Public Health England (PHE) is today (29 December 2015) highlighting the debilitating nature of serious lung diseases for which smoking is the biggest preventable risk factor, after the latest GP figures revealed that more than 1 million people are living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
COPD is the umbrella term for serious lung conditions that include chronic bronchitis and emphysema
People with COPD have difficulties breathing, primarily due to the narrowing of their airways and destruction of lung tissue. Typical symptoms include breathlessness when active, a persistent cough and frequent chest infections.
Smokers can often dismiss the early signs of COPD as a ‘smoker’s cough’, but if they continue smoking and the condition worsens, it can greatly impact on their quality of life. Large numbers of people with COPD are unable to participate in everyday activities such as climbing stairs, housework or gardening; with many even unable take a holiday because of their disease.
HSCIC figures show COPD led to over 113,000 emergency hospital admissions in England in 2013 and 2014.
Public Health England