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Research shows that among the millions of smokers in the United States today, as many as half will develop health problems related to smoking, including COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). Many former smokers may already have lung damage that could lead to COPD. While the condition develops slowly, symptoms worsen over time, especially if not treated. Smoking is the main cause of COPD; however, exposure to secondhand smoke and other pollutants in the environment can case the disease as well. COPD is a serious disease. Symptoms must be treated early in order to stop progression of the disease.