Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who are young and socioeconomically disadvantaged have difficulties with smoking cessation, and those with milder COPD are less likely to quit smoking, according to research published in Chest.

In a nationwide, hospital-based, prospective follow-up study, Sandra S. Tøttenborg, MSc, Department of Public Health, Section of Social Medicine, University of Copenhagen, and colleagues examined the rates of smoking cessation and clinical and socio-demographic determinants of smoking cessation among 3,233 patients with COPD. Study participants were active smokers during outpatient contact between 2008 and 2012.

The researchers found that between 1 and 5 years from initial outpatient contact, the probability of smoking cessation was 19% and 45%, respectively. Patients who were younger and had milder COPD diagnoses were less likely to quit.

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“These findings reinforce that the young and socioeconomically disadvantaged patients have more difficulties achieving timely smoking cessation,” concluded Dr Tøttenborg. “These findings suggest a need for intervention studies focusing on these subgroups to ensure abstinence in order to halt disease progression.”


  1. Tøttenborg SS, Thomsen RW, Johnsen SP, et al. Determinants of smoking cessation in COPD patients treated in the outpatient setting. Chest. 2016; doi: 10.1016/j.chest.2016.05.020