COPD Foundation Launches Global Tobacco Survey

Posted on March 03, 2022   |   

This article was authored by Dr. David Mannino, Medical Director and Co-Founder of the COPD Foundation.

Thank you for your interest in our survey. The survey ended on March 25, 2022. We will share the results of this survey soon. If interested, please sign up for our newsletter to be notified about the survey results and other Foundation news:


The use of smoked tobacco remains the largest and most preventable cause of COPD in most parts of the world. In the United States, over 75% of COPD cases are related to cigarette smoking.

Tobacco smoke contains thousands of different chemicals that cigarette smokers inhale into their lungs, including over 50 known cancer-causing agents as well as nicotine, the addicting chemical that keeps people smoking.

Tobacco companies make a great deal of profit. In recent years, some companies have used this money to expand their business beyond smoked cigarettes to include vaping devices and cannabis. In 2021, the tobacco company Phillip Morris International bought Vectura, a British company that develops devices used to deliver inhaled medications. This company is also working to develop other platforms that could be used to deliver therapies to patients with respiratory disease.

The COPD Foundation and many other health care organizations opposed the purchase of Vectura by Phillip Morris International. We acknowledge, though, that the products made by Vectura have been beneficial to patients in our community.

To get patient input on this topic, the COPD Foundation, in collaboration with the Lung Foundation of Australia and the Global Allergy and Airways Patient Platform, launched a Global Tobacco Survey. The survey allows our community to tell us their thoughts about relationships between the tobacco industry and companies that make products used by patients with lung disease. The survey covers several different topics, including smoking and vaping history, disease status, and, most importantly, views on how ownership of a company that makes treatments for chronic lung diseases by the tobacco industry might affect current and future decisions about medications.

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