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British Lung Foundation
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The new anti-smoking campaign. No mention of COPD ?

The governments new anti-smoking campaign focuses on lung cancer but doesn't mention COPD. Apparently COPD kills more people each year than lung cancer and breast cancer combined. Knowing abut smoking and lung cancer did not make me stop, Perhaps knowing about COPD as well may have made me think.Seeing people with oxygen cannula up their nose and them gasping for breath does make a point. It was a mild heart attack that made me stop. When I found out about it at the hospital I stopped there and then and haven't looked back.

16 Replies

I agree Puff. Cancer did not really seem real to me and I certainly never worried about it. I had never heard of COPD before diagnosis. I had heard of emphysema but thought only miners were affected by it. Maybe cannula and oxygen tanks would have scared me enough instead of me smoking until i was diagnosed with final stage COPD. We seem to be totally invisible.


It seems it's generally diagnosed when it's gone too far. I should have listened to my kids but I just said I had " smokers cough ". Duh !

I forgot a couple of links in my blog.

One for the anti-smoking campaign.


One for the other info.



Shhhh! - 'they' don't want the general public to know about COPD, or so it seems... :(

As already noted by many, most GP's are general practitioners and not COPD specialists, that's why they don't spot it - as per this news item and quite extentive explanation: dailymail.co.uk/health/arti... - if the Daily Mail know so much about it, then how come Joe Public does not ?

There's a new NHS campaign starting in February 2013 called INHALE - if you want to find out more before it launches, see inhale.nhs.uk/inhale/contex... ;)

What we all need to do is to make sure our GP's and consultants, as well as their staff, are aware of this central resource, via the NHS. It's there for them, not us, but they'll probably not take a lot of notice unless we, their patients, tell them to use it!


A problem Gordon - many GPs do not even see their COPD patients. I know mine is not the only one to think that all of my questions, needs, etc should be met by my consultant or hospital nurse.


A couple of videos here that are copd, emphysema focussed.

Some of the lung cancer videos are horrendous. Lung Cancer when it strikes can kill much more quickly than copd it does not discriminate at all.


Yes. Lung cancer can be a quick killer.


Hello all I'm new here. Recently had a chest xray and have now been referred to chest clinic. Doctor did mention COPD to me but as yet I'm awaiting a diagnosis. The hospital did say over the phone if it was serious I'd be in there now. Stopped the fags a couple of weeks ago and I've never coughed so much.


I've just watched all of these. Thank God my COPD doesn't affect me as much as those featured, nowhere close, in fact.

Lung cancer is far worse than COPD, as you can live with COPD if you do the right things as far as possible. The poor man with lung cancer was a different story altogether.

My GP says that COPD is not broadcast because it would put people off giving up smoking as, like with me, I had no symptoms until I had stopped.

We all know smoking kills, and we, as individuals, decide whether to carry on smoking or not. We have to take responsibility ourselves and not blame doctors.

The treatment we get after is a different matter, but mine has been good. Not everyone gets the same and that is the problem.

Lynne xx


I sympathise and identify with the lady and child, watching out of the window and then where she's struggling to climb the stairs. That's about my level now.

I lost my mum to lung cancer earlier in the year, it was a lot quicker than anyone expected.

As for putting people off stopping smoking - until I stopped I was reasonably OK. It's only now that the tar and gunk has gone that the bugs can get in and cause chest infection after chest infection. Hmmm...


I agree Lnne. I was diagnosed with COPD about 2 years ago. I also have had asthma for 25 years. I was told at my last nurse COPD check that I am just out of the COPD range now and that my medication is working.

She said it had probably been 'poorly treated asthma'!

Ok. I was smoking and was diagnosed as asthmatic by a doctor originally. I think because of the smoking he just bunged a salbutomel inhaler at me and thought 'go away'. I did go back a few times with asthma problems and coughing a lot (including a doctor who was an asthma specialist at the local hospital) only to be told - some people cough more than others and blamed it all on smoking which it clearly wasn't! No doctor wanted to know or care.It seems clear now that I probably would never have gone into the COPD range if I had had proper treatment earlier. I am angry at that.

I fully accepted that choosing to smoke was my responsibility but asthma should have been the medical professionals and I should have been taken seriously.

Bev x


I think that the Government thinks that people smoke because they don't know the risks. I think everyone does now and putting graphic images on cigarettes is overkill and counter-productive. All the smokers I know just take no notice of them and treat them as a bit of a joke. I think that all those who didn't know the risks before or have become ill themselves have probably now stopped. I find the attitude behind the messages very condescending. Being treated as though we don't understand the dangers and need 'educating'.

Also I have seen material talking about COPD. But instead of showing the typical middle aged victim they always seem to show a young person. All those past that age know that is an extreme case. Maybe thats only aimed at youngsters?

What made the most impact on me was an Horizon programme many years ago. It wasn't condescending in any way. It showed 2 pairs of lungs. One person had died of a non-lung related illness and their lungs were pink, bouncy and healthy looking.

The second person had died of lung disease. These lungs were flat, black and oozed liquid.

I have never seen that programme on telly since.

I think if they concentrated on things like that it would have a much greater effect on smokers.

Bev x


I stopped smoking 12yrs ago when I was diagnosed with the emphysema form of COPD, I don't cough unless I have an infection, apparently you cough more if you have the chronic bronchitus form. My nurse told me 2yrs ago I would be dead now if I hadn't stopped! A good New Year to you all.

Carole x


I'm like that too. I have emphysema but not bronchitis and bring up a little mucus if I have an infection. I gave up smoking about 18 months ago. Odd that I could breath better before I gave up rather than after.


Hi everyone,all the info you have given is interesting. I found the dailymail article a sensible approach and it was very much like the path I travelled down, and no doubt millions of others. Hopefully the INHALE project will make the care and diagnosis of respiratory illness, easier in future for the patient ,medical professions,and carers.The question of breathing better before giving up seems to be true for many, I too wonder why this oddity occurs.Oh as for the cough, not sure it is consistent with just the bronchitis type of COPD, I have had mine for many, many years and was originally told it was due to the drugs prescribed it has now been accepted as a symptom of COPD.


My respiratory nurse says it's just coincidence that my COPD showed up after I had given up smoking and I couldn't breath so well.

I have a theory about breathing better before giving up smoking. You may titter if you like. :)

When we are smoking the part of our lungs which have emphysema are bunged up with soot and tar, so when we breath in the air bypasses the bad bit and goes into the good bit ( much like lung reduction surgery ). When we eventually give up smoking the soot and tar, etc, clears out. Then when we breath in the air goes to the emphysema part of the lungs. It makes sense to me ! :)


Hi ,I am PAULINESPACK (dogs not Fags) I am an 80 year young widow of 17 years

I have NEVER smoked .My husband was an 80aday man so I passive smoked for 50 yrs

I am COPD now ,tough ,but reading some blogs I am lucky

not enough info.is given on the dangers of passive smoking ,people assume it only affects you if you are or have been a smoker,not sure what difference it would have made as my husband knew he was killing himself ,died just before his 66 birthday ,but he was so addicted he couldnt even cut down,

I do aggree much more emphasis should be made available

too late for me now but others could benefit from the knowledge

heres to a healthy (well nearly )New Year


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