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More Than 1 million Chronic Lung Disease Cases Linked to Smoking

December 29, 2015
Public Health

New figures released by Public Health England show that 90% of annual deaths from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) are linked to smoking. COPD is an umbrella term for a number of conditions which restrict a patients’ airways, such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

While lifestyle changes such as pulmonary rehabilitation and prescription medication can slow the progress of the disease, there is no cure for the condition which causes 25,000 deaths annually in the UK.

Chief medical officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies said: “COPD is a serious lung disease and is not particularly well known. Yet it contributes to the deaths of almost 25,000 people a year. The single best thing a smoker can do to reduce their chances of developing this devastating disease and prolong their life, is to stop smoking.”

PHE are concerned that whilst there is a strong link between smoking and lung cancer, the association with COPD which affects more than 1 million people every year in the UK is not widely known. To raise awareness of the condition they have released a short film which you can view HERE.

COPD is also responsible for a major strain on NHS resources; between 2013 and 2014, there were 113,000 emergency hospital visits related to the condition. Health professionals see the problem as particularly acute as Britain currently has twice the European average death rate from the disease.