Thanks for the many useful replies: yes I will take the symbicort as prescribed.
As far as smoking goes, ironically I gave up completely about a month before I was diagnosed with COPD (I was coughing that badly, I used Champix, fantastic, it seemed really easy, I recommend it to anyone who is trying to quit). I haven't had a chest infection or cough since; so mystified as to why my FEV1 should have dropped so quickly.
As advised, I have an appointment with respiratory nurse in early Jan so I may find out more. Several people mention exercise, I am certainly a lot more idle since diagnosis, I still work (teach) full time and walk the dogs (if its not p**ing with rain ..... so not often lately!), but have stopped swimming, my once regular exercise. I will make it my new years resolution.
Again, thanks all, hope your breathing stays as easy as possible and have a restful fun and refreshing Christmas