Hi everyone,

Hope you all had a great christmas.

I have a question for all you ex-smokers.

what stage of copd were you at when you quit ? Or maybe your still smoking. What was your fev 1 when you finally got rid of the smoking dragon? How about some

pointers for the fools among us. Did you feel better? Did your peak flow go up?

( How are you today Coughalot1 ? )

~ RUBY ~

52 Replies

  • Hi Ruby. I gave up smoking when I was diagnosed. I was already moderate to severe. My coughing phlegm disappeared. I only managed 7 months of non smoking, and started again during treatment for my breast cancer last year. My breathing tests never altered, I always seem to get the same results. But the coughing is back. I know I should try again, but it is hard.


  • Hi Nin,

    Two steps forward, one step back. Isn't that the way it always goes? How are you doing now. How is your breathing? I feel really stupid for smoking. I have moderate copd.

    I'm still working. Dont really get out of breath.

    Thanks for reply

    keep in touch


  • I'm doing fine Ruby. But then I'm too busy being happy now to worry about much, my life is so much better now, then when I was diagnosed. I do get breathless when walking hills, climbing stairs, or keeping up with Azaard (iamnins) and sometimes, out of the blue, doing a chore that I found easy the day before, but then the next time I do the chore I am OK again. But I've been like that for years before diagnosis. Haven't worked for about 5 years, since having pneumonia and pleurisy.


  • Glad you had a good xmas Ruby. Sorry for edit - i got interrupted! I gave up fifteen years BEFORE diagnosis (and now avoid second hand smoke like the plague). So I can't answer your question about comparative FEV1s, and though i've had asthma since early 20s I don't recall if my peak flow went up. I do recall feeling so much better, and more importantly people here report feeling masses better when they give up after diagnosis. It will extend your life :)

    I do hope you can find the strength to quit. It will certainly be worth it and you will get loads of support here.

  • Thanks O2 Trees I see how supportive everyone is. Some people seem to feel worse after they quit. Their breathing gets worse. Thats kind of scary.


    ~ RUBY ~

  • I think that can happen, Ruby, but it's a stage - annoying but please don't use it as an excuse not to quit! Quitting is the best thing you can do for yourself to manage the condition and to slow down its progression.

    I don't think its significant that fev1 may not change; it's functionality that matters on a day to day basis and this will improve even if you do have a reaction to quitting before the improvement happens.

    Other peeps will be along in a while I'm sure with their experiences.

  • Good luck to you with quitting smoking Ruby. It is very hard but you can do it. My sister gave up after a near fatal heart attack and she had smoked for 45 years. Please get all the help you can and wishing you well. Have a healthy New Year. xxxxx

    I would add that Pete gave up smoking when diagnosed with sarcoidosis but he did struggle and had one or two set backs. He hasn't smoked for over 20 years now so that is something. He also has copd. xx

  • " Ruby!.... Hello to you and Happy New Year. Responding to your question with regards to quitting smoking and COPD. I Quit the day i was told i had stage 4 COPD. FEV1/ 27..after being told that day i HAD! to give up smoking otherwise my two dogs would out live me..WELL! that very moment i stopped smoking and that was nearly 9 months back. hehehe.. (sounds like a pregnancy.). BUT!....It made me feel so ill... I was so out of breath most the time, and i felt i was gasping for air. it also felt like dry drowning, i had one exacerbation after another, infection after infection,for 6 months, I was on steroids and antibiotics day and night. week after week. i developed a cough i never had before. all this cause i stopped smoking. But!! all i could hear in my head was the Doctor's voice saying!! YOUR DOGS WILL OUT LIVE YOU!! i persevered and Now! i have stopped coughing, and i can breath so much better. i can do chores now with out getting out of breath. my weight went back on as i was only 6 stone nothing. i am now a healthy 8 stone 2 lbs. and i have never felt so happy and so fit..So!! Ruby!! in answer to your question.. I am so proud my self that i persevered through all the bad times. but i never gave up and now my Beautiful two border collies, Nell and Noah, have got an Owner for there life...and i have a life that is now worth living again.. Good luck to you Ruby. believe me it seems to get better, you have to get worse. the only thing i would change if..and that is not to quit there and then, but to gradually quit, i think wouldn't have been such a dramatic thing to deal with medically speaking.. but that is only a guess. i dont really know all i know is i am so Happy i quit smoking....Sorry for such a long reply.....Megan"

  • Brilliant reply Megan - it conveys so vividly to Ruby and anyone else wanting to quit the difficulties and then the eventual benefit of quitting.

    On a different note, Im at around 37% fev1 but expect it to be much lower next time so it is very heartening to hear you say that you are happy and fit while being Stage 4.

  • Wow well done Megan that must have been very hard but it's brilliant that you managed it and are still smoke free and a lot healthier. You are an inspiration. xx

  • Awe thank you cough, Yes, it was really hard at the time, But what do they, (whoever they are) NEVER!! Say Never!!.and like i wrote my two collies where my main purpose in giving up, was to not have either of them felt like nothing was worth it..But! how we grow and so much wiser too, Life is as Beautiful as we make it, i have also learnt...Not easy.. just beautiful.cause the bad days really do make the good days so worthwhile.. HAPPY NEW!! Year!! cough...Megan."

  • Megan,

    I agree, wow! That was brillant! I will reread that many times. Your amazing and should be so proud of yourself. Do you use any inhalers? The one thing you could do to top that post off is show me your dogs!

    Your love for them almost has me in tears.

    thanks Megan

    another inspirational post I had on this site was from stilltruckin. Anyone with a low fev 1 should read it. It was about exercise.

    ~ RUBY ~

  • " Awe Ruby!

    I am so happy that my post gave you some inspiration to quit smoking, as i wrote it really wasn't easy. but so worth while.but! i had to go through the shitty to reach the goodness in it. and you will too. just don't beat yourself up if you take occasionally a step back. Cause you will only take a bigger step forward trust me its hard work..but nothing in life comes easy. i wasn't clever i was just plain will do it.. i will do a separate post to show you a picture of Nell and Noah.Good Luck! Ruby...Megan."

  • " Yes!! Ruby. i use3 different puffer's, i use Salmeterol... salbutamol....Spiriva... i take Carbocisteine...( Mucodyne) 2x3 times a day. calcium plus vitamin D. 2x twice daily. plus a multitude of different vitamins. i buy high protein milk powder.and keep myself exercised if only by ironing, vacuuming doing our daily chores is a real good work out....Good luck to you Ruby..Megan..."

  • Thanks for all your info and inspiration and your adorable photo of your babies. Xx

  • megan you always speak from the heart - love and happy new year to you and your loved ones xxxxxxx

  • I gave up too late and only when I knew my body was saying "No more". That was 12 years ago, and whilst my COPD has slowly progressed to severe with fev1 34% and on oxygen therapy, I've absolutely no doubt that had I not quit when I did, then I would be dead now. If you're thinking of quitting, there's never a right time only NOW. Good Luck.

  • Thanks Warwickstag,

    That was more of a scare me straight approach.



  • "Awe!!! warwickstag...DON'T!!.. Say you gave up too late i am stag 4 FEV1 AT 27% and i have never felt anything is ever to late. what is and might have been too late, is to have not listened and be still puffin your brains out... then maybe..But then ONLY! Maybe. But! you did quit..So!! give yourself a massive pat on your back. if i could reach i would give you a massive Well done! pat on your back...Happy New year to you warwickstag..Megan."

  • That's a very kind post Megan - Thank you. I only meant it was too late in the sense that I had been denying the obvious for ages and it was my own stupidity that had me lighting up whilst gasping for breath. In the end giving up was actually easy because I knew I had no choice and thus I wanted to stop and had very few struggles in staying off them. I now hate smoking and all its associated paraphernalia and question how a supposedly civilised society can let its inhabitants kill themselves whilst criminalising some far less toxic drugs.

    And a big hug from me to you for retaining such a positive attitude to life.

  • Hi Ruby. Sounds like you are in the same boat as I am. My COPD is mild to moderate and now that the last infection has cleared up I don't really get out of breath. That's the danger zone because it's so easy to think that there's nothing wrong with you and to continue smoking.

    However, after speaking to my doctor and listening to the guys on this site I'm in NO DOUBT that if I carry on smoking my COPD will just continue to get worse. This last 6-12 months I seem to have caught every 'bug' going but the last infection floored me. If I continue to smoke it will be more of the same and each time my COPD will deteriorate.

    I am 64 years old and have been smoking for 44 years and know it isn't easy giving up. I've been on nicotine patches for 18 days now and there have been moments of weakness. I had 4 cigs in the first 7 days, 3 in the next 7 days and only 1 more cig since.

    I AM NOT going to give in. I won't let myself feel a failure I am just going to carry on until I succeed because there is life in this old girl yet and she has plans.

    Hope you'll join me and give up cigs too.


  • Hey Sue,

    Your right. I feel fine. I had one chest cold all year. I do office cleaning and dont get out of breath.

    You go girl.Hopefully, I wont be far behind you!


  • I wish you all the best travelbug and all my hats off to you. It's tremendous what you're doing. Well done you. How much have you saved so far?

  • Hi Peege

    At least £120...haven't really been counting cos I've always failed when money has been my only motive. I have an 11 month old grandaughter that I look after every other Saturday morning. She such a sweet natured little girl and I love her to bits. She's the incentive and a reminder why I must give up this time.


  • A good enough reason travelbug.

  • "Awe!! Sue.Well Done you.. you will succeed for you now have the right attitude and reasons..we all need a reason as to why we do things, my main reason was my two dogs. they needed a owner for life and i would have been denying them that...I am 69 this February. and for the first time in a long time even though i live alone. i feel so happy, so content, and with so much more now. As I am wiser and fitter, with so much more to live for all cause i quit SMOKING!!!.. GOOD LUCK!! To you Sue, YOU, will do it..and HAPPY NEW Year!!! ..Megan"

  • Hi ruby I gave up smoking a year before being diagnosed things went down hill after giving up I had been treated for 5 years for anxiety and depression but I kept saying I had something wrong with lungs or heart to cut a long story short went to bed ill husband thought it was depression 4 days later he could not wake me hospital for 5 weeks with pneumonia 6 months rehabilitation stage 3 but at least I know what it is now and try to adjust life accordingly each day different glad I gave up smoking as outlook would be much different but I did go to a smoking cessation one to one clinic which really helped good luck easter x

  • Hi Easter,

    What a rough time you had! How long did you smoke? Do you know your fev 1? The people on this site are pretty amazing. If anyone can make you turn your life around, its them. Thanks for responding. How are you feeling now?

    ~ RUBY ~

  • Hi ruby I have had one more stay in hospital this year but only for a week in try to do as much as possible even although it is like having someone sitting on chest aqua fit and steam room help enormously just have to recognise when too tired to do anything don't know what fev1 is my lung function is 50% and gas exchange 38%how are you I definitely feel better than when I smoked keep trying xx

  • hi im new on here and was diagnoised with copd 3yrs ago i was too scared to go to the copd clinic for an update on my lung function but i have given up smoking 18 days ago and im already feeling a lot better,i was coughing up mucus for the first 2 weeks but thats stopped now and now im going to make that appointment to see the copd nurse but thankyou to everyone on here just to read all your stories has made me feel less alone.

  • Hi Vicky,

    Welcome to you! What a grand family you have joined. You will laugh, you will cry, but above all else you will learn about copd.

    Tests you will get, gadgets you can buy to help your breathing, inhalers, exercise. The biggest thing is everyones experience. I just cant put into words how much I have learned. I've only been a member for 2 mos. Myself.

    welcome to you and thanks for your reply

    ~ RUBY ~

  • thankyou ruby most of all ive learnt im not alone its really good to be involved with such lovely people who share there experiences good and bad, i lost my mum to copd 7yrs ago and my dad 12 yrs ago he had copd too i found this web site by accident and glad i have.

  • Hi Ruby, I gave up the dreaded weed about 8 yrs ago, stage 4 and fev 20. I felt no better for it at the time, but honestly do believe it makes a big difference, ie, a conversation without a coughing fit etc! Well done for deciding to stop!! Have you tried e cigs? I do use them, probably more than i should! Take care. Love Kin Xx

  • Hi Ruby, I gave up smoking 6 months before diagnosis with the help of a no smoking nurse and nicotine patches. I didn't feel too well when I first gave up, after 53years, till my body got used to the change. I noticed from the first day that the sticky white mucus I had been bringing up stopped. On my first visit to a consultant I was congratulated for giving up and told it had probably save my life. I was classed as mild. In march my spirometer test showed a fev1reading of 43% and told my breathing out reading had deteriatedand iI wondered what it would be like if I hdnt stopped smoking. Now concentrate on a healthy diet and excercise.Hope you manage to stop. Joyce.

  • Having read all these blogs, I will definitely give up (again) this new year and keep to it!! My biggest problem is that I live on my own and the long dark evenings can be a bore without my ciggies. But this time I will really crack it. I won't dare come back on the site if I fail!!!! Thank you all. Happy New Year

  • I was only diagnosed after I gave up smoking. I was diagnosed with angina about 3 1/2 years ago and blamed it on the rollups so gave up there and then and never smoked since. A few weeks after giving up I found I was gasping for breathe, like drowning in fresh air ! I was then diagnosed with COPD Stage 4. At the time I was a bit annoyed as I would have thought I'd feel a lot healthier. No interim stages for me ! m FEV1 hovers between 17% and 24%. Now for the benefits of giving up smoking. At least my emphysema wont get worse !

    I started my 2nd bout of PR recently. On my 3rd week now. 1st and 2nd week I took it lightly to see how I do. 3rd week I decided to see if I could do 1/2 hour non-stop at 2mph, making 1 mile in half an hour. In the end I did 1 hour at 2mph making it 2 miles. I couldn't do that outside though I reckon ! Had o2 set on half a litre/min just to help. I doubt if I could have done that when I smoked or even bothered.

  • Thanks Puff, are you on oxygen all the time?

    RUBY x

  • I'm on a recommended minimum of 15 hours at 1/2 L/min. Oxygen in the air is 21% and 1/2 L/min is about 22 1/2 % so not a lot of difference really. I have it on at night and whenever during the day. I don't use it at work as I work outside and my sats are ok.

  • I was taken in hospital 9months ago after bad chest infection, I smoked for 50yrs ,new my chest was bad but could't and didn't want to stop. I was in for ten days on oxygen and Decided there and then to stop.....I came home on 24/7 2ltr I was devastated thought I had left it to late after 6wks put me down to 1ltr started walking the dog and doing exercise at home further 6wks took me off oxygen. My Dr was amazed how well I had done as was I and I know it was stopping smoking that did it. Going to PR do my breathing exercises I am stage 4 severe 30% but I can cope as I now feel I am doing something positive to help myself.

    I know its hard to give up but once you've cleared all the gunk it is worth it.

    I wish you the best of luck


  • Hi Peg,

    Thanks you sound like your doing pretty well. How did you quit?


  • Hi Ruby, when I went in hospital I went outside on the 1st day and had 1 and that was it I decided I would never get better or give myself a chance if I didn't do this I never had one patches no tablets nothing i just did it 'cold turkey' as they say. Believe me I was a heavy smoker and I didn't believe I would do it, but I was determined to give it a darn good try and I've not given in...... been 9 months now and I admit I miss it BUT, I'm not going to give in. Best of luck to you I hope you manage it, and yes I know it will be hard as lots of others on here do but I promise you it will be worth it, do let us know how you get on will be thinking of you.

    All the best for 2015....Pegxx

  • Hi I found out I had copd 6 months after I gave up smoking . Will be of the cigs 2 years. Gave up New Years eve 2012 Marian xx

  • Hi marian,

    Thanks for your reply. Happy new year to you! That s great you quit smoking. How did it effect your copd? Your fev1? What stage are you? Sorry for all the questions. Curious minds want to know.

    RUBY X

  • I didn't quit until I couldn't breathe at all. My son called an ambulance, and I was in ICU for over a week and in the hospital for 3 weeks. It took all that, and oxygen at home 24/7 to get me to quit. This was a year ago. I'm still not smoking because I know it would kill me, but I'm not breathing so well either. I understand the addiction. Wow, I wish I could smoke sometimes. I smoked for over 50 years. If there's a way you can quit, please do. It will slow the progression of the disease. I don't recommend my way of quitting to anyone!!

  • Hi watercolors324,

    Thanks for your reply. You really

    made me think. Scared straight ,

    Right? As I write this I am smoking !

    What is wrong with me?

    How are you doing now? What is your fev1? Are you still on oxygen?

    How long have you had copd?

    Sorry about all the questions.Ask and learn, right?

    I hope your doing well. I have some kind of virus going around. I ache all over and sick to stomach. Happy new year to you

    Ruby xx

  • The NHS stop smoking app is really good. It lives on your computer and tells you how much money you have saved.

    I stopped in September and did really well until yesterday when I bought some baccy papers and tips. My husband is furious. So far I have had one last night one this morning and one this evening.

    I know I must stop again but I keep thinking why do I bother. Just before Christmas, the Doctor informed me I have kidney disease. It isn't pleasant and I won't bore you with the symptoms. There is no cure. He prescribed Ramipril.

    The side effects were absolutely awful I felt really ill. Itching, sore mouth, aches and pains, breathing got worse, to name a few. I stopped taking them after 2 weeks. I will have to see doc I know as there may be alternatives. Wild horses won't get me back on Ramipril.

    To add to my woes, I have tinnitus and dizziness and intermittent hearing loss. The Doc at the hospital says it is Meniere's disease, the GP did a load of tests and says it isn't. I also have gastroparesis which can make me sick and cause acid reflux.

    I am off to bed now and will try willpower in the morning to not have a roll up in the morning.

  • HI Azure_Sky,

    Thanks for your reply. I'm really sorry your having such a rough time. What are the symptons of kidney disease? ( you wont bore me) I'm interested in all medical info. Anything I hear of , I look it up.

    You have alot your dealing with.I sure understand you lighting up.Its like please someone give me a break! (Right?) I, myself dont plan on stopping nicotine. Just the delivery system. I have two relatives with Parkinson s. Very few people that smoke get it. Something to do with the dopamine. Nicotine has some good points. Smoking- No.

    I'm probably going to hear alot of controversy on that subject. I do welcome everyones opinions. I dont doubt cigarettes are bad.

    Maybe you should try the e-cigs for the little bit your using it.I'm not encouraging you to smoke. A person can only take so much.

    RUBY xx

  • Thank you Ruby, I have been using a vaper but they are made with oil and I hear they can affect your lungs too.

    This morning I have had a roll up. I am going to wait until bedtime before having another one, unless I can be strong and do without.

    I remembered the horrible taste in my mouth in the morning and thought what am I doing. I also thought about the way food tasted so much better instead of like cardboard.

    The kidney disease causes back pain, need to go to the toilet more. (no 1 and 2) This is a nuisance when I go out and getting up in the night two or three times is annoying. Headaches, fluid retention, tiredness and certain other things I don't want to mention here.

    Some of these are linked with diabetes, so it isn't possible to distinguish precisely which are which. I am going to keep trying to get my diet right. Low protein is important, low fibre, low sugar, fat, etc. One might as well live on dry biscuits and lettuce leaves.

    I am just a bit down at the moment, I really will pull out of it soon. There are many people much worse off than me. I haven't really got much to complain about compared to many of the people here.

  • Hi I was diagnosed with mod copd 6 months after I gave up smoking for 42 years 20 a day lung capacity 58% fev 1 98 these were the figures I got 2013 had my yearly check up 2014 but did not bother with any figurex .i felt worse after I gave up cigs very light headed very s o b very tired. Once I had all my inhalers sorted out cut down my work hours by half went to pr things started to look up. Going to gym 3 days a week plus an excerise class feeling much better still have some bad days . Will ask for figures this year at my check up . Hope this helps the best thing I did was to give up the cigs . You stick at it giving up the cigs Marian xxx

  • Hi Ruby

    Have you made a start on giving up ciggies yet? If so how are you doing?

    I've been on patches for almost 5 weeks and after a shaky start I'm doing better. Pretty pleased with the fact that I have had a cigarette for 12 whole days.

    Guess what I really want to say is if you've not given up yet give it a go and if you have but find that there have beeen lapses ..... don't be disheartened, just carry on. Never thought I manage a whole week and here I am on my way to 2 weeks smoke free.

    Travel Bug

  • Hi Travel bug,

    Sorry I didnt get back to you sooner. Was just thinking of you, .

    and saw your post to me. No I havent stopped smoking. Honestly I havent tried to stop! My being stubborn is going to kill me. I guess your smoke free by now. Did your breathing get better or worse?

    Look forward to hearing from you.

    Rubyxx :-)

  • Hi Ruby

    Sorry I haven't responded earlier either. Just wanted to let you know that I'm doing OK. Really surprised myself this time cos I'm coming up to 7 weeks (on Wednesday) without smoking at all and that's a record for me. Fingers crossed that I'm going to succeed this time...I've given myself an incentive by booking a flight to Australia to see my son and staying there for 8 weeks. The thought that if I don't give up I might not be fit enough to travel and get to see him again is what keeps me going.

    My advice to you Ruby is never say never...I used to tell my doctor that I was a lost cause because I enjoyed smoking too. The COPD diagnosis was such a shock and hearing that continuing smoking would only make it work gave me the kick start I needed. I'm now starting to feel the benefit. Breathing is getting better but most noticeable thing is that the permanent irritating cough has gone! On the downside I can't seem to get rid of the mucus at the back of my throat which I can't seem to be able to cough up...frustrating but in the scheme of things it's just a minor irritant.

    Hope I don't come across as too smug or preachy just trying in my way to give you a bit of encouragement to take the first step... giving up isn't easy but it's worth it. :)

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