Yet the greatest part of this graph is that it offers proof that quitting smoking, at any time in your life, can slow down the breakdown of lung function, and prolong your life.
Despite the significance of this graph, I have not seen much written about it over the years, until Scott Cerreta wrote his column, "It's never too late to stop smoking," in the May, 2013, issue of AARC Times.
Of this graph, he said:
"Sustained smoking abstinence is one of just a few interventions that has been proven to prolong life for those living with COPD. Tobaco cessation is the only intervention that actually slows disease progression by reducing the rate of lost lung function for the susceptible tobacco smoker. Unfortunately, individuals with COPD cannot normalize their lung function after qu;itting, but most patients will improve their FEV1 (lung function) within the first year of tobacco abstinence. The most important point is that for 'susceptible smokers' with COPD, sustained smoking abstinence significantly slows the rapid loss of lung function as seen in figure 1."The interesting thing about this graph, Cerreta explained, is that it shows that the lung function of people who smoke gradually declines even in those with average COPD, or those who do not observe symptoms of lung declines and who do not have COPD flare ups.
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