chapter  22
Smoking cessation
ByStephen I Rennard, David M Daughton
Pages 14

While not the only risk factor for the development of COPD, cigarette smoking is far and away the most important risk factor.1-3 Between 80 and 90% of US patients with COPD are current or former smokers.4 In addition, passive smoke exposure may contribute to the development of COPD in the 10-20% of non-smokers who develop COPD.5 Other factors clearly play a role. There is, moreover, marked individual susceptibility to the effects of cigarette smoke. The 10-15% of smokers who are most susceptible were traditionally regarded as those who developed COPD.1 It is clear, however, that on average most smokers will show evidence of lung damage and physiologic compromise.6 While often undiagnosed, these patients have increased mortality7 and may be more symptomatic than traditionally believed. Eliminating cigarette smoking, therefore, is the most important intervention for the prevention of COPD and for the slowing of its progression.