Complementary therapies attract considerable media attention and previous surveys of members of an asthma patient organisation suggested that their use by those with asthma was commonplace. This report concerns a study of a stratified cross section of the asthma population designed to give a more representative insight into current usage of complementary therapies. A sift questionnaire was used to identify those with asthma and 785 of those so identified undertook a semi-structured face-to-face interview. Only 6% of the study population were current users of complementary therapies with use being more common amongst those who expressed most concern regarding their current medication. Low use of complementary therapies may well reflect satisfaction with current management and suggests that previous surveys may have been unrepresentative of a more balanced population of those with asthma.