Smoking is a Major Risk Factor for COPD

News Desk, News Nation 360 : Tobacco use is one of the major risk factors for multiple chronic diseases, including lung disease. In India, the use of tobacco accounts for approx. 1.35 million deaths every year and is one of the major causes of death and disease. According to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey India (2016-17), nearly 267 million adults (15 years and above) i.e.29% of all adults in India use tobacco.1 GATS-2 data showed that 1 of every 8 young (age group of 15 to 24 years) Indian uses some form of tobacco. COPD, a common respiratory disease, is a major reason for morbidity in India, in fact, it was the top 2nd reason for deaths in India in the year 20197. Data suggest that an Indian COPD patient spends on an average 15% of his income on smoking products and up to 30% on disease management4. Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) 2021 Report highlights that “smoking” is one of the major risk factors for COPD and a major trigger for flare-ups/ worsening of symptoms in patients with COPD. Smoking can damage lung/s to a level that in and out movement of enough air becomes hard, leading to breathlessness and other symptoms in COPD. Thus, it is advised to quit smoking. The most prevalent form of tobacco use in India is smokeless tobacco, commonly used products for same include khaini, gutkha, betel quid with tobacco and zarda. The smoking forms of tobacco used in India include bidi, cigarette and hookah1. Smoking is a major risk factor for COPD, both active and passive. In fact, exposure to passive smoking in early childhood could pave the path for chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) in future. On World No Tobacco Day, Dr Mita Roy Sengupta, MBBS, MD, Chest Physician, CMRI Hospital, Jain Hospital & NH Howrah emphasized the connection between tobacco use and risk of respiratory disease. Cigarette smoking is one of the most common forms of tobacco use6 and highlighted exposure to smoking and the importance of quitting. She mentioned that the earlier the exposure to risk factor like smoking, the greater is the level of decline in lung function. Continuing to smoke when one has a respiratory disease like COPD further worsens lung function. Fortunately, quitting to smoke or use tobacco in any form and following all instructions given by doctor can reduce the number of hospitalisations and the decline of lung function. The earlier the quitting, the better one can manage the disease and save the lungs from more damage. 

Report : Anustup Kundu