The Asthma Society of Canada
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About Copd
What Is COPD?
How to Recognize COPD
How COPD Affects my Lungs
How COPD is Diagnosed
Taking Control
About COPD

About COPD

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a disease that is similar in many ways to asthma. It is a chronic disease with shortness of breath, cough and sputum production. There are more than 600 million people worldwide with COPD, approximately 44 million in Europe, and there are over 714,000 Canadians suffering from COPD. COPD is one of the few major diseases that are still increasing in terms of the number of people diagnosed. According to the experts' estimation, COPD will become the third leading cause of death around the world by the year 2020.

COPD affects your ability to breathe. It is a progressive disease, which means that COPD gets worse over time and may lead to death. This also means that, over time, the ability to breathe is affected, and because of this, daily activities may become more difficult as the disease worsens.

Although COPD is a serious disease, there are many things you can do that will have a positive impact on your life and improve how you feel. This COPD section investigates some of these things, and provides you with the latest knowledge about this condition. The goal of this section is to provide you with the latest knowledge. After all, the more you know about COPD, the better you can control it.

BreathWorks™ is The Lung Association's national COPD program that offers practical information and support for people with COPD and for their families and caregivers. If you have COPD or if you know someone who has it – BreathWorks™ can help.

To speak to a Certified Respiratory Educator, please call our toll free BreathWorks Helpline at 1-866-717-COPD (2673).


Useful Resources to Quit Smoking:

Stopping smoking is not an easy process. Donít be frustrated if at first you donít succeed. Remember, 80% of people who have quit permanently have made at least three serious attempts to quit previously. Here are some links to smoking cessation websites and help lines to offer you extra support while you are trying to quit.

Health Canada:

Stupid (Anti-Smoking Website):

The Cancer Society of Canada:

Canadian Cancer Society
Smokers' Helpline

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DISCLAIMER: Content on this website is for information purposes only andnot a substitute for a qualified medical professional.
For specific information treatment and management your asthma and/or potential side effects of medications and
treatment, please consult your physician.