Editorial: Smoking cessation and COPD: further evidence is more necessary than ever

In this editorial, published in the European Respiratory Journal (2017) Lucy Wood, Jennifer K. Quint and TackSHS researcher Joan B. Soriano, highlight the need for further research on the ties between lung function change over time and smoking status.

The study “Improved outcomes in ex-smokers with COPD: a UK primary care observational cohort study” (2017) by Josephs et al. concludes that COPD patients who became ex-smokers had significantly better health outcomes than continuous smokers in terms of reduced mortality and use of health services (hospitalisations and emergency room visits), emphasising the importance of effective smoking-cessation support regardless of age or lung function [1].

Wood et al. however point out that the study has a number of limitations concerning the collection of routine clinical data, which demonstrate the ongoing struggle to objectively determine the benefits of smoking cessation in respiratory patients.

To increase respiratory and COPD research yield, Wood et al. note that positive collaboration, being helpful when refereeing colleagues’ submissions for funding, and the ability to speak with one voice are winning strategies [2]. For the benefit of patients, achieving eradication targets of less than 5% of daily smokers by 2050 [3] will require the coordinated help and collaboration of all concerned.

Read more.

  1. Josephs L, Culliford D, Johnson M, et al. Improved outcomes in ex-smokers with COPD: a UK primary care observational cohort study. Eur Respir J 2017; 49: 1602114.
  2. Soriano JB, Paton J, Martin Burrieza F, et al. The ERS Research Agency: the beginning. Eur Respir J 2016; 47:1017–
  3. Malone RE. The Race to a tobacco endgame. Tob Control 2016; 25: 607–608.