Health chiefs urge smokers to quit the habit to cut level of lung disease

January 31 2016

MORE than 3,800 people in South Gloucestershire were diagnosed with a chronic lung disease in 2014-15 – most cases being caused by smoking.

MORE than 3,800 people in South Gloucestershire were diagnosed with a chronic lung disease in 2014-15 – most cases being caused by smoking.
They had developed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), an umbrella term for serious and progressive lung conditions that include chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
Now health chiefs are urging smokers to quit the habit to prevent their lives being blighted by illness.
They said people with COPD had 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.
As well as the impact on their lives, figures also showed that 316 deaths in South Gloucestershire between 2012 and 2014 were attributable to COPD. Nationally, about 86 per cent of COPD deaths were caused by smoking.
Large numbers of people with COPD have difficulty with everyday activities such as climbing stairs, housework or gardening, with many even unable take a holiday because of their disease.
 Dr Jon Evans, an expert in such long term conditions in South Gloucestershire, said: “The single best thing a smoker can do to reduce their chances of developing this devastating disease is to stop smoking.”
He said there was NHS support to help those who wanted to give up and urged smokers to visit www.southgloucestershireccg.nhs.uk/smokefree for details.
Smoking is still the biggest cause of preventable illness and premature deaths in the country, despite the number of people quitting, and accounts for nearly 80,000 deaths in England annually.