What is COPD?

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a progressive, incurable lung disease that includes two main conditions — emphysema and chronic bronchitis. COPD results in shortness of breath, coughing, swollen airways, scar tissue and death.

Every 4 minutes in the U.S. someone dies of COPD.
15 million Americans have been diagnosed with COPD.

Causes of COPD

Smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke are the primary causes of COPD in the United States.

In Oklahoma, COPD is the third leading cause of death, and is responsible for 98% of all chronic lower respiratory disease deaths.
Approximately 85-90% of COPD deaths are caused by smoking.
COPD has no cure.


The best ways to prevent COPD are to protect yourself and your loved ones from secondhand smoke and to never start smoking.

If you do smoke, COPD is a real danger. Quitting can help prevent complications and slow the progress of the disease. If you want to learn more about quitting, FREE, nonjudgmental help is available at OKhelpline.com or 1-800-QUIT NOW.

You also should avoid exposure to secondhand smoke and other lung irritants like dust and fumes. Follow all doctor-prescribed COPD treatments to the letter. They are designed to help you breathe easier, stay more active and avoid or manage severe symptoms.

Educating yourself is the best way to prevent COPD and its complications. To learn more about secondhand smoke, click here. More information about the health effects of tobacco can be found here.

When it comes to smokefree choices, you have a voice.

Make your home and car smokefree zones. If guests want to smoke, politely ask them to do so outside, or to not smoke at all. Refer them to the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline if they’re thinking about quitting.

If you live in multi-unit housing, encourage your landlord to go smokefree. More information and helpful messaging to get the conversation started is available here.

At work, suggest smokefree policies to management or your boss. You can even share with them all the benefits of a smokefree business.

Send a message to local businesses by showing your support for those that have voluntary smokefree policies. Learn more about smoking laws for clubs, bars and restaurants here.

Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline

If you’re thinking about quitting or know someone who is, free resources and nonjudgmental help are available at OKhelpline.com or 1-800-QUIT NOW.