This paper deals semiquantitatively with the phenomenon of quasiresonant laser-produced plasma (QRLPP) generation, i.e., breakdown of an atomic vapor when a laser beam couples a resonant excited state with a high excited state. The origin of the breakdown, threshold conditions for the breakdown, and the the effect of inducible absorption are discussed. Furthermore, the QRLPP may exhibit an unusual asymmetrical behavior (observed for a Cs plasma) when the single mode cw dye laser is tuned near the quasiresonant absorption line: on the low-frequency wing, "noise-reduction" effect for the transmitted beam is observed, while on the high-frequency wing, "self-oscillation" of the plasma is observed. The self-oscillation seems to result from a periodic plasma diffusion from the laser focus. The QRLPP, produced by cw or pulsed lasers, is a very efficient plasma generation mechanism which appears to be useful for many atomic vapors, and the potential applications are discussed.