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Deadly lung disease COPD: stopping smoking can even save lives


COPD: Refraining from cigarettes minimizes the risk of life-threatening lung disease

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the number three cause of death worldwide. Up to five million people in this country suffer from the incurable disease. On World No Tobacco Day, health experts point out that the risk of life-threatening lung disease can be significantly reduced - by stopping smoking.

Up to five million Germans suffer from COPD

According to the German Respiratory League, three to five million people suffer from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) in Germany alone. According to health experts, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, popularly known as smoker's cough or smoker's lung, is the third leading cause of death worldwide. Sometimes non-smokers are also affected, but in 90 percent of all cases in Germany the main cause is quite clearly determined: smoking. The risk of illness could be minimized by refraining from cigarettes.

Most of the patients were or are smokers

According to the Barmer health insurance company, almost every twentieth German suffers from COPD. Most of the patients were or are smokers. The toxic fumes from cigarettes and tobacco exacerbate the disease.

Dr. Ursula Marschall, chief medical officer at Barmer, draws attention to the creeping danger on May 31, World No Tobacco:

“COPD, a lung disease, is insidious and, in the worst case, fatal. The biggest risk factor is smoking. Smoking cessation is difficult for many, but is highly recommended, ”said the expert, according to a message.

Disease starts slowly

Many patients are often unaware of their severe lung disease for a long time. It starts slowly.

"A chronic obstructive pulmonary disease begins with an apparently harmless cough, which over time is accompanied chronically and increasingly by sputum and shortness of breath," explains the doctor.

"This has consequences for the whole body. The disease also affects metabolism, muscles and bones, and the cardiovascular system, ”says Dr. Marshal.

This is how it works with the smoking cessation

Quitting smoking is not easy for many.

In order to get out of addiction, you definitely need a firm will.

Experts recommend looking for a stress-free time to quit. If you have problems with your partner or at work, it is more difficult to do without cigarettes.

It also makes sense to inform friends and relatives and, if necessary, ask them not to smoke in their presence.

It is usually advised to stop completely, because each additional cigarette stimulates the addiction memory anew.

Scientific studies have also shown that cold withdrawal is the best way to stop smoking.

Nicotine patches can make the transition easier, but they are not a permanent solution because they keep the ex-smoker physically dependent.

According to studies, e-cigarettes do not help smokers quit.

Nicotine addiction is quickly overcome

Barmer offers the particularly vulnerable smokers a special online program (SQUIN: "Smoke, Quit, Win"), which should accompany them into a future without a cigarette.

Dr. Marshal encourages future non-smokers. “The physical addiction to nicotine is quickly overcome. After a few days, the body has got used to life without the drug again. The rest is a matter of the head, ”said the doctor.

If you then consider a few potentially years of your life and the many saved money, you will survive delicate moments of temptation in the future. (ad)

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