Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Smokers urged to have lung checks

  • Comment

Wheeziness and coughing are common smoking side-effects, but nearly three-quarters of smokers have never had their lungs checked for more serious diseases, according to a survey.

COPD can cause breathlessness, persistent coughing, chest infections and pain, excess phlegm and a wheezy chest.

The British Lung Foundation found 21% of people had some of these symptoms, with 19% feeling breathless when walking up a slight hill. A further 8% had to stop for a breather while walking on a flat surface.

Of those surveyed, 73% had not had a lung function test to check for COPD. About 900,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with the disease, but an estimated 3.7 million are unaware they have the condition.

The British Lung Foundation encourages smokers to have a painless 10-minute lung function test, which involves blowing into a tube.

Dame Helena Shovelton, British Lung Foundation chief executive, said: “Symptoms such as breathlessness and a persistent cough are often ignored by smokers or ex-smokers as signs of getting older, but they could be symptoms of COPD.

“COPD is a chronic, irreversible disease that can leave individuals unable to perform simple everyday tasks and dependent on oxygen if it is left untreated.”

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.