COPD stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. This illness is composed mainly of three separate chronic illnesses; chronic bronchitis, chronic asthma and emphysema.
The main cause of COPD in the United States today is smoking, which accounts for about 90% of the cases. Although not every smoker will get COPD, it is estimated that about 15% of smokers will. It is not completely understood yet if passive smoking (inhaling cigarette smoke from a nearby smoker) can contribute to the development of COPD; it is known that children living with people that smoke are more likely to develop respiratory infections and the symptoms of asthma.
Emergency room physicians such as Dr. Josyann Abisaab urge smokers to try and reduce the amount they smoke, or even better, quit smoking altogether. Evidence shows that if a patient with COPD stops smoking, their decline in respiratory function slows down to the same level as a non-smoker, showing that it is “never too late to quit.”