Back to Journals » International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease » Volume 15

Different Characteristics of Ex-Smokers and Current Smokers with COPD: A Cross-Sectional Study in China

Authors Liu C, Cheng W, Zeng Y, Zhou Z, Zhao Y, Duan J, Wang R, Sun T, Li X, Xiang Z, Chen P, Lei S

Received 25 March 2020

Accepted for publication 12 June 2020

Published 7 July 2020 Volume 2020:15 Pages 1613—1619


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Cong Liu,1 Wei Cheng,1 Yuqin Zeng,1 Zijing Zhou,1 Yiyang Zhao,1 Jiaxi Duan,1 Ran Wang,1 Tian Sun,1 Xin Li,2 Zhi Xiang,3 Ping Chen,1 Si Lei1

1Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, The Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University; Research Unit of Respiratory Disease, Central South University; Diagnosis and Treatment Center of Respiratory Disease, Central South University, Changsha 410011, Hunan, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Respiratory Diseases, Hunan Prevention and Treatment Institute for Occupational Diseases, Changsha 410007, Hunan, People’s Republic of China; 3Department of Respiratory Diseases, The First People’s Hospital of Huaihua, Affiliated to University of South China, Huaihua 418000, Hunan, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence: Ping Chen; Si Lei Email;

Purpose: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), usually caused by tobacco smoking, is increased in China. Smoking cessation is the first step in COPD management. Data on predictors of smoking cessation are sparse in COPD patients in China. We aim to find the differences in the clinical characteristics between ex-smokers and current smokers with COPD to determine the factors related to smoking cessation.
Patients and Methods: From outpatient departments of 12 hospitals in Hunan and Guangxi provinces, a total of 4331 patients were included. Information on demographic and sociological data, lung function, and modified Medical Research Council (mMRC) dyspnea scale scores were recorded. Patients were divided into an ex-smokers group and a current smokers group based on whether they gave up smoking. A logistic regression analysis was performed to analyze the factors associated with smoking cessation.
Results: Of the total, the mean age was 62.9± 8.5 years, and 47.3% were ex-smokers. Compared with the current smokers, the ex-smokers were older, and had heavier dyspnea, more severe airflow limitation, fewer pack-years, shorter smoking duration, and a higher proportion of Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) groups C and D. The logistic regression model showed that smoking cessation was negatively correlated with widowhood, years of smoking, and forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), but was positively correlated with age, education level, amount smoked, mMRC score, GOLD grades, and GOLD groups.
Conclusion: Among patients with COPD, more than half still smoked. In the group of patients who quit smoking, many of them quit rather late in age after they had significant symptoms. Several predictors of smoking cessation were identified, indicating that ex-smokers differ substantially from continuing smokers. This should be taken into account in smoking-cessation interventions.

Keywords: COPD, cross-sectional study, ex-smokers and current smokers, smoking cessation

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]