We are urging smokers to make it their New Year's resolution to quit smoking for 2016.
This follows figures released by Public Health England that 4,294 North Somerset residents were diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) between 2014 and 2015.
What is COPD?
COPD is the umbrella term for serious lung conditions that include chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
People with COPD have difficulties breathing, primarily due to the narrowing of their airways and destruction of lung tissue. Typical symptoms include breathlessness when active, a persistent cough and frequent chest infections.
The impact of COPD
Around 86% of national COPD deaths are caused by smoking and 2,486 deaths each year in the South West are attributable to COPD.
Smokers can often dismiss the early signs of COPD as a ‘smoker’s cough’, but if they continue smoking and the condition worsens, it can greatly impact on their quality of life.
Large numbers of people with COPD are unable to participate in everyday activities such as climbing stairs, housework or gardening; with many even unable take a holiday because of their disease.
Alongside the impact on quality on life, 7,458 deaths in the South West between 2012 and 2014 were attributable to COPD.
"The single best thing a smoker can do to reduce their chances of developing this devastating disease is to stop smoking. January is a time when many people make New Year’s resolutions and 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 is lots of NHS support to help you. Visit our website for your local stop smoking service to get the help and support you need to quit smoking for good."
- Dr Jill Genkins, Bristol CCG’s Clinical Lead for Long Term Conditions