Characteristics Associated with Sustained Abstinence from Smoking Among Patients with COPD

Sandra G. Adams, Jacqueline A. Pugh, Lewis E. Kazis, Shuko Lee, Antonio Anzueto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose: Smoking cessation is the mainstay of recommended treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), yet many continue smoking. This study seeks to understand the characteristics of patients with COPD who have quit and those who have not quit to identify important factors to evaluate in smoking-cessation interventions. Subjects/methods: A cross-sectional survey of a random sample of 1.5 million, predominantly male Veterans Administration enrollees. Of the respondents (63% [n = 887 775]), those with at least 1 COPD visit, a smoking history, and aged more than 34 years were included in this analysis (n = 89 337). Differences in demographics, functional status, comorbidities, and provider-patient interactions were evaluated for current and former smokers. Results: Ninety-seven percent of the cohort with COPD was male. Former smokers (n = 58 482) were older (mean age of 69.6 vs 62.8, P<.001) and had more cardiac comorbidities, but better mental health (Mean Mental Component Summary score from the Veterans Short Form-36 ± standard deviation of 43.4 ± 13.2 vs 39.9 ± 13.7, P<.001) than current smokers (n = 25 595), respectively. In addition, former smokers more actively participated in their health care and had a better relationship with their provider than current smokers. Conclusion: Former smokers with COPD were older, had more cardiac comorbidities, better mental health, and better perceived provider-patient interactions than active smokers. This study highlights the importance of screening participants with COPD who are enrolling in forthcoming smoking cessation trials for mental illnesses. In addition, developing interventions that address psychiatric comorbidities and potentially improve provider-patient communication may be other key areas to evaluate in future smoking cessation trials in patients with COPD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)441-447
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2006


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Former and current smokers
  • Mental health
  • Tobacco use disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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