Quitting Smoking for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Quitting smoking is the most important step you can take in
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It is
never too late to quit. No matter how long you have had COPD or how serious it
is, quitting smoking will help slow the disease and improve your quality of
life. Medicines and other treatments cannot prevent damage to your lungs if
you continue to smoke.
There are clear benefits to quitting, even
after years of smoking. When you stop smoking, you slow how quickly further
damage develops in your lungs. For most people who quit, loss of lung function
is slowed to the normal rate of decline. Although lung damage that already has
occurred does not reverse, quitting smoking can delay the worsening of COPD
People who complete a
program to stop smoking are most likely to succeed in quitting. If the program
includes counseling, the success rate is better.
medicines also can help you reach your goal of quitting smoking:
Nicotine gum, skin patches, and nasal spray for
smokers physically addicted to nicotine may make quitting easier.
drug called clonidine, given as a pill or a skin patch, may reduce withdrawal
A prescription drug such as varenicline (Chantix) or
bupropion (Wellbutrin, Zyban) may help some people stop smoking.
combination of bupropion and nicotine patches may be more effective than either
Quitting smoking can be difficult. Those who are most likely
to succeed in quitting are those who keep trying, even if they have tried
several times before. Hypnosis or acupuncture does not help most people who are
trying to quit smoking.
Primary Medical Reviewer
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Ken Y. Yoneda, MD - Pulmonology
Current as of
November 14, 2013
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
November 14, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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