With around 1.2 million people in the UK living with diagnosed Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), the Quit Squad is on World COPD Day (15 November) urging people who smoke to get the help they need to quit smoking.
COPD describes a group of lung conditions that make it difficult to empty air out of the lungs because the airways have been narrowed and often develops when the lungs are exposed to cigarette smoke. This means that living with COPD can make it hard for people to do even simple, everyday tasks.
Gareth Beck from the Quit Squad at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said:
“Smoking is the main cause of COPD and people over 35 who smoke are most likely to develop the disease. Smokers often think the early signs of COPD is a smoker’s cough, but if they carry on smoking then the condition can worsen and impact their quality of life. The Quit Squad has age testing monitors that we use with service users who have potentially developed COPD. The monitors do not diagnose COPD. They do, however, indicate the need for further testing resulting in early diagnosis or reassuring the client that COPD has at the present time not developed.
“We are really looking forward to World COPD Day and want to use it as an opportunity for health professionals within our service to engage with people and positively influence their choices. To mark World COPD Day, the Quit Squad is encouraging smokers to contact the service for free specialist advice. You are up to four times more likely to quit with the help of stop smoking aids combined with specialist help and support than without.”
Some symptoms of COPD include:
• Shortness of breath through everyday tasks
• A long lasting cough
• Producing more sputum or phlegm than usual
• Wheezing in cold weather
The Quit Squad is a service delivered by Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust and funded by Lancashire County Council. You can access the service in your local community by visiting a drop-in clinic (for which no appointments are required) or by attending a one-to-one session. The Quit Squad also offers sessions in the community and workplace. For further details, telephone 0800 3286297, visit www.quitsquad.nhs.uk, or follow the Quit Squad on Twitter @LancashireCare #QuitSquad.