Smoking kills more than 480,000 people annually in the U.S., according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 117,600 of those adult deaths are in the 12-state region containing Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee and West Virginia, dubbed “Tobacco Nation” by Truth Initiative, the anti-smoking group that produced the report.
COPD symptoms include a cough that produces lots of mucous (smoker’s cough), shortness of breath (especially during exercise), wheezing, and tightness in your chest. You may also notice more frequent chest colds that take longer to get over than before. The symptoms tend to get worse over time. Here are some good reasons to talk to your doctor about COPD and lung health:
- You are a smoker or former smoker over age 40.
- You have a family history of COPD or alpha 1 antitrypsin deficiency.
- You have persistent COPD symptoms.
- You have a history of exposure to second-hand smoke or air pollution, or have worked with chemicals or dusts that may cause lung damage.