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About smoking and COPD
COPD is a common condition that mainly affects middle-aged or older adults who smoke. Many people do not realise they have it.
COPD is a group of lung conditions that make it difficult to empty air out of the lungs. Two of these conditions are chronic (long-term) bronchitis and emphysema. The breathing problems tend to get gradually worse over time and can limit your normal activities.
Around 115,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with COPD each year, the equivalent to a new diagnosis every 5 minutes. It is estimated that about 1.2m people in the UK have COPD, but there are many more who haven’t been diagnosed.
If you smoke, the single most effective treatment for COPD is to stop. Although the damage to the lungs is permanent, treatment can help slow down the progression of the condition.