Just within the past few years, everyone has become even more aware of the health risks that come along with cigarette smoking. Businesses have become smoke-free, public cities have enforced special spots for smokers to get a quick nicotine buzz, and even the popularity of vaping has become invincible as the "new thing." Even though smokers have a bad rep (inconvenience to non-smokers, the smell, the financial waste), we should all become knowledgeable of the health conditions that come with lung damage.
COPD, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, is one of the main health concerns regarding smoking, other than lung cancer itself. It is the THIRD leading cause of death in the U.S. That number only includes those who are accounted for. Most people are not even aware they have COPD. Chronic bronchitis and emphysema are two main conditions people should pay attention to. When severe enough, COPD can become a major disability, because a lot of people no longer can take more than a few steps without getting so winded they cannot breath. When damage is done to the lungs, the lungs no longer have the ability to expand to their fullest, so less air is taken in with each breath. COPD is a progressive disease, and doctors have yet to find out if/how the damage to the lungs can be reversed. Life-style changes can definitely slow down this progression, such as exercise, proper treatment, and the obvious... removing yourself from the damage being done.
This article is kinda tearing down smokers and ex-smokers (usually if you currently or have smoked in the past for 10 years or more, you are at risk of having/developing COPD), but a handful of people develop this disease due to over exposure to pollutants in the air such as dust, fumes, chemicals, etc. Most of these occurrences are job related. However, the leading cause is smoking, but any long-term damage to the lungs basically defines this disease.
Is vaping better?? Many articles say it is the best of the two evils, but still not good for you. All and all, stick to what your parents and maybe even your teachers told you to do, and just DON'T START. But hey, plenty of people did start not knowing the health risks and now it is a terrible habit to try to kick. Our advice for those who are in this situation... seek proper treatment. There are many options out there to help! Including medical research studies!
For more information about this disease: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/copd