Don’t ignore a ‘smoker’s cough’ – rule out COPD

Quit smoking

Over 122,000 people across Yorkshire and The Humber are living a life blighted by chronic smoking-related lung diseases such as COPD.

January is a prime time for smokers to try and quit and Public Health England (PHE) want to encourage people by highlighting the debilitating nature of serious lung diseases, for which smoking is the biggest preventable risk factor.

The national Smokefree Health Harms campaign includes a short film featuring Olympian Iwan Thomas, whose mother has recently been diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), of which early signs can often be dismissed as a ‘smoker’s cough’. Symptoms to watch out for are breathlessness when active, a persistent cough and frequent chest infections.

Sarah Muckle, acting Director of Public Health said

My advice to anyone who smokes is don’t ignore a ‘smoker’s cough’ or getting out of breath. If your cough is persistent get it checked out by your GP and take it as a sign to quit before your lungs get any worse.

If lung diseases are diagnosed early, changes in lifestyle, treatments such as pulmonary rehabilitation and prescription medications, can slow down progression and help people cope with symptoms like breathlessness and fatigue. However, there is no cure for COPD, so the single most important thing you can do to reduce the chances of getting the condition is to stop smoking completely.”

COPD led to around 15,000 hospital admissions in the Yorkshire and Humber region in 2013-14 and between 2012 and 2014 there were 8,757 deaths attributable to COPD.

Cllr Viv Kendrick, our cabinet member for prevention, early intervention and vulnerable adults added:

Although smoking rates have declined over recent decades, around 18% of local people have yet to kick the habit and many will have made New Year’s resolutions to quit for good.

Resolving to stop smoking is the best thing you can do, not only for your health but for the health of those around you. There’s a wide variety of support tools available to help people in their quit-journey, regardless of their choice of quitting method.”

Need help?

Check out this short video

Want to quit?

If you are looking to quit please contact our local service Smokefree Yorkshire Kirklees.

You can contact them on 0800 612 0011 free from landline, 0330 660 1166 free from most mobiles or visit their website.

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