Childhood asthma prevalence worldwide has been increasing markedly over several decades. Various theories have been proposed to account for this alarming trend. The disease has a broad spectrum of potential determinants ranging from genetics to lifestyle and environmental factors. Epidemiological observations have demonstrated that several important lifestyle and environmental factors including obesity, urban living, dietary patterns such as food low in antioxidants and fast food, non-breastfeeding, gut flora imbalance, cigarette smoking, air pollution, and viral infection are associated with asthma exacerbations in children. However, only environmental tobacco smoke has been associated with the development of asthma. Despite epidemiological studies indicating that many other factors are probably associated with the development of asthma, the relationships are not considered causal due to the inadequate evidence and inconsistent results from recent studies. This may highlight that sufficient data and exact mechanisms of causality are still in need of further study.