Mar 16, 2018 — Smoking increases your risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD,) which can harm your quality of life, even long after quitting. On today's Health Minute, Dr. Steven Lofgran explains the symptoms of COPD and why it can be debilitating for former smokers.


Announcer: The Health Minute, produced by University of Utah Health.

Interviewer: If you smoke, you have a significantly increased risk of COPD, which means your quality of life could really suffer later on. Dr. Steven Lofgren, tell me more.

Dr. Lofgren: COPD is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. If affects former smokers, and it can be seen in people who smoked years ago and quit. It's a breathing issue. It affects your quality of life. It affects your energy level, affects your ability to take part in daily activities that otherwise wouldn't be limited, such as shopping or visiting family or shoveling your front walks in the winter time.

Interviewer: And there's some testing that can be done that can actually help.

Dr. Lofgren: The tests that actually help take about two hours of your time, and by getting those done and seeing your doctor, you can actually start on treatment that will improve the quality of your life. While you can't cure the disease, if you're feeling better, it's worth your time.

Announcer: To find out more about this and other health and wellness topics, visit

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