Improved patient outcome with smoking cessation: when is it too late?



International journal of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, 2011; 6 doi:10.2147/COPD.S10771

Authors: Wu Jane, Sin Don D

Affiliation: University of British Columbia, Canada

Abstract: Smoking is the leading modifiable risk factor for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cardiovascular disease (CVD), and lung cancer. Smoking cessation is the only proven way of modifying the natural course of COPD. It is also the most effective way of reducing the risk for myocardial infarction and lung cancer. However, the full benefits of tobacco treatment may not be realized until many years of abstinence. All patients with COPD, regardless of severity, appear to benefit from tobacco treatment. Similarly, patients with recent CVD events also benefit from tobacco treatment. The risk of total mortality and rate of recurrence of lung cancer is substantially lower in smokers who manage to quit smoking following the diagnosis of early stage lung cancer or small cell lung cancer. Together, these data suggest that tobacco treatment is effective both as a primary and a secondary intervention in reducing total morbidity and mortality related to COPD, CVD, and lung cancer. In this paper, we summarize the evidence for tobacco treatment and the methods by which smoking cessation can be promoted in smokers with lung disease.














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