Why Bother?

Blog Post created by Thomas3.20.2010 on Jul 12, 2013

If you already have been diagnosed with COPD you may have an Addictive thought of "Why bother quitting now? It's closing the barn door after the cows are out!" Yet, the facts tell a different story! Here's some info from

How smoking cessation affects the progression of COPD

Quitting smoking is beneficial for everyone, at every age, and this is especially true for people suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), an illness that occurs when a patient has chronic bronchitis and/or emphysema. Quitting smoking is the main treatment, and that applies at all stages. Here is a summary of the latest knowledge on the topic.

Smoking cessation – the main treatment for COPD

Studies carried out since the 1990s, which remain relatively few despite the widespread nature of COPD, show that smoking cessation brings numerous benefits to smokers suffering from this disease. In less serious forms of COPD, it leads to an improvement in symptoms such as coughing and wheezing. In severe cases of the illness, smoking cessation enables loss of breath to be stabilized, and reduces the frequency of coughing and expectoration.

(1) Smoking cessation slows down the decline in the forced expiratory volume of air expelled in one second (FEV1). A study from 2000 showed that smoking cessation restored the annual decline of breath capacity to a level approaching normal: the annual decrease of FEV1 was -30ml/year for a non-smoker, -31ml/year for an ex-smoker and -62ml/year for a smoker.

(2) In addition, smoking cessation reduces bronchial bacterial colonization and allows some recovery of the body's natural defences, which in turn reduces the risk of aggravation. If the patient's symptoms do become aggravated, long periods of antibiotic treatment, or even hospitalization, may be necessary. Lastly, smoking cessation improves the effectiveness of medication, especially corticoids, which do not work if the patient smokes.

(3) Smoking cessation produces a considerable decrease in the COPD mortality rate. On the whole, the studies carried out support the notion that even in severe cases of COPD, smoking cessation improves the chances of survival compared to a smoker who continues smoking. The benefits of smoking cessation on the effects of the illness appear quickly: a study showed that participants who stopped smoking saw their FEV1 improve in the following year, including heavy smokers, elderly smokers, and smokers with weak lung capacity or bronchial hyperreactivity.

(4) The Lung Health Study came to the same conclusions – from one year in, people who had stopped smoking presented fewer symptoms of COPD, namely chronic coughing, expectorations, dyspnea and wheezing. Note: it would seem that women benefit even more than men from smoking cessation from the point of view of lung function. Smoking cessation is therefore the primary treatment for COPD. It is also the only treatment that stops the continued obstruction of the bronchi and increasing shortness of breath.

I heard that Nico-Lie myself when I was diagnosed but decided to quit the minute I heard those horrific words, "You have COPD!" I used the cut back method for 6 days and then Cold Turkey! I found advantages and disadvantages to my Quit Journey. I'm going to tell you the disadvantages first:

When I quit smoking, my cough and phlegm build-up got much worse immediately! I researched and found out that tobacco companies have cough suppressants in their tobacco mix so that if you quit smoking you'll cough more and - return to your sickerettes for cough relief! Also, it was hard for me to accept that I had given myself a smoking related illness that's progressive and incurable. That led to anger, frustration and depression - all emotions I used to hide under a cloud of smoke! So, yes, emotionally it was a rough time. But WORTH IT! Look at the advantages:

The advantage from my perspective is that I absolutely could remember my reason for quitting with every single breath I take! Also, each time I got tested with Spirometry I saw marked improvement of my lung capacity. After 2 years it was 13% improvement. My pulmonologist was amazed! I also found smoking cessation as a motivator for general Self Health Care - nutrition, exercise, clean dust and air quality and regular doctor's appointments.

Overall hands down, both statistically and from personal EXperience I highly recommend that you listen to your Health Professional and Quit Smoking for Breath and LIFE!