This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Encouraging patients with COPD to stop smoking

Written by: | Published:

Patients with COPD should be advised to stop smoki Patients with COPD should be advised to stop smoki

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. The progressive nature of COPD is so fundamental that it is included in the definition adopted in the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) guidelines.1 According to GOLD, COPD is a disease state: ‘characterised by airflow limitation that is usually progressive and associated with an enhanced chronic inflammatory response in the airways and the lung to noxious particles or gases. Exacerbations and comorbidities contribute to the overall severity in individual patients’.1

Many patients will experience COPD exacerbations. COPD exacerbations result in increased use of bronchodilators, impaired function and decreased enjoyment of life. More severe exacerbations require systemic steroids, antibiotics, and sometimes hospitalisation.

Since smoking or exposure to smoke is the most commonly encountered and easily identifiable risk factor for exacerbations, this should be the first treatment recommendation, even if a person has attempted to stop on a number of occasions.

This article will focus on how practice nurses can raise the subject of smoking and encourage smokers with COPD to stop and stay stopped. Empowering COPD patients to better manage their condition, and equipping them with the knowledge and right tools is crucial.

Advice from NICE

Please login or register to read the rest of the article and to have access to downloads and comments.

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.

Read a free issue from Practice Nursing

Register to read a free issue from our sister publication, Practice Nursing.

Including articles on asthma, diabetes and more. Read your copy.


Sign up to the newsletter


Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.


Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.


Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team


Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.