Important That C.O.P.D. Patients Stop Smoking
It is critically important that COPD patients quit smoking. Once a patient has quit, the rate of decline of lung function slows considerably. Cigarette smoking is involved in many other serious health problems, including atherosclerosis, malignancies (especially lung cancer), peptic ulcer disease, ovarian failure, osteoporosis, histiocytosis-X ( a disease caused by disruption of the immune system), and lesser problems, like premature wrinkling. Many hospitals offer smoking cessation that can help.
It is very difficult to quit smoking cigarettes because they are psychologically and physically addictive, but it can be done. Withdrawals symptoms are caused by withdrawal from nicotine and include depression, insomnia, irritability, anxiety, poor concentration, and weight gain. Some patients gain 10-20 pounds after they stop smoking. An antidepressant may help reduce withdrawal symptoms and can be used alone or with nicotine replacement therapy.
There are numerous nicotine replacement systems that help smokers withdraw from nicotine, including nicotine gum, patches, inhalers, and nasal sprays. Nicotine gum was the first nicotine replacement therapy available. Each piece of gum contains 2 mg of nicotine. It is chewed slowly when symptoms of withdrawal are experienced. The major disadvantages of nicotine gum are that it takes training to use properly and the peak nicotine blood levels only approximate 40% of what one would obtain by smoking a cigarette. The gum decreases, but does not eliminate, physical withdrawal symptoms.