Why do only some people get copd? - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation
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Why do only some people get copd?


I have just seen a old friend in the street, she is my age, walking along puffing on a fag and talking away. Smoking for years doesn`t effect her. I quit smoking 6 years ago and it takes me all my time some days to walk down the street and when I do I can`t hold a conversation with someone. It doesn`t seem fair, is it in our biological make-up or something?

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12 Replies

My parents both in their mid 70s both still smoke and neither have lung problems..i quit a few weeks ago..but was diagnosed with COPD when i was 46- guess its the lottery of life??


Luck of the draw. I have heard of people in their 90s smoking, and well with it. But I certainly dont

envy them. Nothing to be proud of.

It is hit and miss, but I didn't get symptoms until 2 months after I stopped smoking. I think Puff on here was the same. My GP says that's not uncommon at the mild at moderate stage. Smoking opens the airways, so the symptoms don't show but the damage is still being done.

Not my dear husband though, he gave up the same time as me and he doesn't have copd.

Lynne xx

That's right Lynne but mine is very severe, which makes it even more odd as I'm sure I would have got breathless when I was smoking. I did get puffed out but not gasping for breath when I smoked.

I agree it doesn't seem fair. I gave up smoking over 30 years ago (smoked about 15 years in total before then, culminating in 20 a day) and only had first signs of any problems about 12 months ago and didn't even realise what it was.

Maybe some people's lungs can repair for a longer time than some. This was put forward, in a more technical way by Dr.Rawlins of Cambridge University Hospital.


Not Everyone Is Predisposed To Lung Condition's Our Youth Time As Child All Help In Determining Our Lung Condition Or Lack Of

Given What I Know Most Of Us Go Threw Life Unaware Of Damage Our Lungs Suffer Its Only When We Get Nasty Chest Infection That Pushes Us Over The Edge

I Accept Most Doctors Do Not See Impact Our Modern Day Living As On Us ... Or They Choose Not To .....

But Given What I Know It Would Of Been Nice To Have Had The Information Easily Available LIKE For Example A Had Blocked Nose For Like For Ever ...

But If I Would Of None It Would Predispose Me To Lung Condition I Would Of Done More About It .... As Sucking S#### Directly Into My Lungs Was A No No

We All Make Choices With The Information We Have ..... But When You Don't Have The Information We Can Not Always Make The Best Choices .... That's Why We All Pay Tax And Live In A Modern Society ..... So That We Can Learn From Others Mistakes

But Don't Think We Are Living In That Kind Of Society Anymore :(

i think its a lot to do with your employment as well as smoking i packed in smoking then one year later was diagnosed with copd .but i worked in factories when i left school and worked up untill i was 28 then i was in public houses that was a lot of everyone elses smoke i was inhaling as wel x

As Dazi says some people have a pre-disposition to acquire COPD. There is anecdotal evidence that genetics plays a part in who gets COPD (particularly Emphysema) and who doesn't. From statistics I have read only some 15% of smokers acquire COPD (so we are some of the chosen few...Not). Stay well. Martin

Hi, in my experience copd is genetic as both my parents died from it, I have a friend who smokes 30 a day at 74 and has no breathing problems, I also worked in a hospital laundry/linen room for 25 years so dust and fibres in the air didn't help either, smoking is a no no if you have chest problems but I don't think its the cause of copd.

Ju xxx


Hi Susie. How long is a piece of string? I don't think anyone knows why some smokers get COPD and most don't. I was told at my PR group that about 1 smoker in 5 will get it. I am sure the answer is in the genes and one day DNA will be able explain it. But not yet.

Bev x

My parents are both 91 and have no chest problems. They both smoked from the age of 14 - my Dad gave up age 50 and my Mum at the age of 90! I however am 55 and have recently been diagnosed with moderate COPD. I have never smoked in my life but was exposed to my parents smoking and then in an office where almost everyone except me smoked. I can't help but feel bitter. My sister, although exposed to smoke as a child has no problems. I guess I am just the weakling of the family.

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