As soon as your doctor diagnoses COPD, he or she will ask you to quit smoking and smoking tobacco immediately. Failure to quit smoking can seriously accelerate the progression of this threatening lung disorder.
If you also have a question about how long you can survive without a cigarette despite having a COPD, it is recommended to read more.
Our doctors will answer your questions
What is the effect of smoking on the lungs of smokers?
If you are one of the people who have been smoking for years, you should know that following the inhalation of cigarette smoke, the following changes occur in your lungs:
- The walls of the airways and air sacs become inflamed.
- With continued smoking, pneumonia becomes chronic and persistent.
- Chronic inflammation increases the thickness of the airway wall.
- Increasing the thickness of the airway wall (bronchi) causes the airway to narrow, in other words, this increase in thickness can cause a kind of obstruction during your inhalation and exhalation, and following this obstruction, the clinical symptoms of COPD appear.
- This blockage deprives you of access to oxygen and makes you feel short of breath and tired (fatigue occurs due to reduced oxygen supply to the body’s cells.)
In addition, your lungs will undergo the following changes:
- Smoking causes harmful chemicals to enter the lungs that can alter lung cells.
- Following cellular changes, the expansion and contraction of the airways cause major problems
- Hardening and narrowing of the airways causes you to become more short of breath and your exercise tolerance decreases day by day.
If you see a doctor, a clinical examination, along with a history and a specific pattern of spirometry, will confirm the diagnosis of COPD.
What happens if a COPD is diagnosed if we continue to smoke?
Continued smoking causes lung damage to spread, lung disorder to become more critical, and you to experience sudden respiratory attacks (COPD exacerbations); these attacks occur following obstruction and sudden narrowing of the airways.
Exacerbations are really threatening and can increase the severity of underlying disorders.
Continued smoking will be associated with a sudden rise in certain chemicals in the blood, which is associated with COPD-related deaths.
In summary, if smoking persists in a person with COPD, the following conditions occur:
- Progression of lung injuries and worsening of the patient’s condition
- Sudden onset of life-threatening respiratory attacks or exacerbation
- Sudden increase in chemicals in the bloodstream associated with mortality
- The progression of the obstruction also increases the risk of high-risk lung infections.
The most important component of COPD treatment is complete cessation of smoking.
Many studies have been done to answer this and similar questions.
It should be noted that factors such as stage of illness or use or non-use of cigarettes, etc. can affect the life expectancy of a person with COPD, which we will discuss below.
Consider a sixty-five-year-old man with COPD (meaning that he has been diagnosed with COPD after medical examinations):
If this man continues to smoke, his reduction in life expectancy will be as follows:
- Stage one 0.3 years
- Stage two 1/2 years
- Stage three three four years
- Stage four 8.5 years
Studies have shown that three and a half years of life expectancy should be added to these values (comparing the lives of smokers with people who have never smoked and do not have lung problems)
For example, a sixty-five-year-old smoker with Stage IV COPD who continues to smoke will live about ten years less than a sixty-five-year-old non-smoker with no COPD.
If a 65-year-old man with COPD stops smoking, his reduction in life expectancy is as follows:
- Stage Two 1/4 years
- Stage four 5/6 years
We have to add half a year to the above numbers (This means that a sixty-five-year-old man with stage IV CPD will live about six years shorter by smoking cessation than a man of the same age without a history of smoking and COPD.)
People with non-smoking COPD
Sixty-five-year-old man with COPD without any history of smoking, reduction in life expectancy is as follows:
- Stage two 0.7 years
- Stage three or four 1/3 years
So a sixty-five-year-old man with COPD without a history of smoking in stage four will live about a year and a half less than a man of the same age and not with COPD.
The final word
We emphasize that the best treatment and the only way to reduce the progress of COPD is to stop smoking, also avoid being a passive smoker , do not leave the house in polluted air and do not expose yourself to inhaling dust and chemicals.