“The lack of diagnosis is a concern because smokers, who are particularly prone to it, can halt its progression if they are diagnosed sufficiently early and stop smoking” an article in the Guardian states.
Lead researcher Professor Robert West, director of tobacco studies at Cancer Research UK’s Health Behavioural Unit, said “Many smokers feel that they will ‘get away with it’ and not be affected in a serious way by their habit. For smokers with COPD that doubt is removed. Every day they continue to smoke will make things worse.”
COPD is reported as the sixth most common cause of death in England and Wales, killing more than 30,000 people each year.