Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD)


Smoking is the leading cause of COPD. The more you smoke and the longer you smoke, the more likely you are to develop COPD. About one in five smokers eventually gets COPD, even if they have quit smoking.  But quitting before permanent damage is done to your lungs can greatly lower your risk of getting COPD.

The irritating and toxic particles and gases in cigarette smoke cause inflammation in the lungs.  This eventually causes the tissues to break down.  Besides tobacco smoking, other risk factors include: 

  • Exposure to secondhand smoke, including smoke from cigarettes, cigars, or pipes
  • Exposure to air pollution, chemicals, or industrial dust
  • Frequent use of cooking gas or fires without proper ventilation
  • Frequent lung infections 

Last Updated October 2017