Smoking and the COPD link

Smoking and the COPD link
24 November 2017

Smoking, including passive exposure (second-hand smoke), is the main cause of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Up to 85% of tobacco smokers develop COPD. Statistics show that tobacco smoke is implicated in most COPD cases, meaning COPD is largely preventable by not smoking. 

As smoking is the main cause, most people diagnosed are over the age of 40. The course of COPD progression may be slowed if smoking stops, making it very important that people with COPD do not continue to smoke after diagnosis.

The three key symptoms of COPD are:

  • Cough
  • Sputum (phlegm/mucus) production
  • Shortness of breath on exertion

These ongoing symptoms are not normal but become normal to the smoker.


If you are ready to start the journey to become smokefree or are worried about experiencing these ongoing symptoms, call us to make an appointment with one of our registered nurses on 0800 ASTHMA (278 462) or contact you GP or Practice Nurse.