COPD and is there a point to stopping smoking

Tonight i am thinking to myself .. why bother !!!.. I stopped smoking for 10 months then started again.. I am now trying to stop again . I am aged 60 , been smoking since i was at school, so really smoked most of my life.. This is a chronic degenerative disease.. it will end my life , if i don't die by accident first. Stopping smoking now will slow the progress of the disease , but it won't stop it .. there is no cure .. I wonder how much longer we will gain? and what quality of life we will have ?

Does anyone know the answer ???

33 Replies

  • Hi COPD won't necessarily end your life depending on what stage you are at. I was diagnosed mild at age 56 and the doctor told me that something else would probably get me first like old age!

    Although it is a chronic disease you can do a lot to hold it steady but leading an unhealthy lifestyle including smoking will lead to it getting worse, that's a fact. By looking after yourself you stand a much better chance of it not getting worse or not by much and being able to lead a relatively healthy life for many years to come. x

  • imagine yourself aged 82 telling your mates your glad you stopped smoking 20 years ago.

  • Im 61yrs of age i gave up smoking 3yrs ago...i know if i hadnt i would probs be on oxygen now..i know its hard but with help you csn do it x

  • Hi

    I was prescribed oxygen about 18th months ago, after 2 admissions to hospital in the space of a month. I quit smoking in 1992 as I was feeling breathless climbing stairs. I am 65 now and hey, we are all different.

    Keep well


  • Hi, I'm not a smoker but I do feel for you being a similar age.

    I think it might be quality of the life you have left and there are many over 80 on this forum so at least 20 years, maybe longer. There are folks in their 90s with copd.

    If you decide to continue it certain that time left will be pretty uncomfortable.

    Don't chastise yourself for starting again. I think you are brilliant to have given up for 10 months, it proves how strong you are.

    Forgive me asking, is it possible you could be a bit depressed? I often think "what's the flipping point" for other reasons but I'm lucky in usually being a glass half full person so I can turn myself around (no one is going to rescue me so it's up to me).

    So, please try again. You could make a difference to so many people's lives on here with your understanding, experience and knowledge for others, of all ages who are trying so hard to quit.

    All the very best to you what ever you decide susand.

  • I struggled to stop smoking for years and years, I knew it was ruining my health, even when it got to the point that I no longer slept upstairs because it made me so breathless doing the stairs.I was still smoking. Me and my wife moved onto a narrowboat to live and I continued to work as A HGV driver and carried on smoking. Sometimes My breathing was that bad that I thought I was going to pass out, , then one day I just had enough, I had no appetite, I couldn't walk anywhere without stopping to catch my breath and I guess my body just went NO MORE.

    Strangely enough 1 year later, one Sunday afternoon, my wife took me to the local A+E dept with an exacerbation of my emphysema. The young doctor sent me home with a prescription for anti biotics and steroids which I couldn't get filled on a Sunday. At 5:30am on the Monday morning Lilian rang for an ambulance and just as it arrived I suffered what they tell me was a Respiratory arrest, after 5 days unconscious in critical care unit and a week on a ward they let me home.

    Now all that's a bit long winded to get to my point, which is, When the dramatic bit happened I would have passed away aged 52. With the grace of God it wasn't my time. Yes I have a degenerative disease, yes it places restrictions on my life which I struggle with. But despite it, I have lived ten years on the boat, travelled by Motorhome to southern Portugal twice. Motorcycles around southern France.

    If I had been released from Hostpital and started smoking again I might just as well not survived. My quality of life would have been crap, just like it was before I stopped.

    All that dramatic stuff happened in February, Sunday 5 th at 05:30 to be precise. The day I should have died. Believe me mate you've probably got a lot more living in you yet. Give yourself a fighting chance and DONTGIVEUP, GIVING UP.😎

  • Hi

    By stopping smoking you qualify of life will be many times better than if you carry on.

    Smoking wil not only increase the progression of the disease but may add further complications.

    Your calling will come when it comes, don' t volunteer.

    Enjoy every breath.

  • Hi Susan. I smoked for 53 years until 5years ago, 6 months before diagnosis of COPD. Was quite unwell for first couple of months afterwards. No one can tell you how much longer your life will be extended by giving up but as most people on this site I truly believe I would be much worse if I hadn't quit. I now cannot stand the smell of cigarette smoke .The money I save is spent on better things. Good luck Joyce

  • I am sure in your heart you know the answer to your own question. Exacerbations last longer, are more brutal, and more often when you smoke. Stopping smoking helps to slow the progression of the illness and allows you to breathe easier. A lot of it is quality of life. I know when I stopped smoking. My cough went. The only time I get a cough now is if I get bronchitises. My main component is emphysema. Yes we are all going to die. But the chances are if you quit smoking you will die with copd, not because of it. I have been at the last stage for quite a few years now. My guess is if I had of still smokes I would have been dust by now. As always. The choice my friend is yours.

  • You don't have any choice when it comes to your ' time to go ' but you do have a choice on how you want to spend the time you have left.

    Many people have problems trying to live a healthy lifestyle, many use food, alcohol, drugs or ciggies as a crutch, and it's extremely hard giving those things up, they become a habit that they are convinced they cannot cope without.

    If you think your remaining years will be happier if you carry on smoking, carry on, it's your life and your choice, but be prepared for all the problems this will cause, only you can decide.

    Susand, whatever your choice, I wish you well for many years to come.

    Velvet xx

  • Wow!😁 you have had some great replies and it's not even 9 0 ' clock yet! I'm 60 too, and I found it very difficult to stop smoking it took me about 8 serious attempts from my twenties till I finally did it aged 49...then I trotted off to the doc's for my diagnosis....

    Very severe emphysema, genetic like my Mums, as I watched her struggle, I knew I was myself dicing with my health but I 'thought' I couldn't stop.

    If I hadn't stopped I wouldn't be here enjoying myself at 60!!!

    You have every reason to stop now, to get busy living, be your own best mate and give yourself a lot more love and another chance at making life fun😃

    My lungs have gone from being 118 to only 108 and I can do so much and more... a little slower its true but what's the hurry!

    Watching my 5 Grandchildren grow up is priceless.

    huff xxxx

  • If you continue to smoke you will feel worse and be more sick. Your choice, simples.

    You need to read more on the benefits of stopping smoking and the positive effect on the progression of COPD.

    Its easy to stop smoking, just stop putting things in your mouth and setting them on fire.

  • I too believe you should give up smoking. I gave up smoking a year and half ago very hard thing for me to do, as I had been smoking like yourself for about 40 odd years.

    I had COPD and never stopped then it progressed to severe COPD and I thought to myself why am I doing this to myself I'm only 61 I do not want to go yet. I did have a scare that I might of had lung cancer but thank goodness it wasn't, so that obviously convinced me to stop. I do feel a lot better for it but it obviously doesn't undo what has already been done and I do struggle with it. But I think to myself I would of been so much worse if I hadn't given up or not here at all. Only you can do it and make that decision, but just think positive and use the patches which is what I used and it will be more beneficial for you I'm sure. Good Luck.

  • Smoking is a contributor to COPD. I know it is hard I was 40 a day man! The longer you have smoked the longer it may take to give up, but give up ! It does make sense. I do not like e-cigs but I do think they are a better option as long as you research the bad vapes out. and have a plan to ditch them too.

    I stopped because I was in Hospital with double pneumonia on O2 so I was a fire risk. But once I got out after 10 days, I have never smoked since 1992.

    Give Up and Breath Deep!

    Be Well

  • Agree with Offcut. It has been proved, and even the BMA accept this, that some people cannot kick the habit even after a really bad diagnosis. I smoked for 60+ years and got my just desserts with COPD and asthma - I blame no-one but myself for this. I, too, gave up for periods of 2 yrs - went back; 1 year - went back. 1 month and my poor husband said "I can't tell you to smoke, but you really aren't the same person" so, of course half an excuse - went back! After his death I smoked more, became really ill and was grabbing for a fag as they loaded me into the ambulance - pitiful! Son got me an e-cig on 28/1/2010 and though they were very basic and primitive in those days I grabbed it and have never smoked since. I will vape until they put me in my box because, despite all the stupid scare stories, no-one has ever died from vaping, and it is a pleasure I have no intention of doing without. They are your lungs, so your decision but smoking will exacerbate your condition, make your life miserable, not to mention the financial cost. May I add that my meds. have been cut by 80% and. though I'm no youngster, I feel on top of the world. A friend has just left here - he had emphysema, quite advanced - it took me a few years to convert him but the improvement in just six months is fantastic! Good luck to you, a lot of us know what you are going through - I'll shut up now!

  • I too smoked for over 40 years, packed in when I couldn't walk a few yards without having to stop for breath. That was 15 months ago. Difference in my health has improved immensely, then 5 weeks ago was told I had COPD. I have tussled with stopping the vaping, but right now, with exercise and healthy eating Im still improving, not ready to stop vaping if ever, but I will never light up again. I also stay well away from those who do smoke.

    Good luck with what ever you do, only you can do it.


  • We got our COPD from the years of smoking Jjude - am posting an interesting link, asthma comes under the blanket of COPD

  • Very interesting, strange that its about asthmas suffers, I have a brother, sister and grandson with varying degrees of asthma and nearly all the family suffers with allergies of some sort including myself. And I know we can develop asthma later in life, and the difference between me giving up and now is quite phenomenal.


  • I'm 63 given up smoking now run and am fitter than I was when I was 40 and haven't felt this good in years. It is quality of life that is important. I can do so much more now with 50% lungs!!

    Not depressed anymore. So defiantly suggest you do. I still have the chew gum (nicotine fruit) and have a plastic cig should I stress lol. Go for it. Get on a Pulmonary Rehab course through your doctor. It will change your life and give it back to you x

  • Emphysema won't kill you you just won't be able to walk or do anything. It will happen suddenly and you will be on medications. If you stop now it won't get much worse unless you get cancer. I waited too long.

  • It's only disappointment in yourself for starting again that's making you ask this question susand, that and not being able to face having to go through the cravings all over again.

    You know the right answer, as I did, when I asked myself the same question because I felt low.

    You'll do it again, you know you can. Don't let the nicotine win. If you can do it without an ecig- that's good, if you can't, get one and cut your cigs down to a couple a day until the ecig replaces them. I found that method so much less stressful. xx

  • Definitely. It certainly slowed down my progression. Diagnosed with very mild emphysema back in 1992 when I quit. Now after two hospital admissions for chest infections within the space of a month, December '13 , I now have severe copd and on 1/2 litre of oxygen. I am 65 and still manage to work 3 days a week. I have been told that exercise is very important, so I do what I can.

    All the very best


  • I have read all your replies , and taken onboard the good and the not so good comments :) . I will keep on fighting the good fight . My very best wishes to you all

    x x x Susan

  • You are most likely to get other diseases too. You may think its bad now but if you get Pulmonary Hypertension or another heart lung condition you will want to go back in time and wish you had.

    I am too an ex smoker. I'm lucky my lung condition isn't due to smoking.

    Its up to you, it is your life, my friends mum had COPD and then mouth cancer. Things could get worse.

    Best wishes to you whatever you decide.

  • No one can give you a definitive answer to whether stopping at this point in your life will help you deal with COPD, but what I CAN tell you is my own experience: I smoked for 50+ years from my middle teens to my mid-60s and I certainly feel better now than I did the last day I smoked a cigarette.

    However, it's not just not smoking anymore that does it for me; I stopped drinking as well, became more active (but now am breaking the 'evil computer habit', so I can get back to a more active life) and practice other healthy regimens like 'pursed lip breathing which is designed to help one re-discover correct breathing.

    It takes more than a 'passing interest' on your part, pal; and you have to begin to do as much to correct the cruddy habits and lifestyle that got you into this mess with the same vigor as you practiced by accident in getting into this shape. I also found that supplements like CoQ10, Niacin (nicotinic acid), the B complex and a few others helps quite a bit.

    Let's face it; being 60 plus is where we're all at mostly and it's not going to change a great deal. We're all on a downhill slide so to speak, like or not. I think the point is to make our lives as comfortable as possible without adding to the ravages that age brings along quite on its own. Stopping smoking will enable you to breathe easier for longer until that Great Reaper of Souls whisks you away to..., WHEREVER !!!!

    It'll be more fun if you don't smoke.

  • just stop i smoked from the age of 16 i ended up smoking 40 a day i stopped some years ago now best thing i ever did i am 70 now and still running up and down stairs and ever time i have a spiro test there is a marked improvement ever time so yes it is worth you stopping smoking .

  • I stopped smoking 15 months ago, and it does get easier, believe it or not, I find the e cigs made me cough worse than the real cigs. I would like to know if those e cigs are safe or not , why doesnt anyone test them, Anyway theres nothing worse than not being able to breathe , and why would you want to make yourself worse than you already are.

  • No one knows the answer,but if you don,t stop smoking your life will be a lot shorter and your death probably be a lot more unpleasant.That logic is borne out by the research that has been done so far.I suggest you talk this through with a health professional,a doctor or consultant,they can give you the really gruesome details.Stick around ,good luck.D. PS. If you can stop for ten months you can stop for good, your own good,and you should .

  • I am 68 with severe COPD and mild emphysema and had a mini stroke at Xmas. I stopped smoking 12 years ago when diagnosed with COPD. Doc told me if I continued to smoke I would be using Oxygen in 5 years--well I still have not needed Oxygen. It has progressed and I have had a dreadful year with infections and exacerbations but to give up smoking and maintain a healthy life style has been the most important thing I have done toward making life bearable. I relay on the medics to give me the drugs to help.

    You stopped once -- you can do it again and how nice to be FREE of the awful smelly unpleasant addiction. Best of luck.

  • Susand I have a thought,sitting in my bedroom as I watched the darkness come.Today was Godess hot! Humid,Aahh.Going on a bike ride to raise money for children with Autism. You can't sit around with the "oh poor me" syndrome.It takes to much energy that you have to use for smiles,jokes,positive thinking.come on we will throw you a rope.You can be a survivor, like the rest of these beautiful people. Gold13. Xxx

  • That's it "NEVER GIVE UP"

  • From what I have learned if you stop smoking COPD may not get any worse than it is and your lungs could deteriorate at the same rate as anyone your age.

  • Thats what Im led to believe. x

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