Awareness of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in current smokers: A nationwide survey

So Yeong Mun, Yong Il Hwang, Joo Hee Kim, Sunghoon Park, Seung Hun Jang, Jae Yong Seo, Ja Kyung Kim, Yong Bum Park, Jae Jung Shim, Ki Suck Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Background/Aims: Cigarette smoking is the most common risk factor for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, few studies of the attitudes toward COPD of smokers, the group at risk of developing this condition, have been conducted. The purpose of this study was to explore the awareness of and attitudes toward COPD of current smokers. Methods: The sample consisted of 502 individuals aged 45 and older from throughout Korea who smoked at least 10 packs of cigarettes per year. Telephone interviews using a structured questionnaire were conducted with respondents. Results: First, we evaluated the health status of subjects, finding that 45.4% considered themselves to be in good health. We also asked about COPD-related symptoms, and 60.6% of subjects reported such symptoms. However, only 1.2% of subjects had been diagnosed with or treated for COPD, only 0.4% spontaneously mentioned COPD as a respiratory disease, and only 26.5% recognized COPD as a respiratory disease after seeing a list of such diseases. Television ranked as the top source of information about COPD. The willingness of 45.0% of subjects to stop smoking increased after being informed about COPD. Conclusions: Despite having COPD-related symptoms, most smokers did not know that COPD is a respiratory disease. The attitudes of smokers toward COPD and smoking cessation varied according to socioeconomic status. In summary, a continuous effort to increase the awareness of COPD among smokers is needed. Additionally, strategies tailored according to different socioeconomic groups will also be necessary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-197
Number of pages7
JournalKorean Journal of Internal Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Attitude
  • Awareness
  • Chronic obstructive
  • Pulmonary disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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