A deadly, preventable disease caused by smokingBismarck TribuneDespite the warning labels, addictive nature and lasting health problems, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 45.3 million people, or 19.3 percent of all adults...
Smoking is the leading cause of COPD and the more a person smokes, the more likely he or she is to develop COPD. Once someone starts smoking, that person often finds it very hard to stop. Therefore, it is very important to understand the side effects smoking causes and not to start.
Over time, inhaled cigarette smoke clogs and breaks down the airways in the lungs. The lungs become like a dirty, sticky sponge. The lungs’ airway walls lose elasticity, break down or become thick and inflamed, and clogged with mucus. This gradual deterioration of the lungs is diagnosed as COPD and there is no way to reverse the damage. However, there are treatments and ways to slow the progression of the disease, like quitting smoking.
Because the damage is gradual, symptoms of COPD often don’t appear until significant lung damage has occurred. People with COPD may experience coughing that produces large amounts of mucus, wheezing, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest and other symptoms.