In addition, although the number of American adults who smoke has dropped to a new low of 20 percent, the U.S. population has grown, so in real terms there are about the same number of people smoking today as in the late 1960's, Schachter said. "We are pretty much treading water here," he said.
There are still as many a 70 million smokers -- 25 percent of whom are going to develop COPD, Schachter said.
Dr Norman H. Edelman, professor of preventive medicine, internal medicine, physiology and biophysics at Stony Brook University, NY and chief medical officer of the American Lung Association, added that, "the very little progress in treatment of COPD is quite troubling. This could be related to the much less money spent on research than for cancer and cardiovascular disease," he said.
For more information on COPD, visit the U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
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