's fantastic, a wonderful 1980s children's adventure movie with a little family drama and a little fantasy thrown into the mix. But the main character, Mikey (played by Sean Astin, who is a good actor), is supposed to have asthma, yet never uses his inhaler correctly. Not once. It's always "put it to his lips, push, breath, release, done". No holding of breath, nothing. This happens in Signs, Casino Royal, and Superman Returns (it's in I, Robot as well, but because that film is a futuristic film it sort of gets away with it). There are likely dozens of other films that screw it up (you can search IMDB for "asthma" and see a list of some seventy titles, in fact).
The point is, Hollywood has been screwing up and some of us actually notice. So stop it! Something seemingly so simple should be easy to do right. Or am I asking too much?