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FEV1 Trends in Smokers and Quitters

Analyze the following graphs and compare the rates at which loss of lung function occurs in sustained quitters, intermediate quitters and continuous smokers.[1]

FEV1 = forced expiratory volume in 1 second




How would you use the information presented in these graphs in discussions with patients? Using plain language, summarize the information, as if you are speaking to someone who is contemplating quitting smoking and is wondering if it is worth it after smoking for a long time.


1. Anthonisen NR, Connett JE, Kiley JP, et al: Effects of smoking intervention and the use of an inhaled anticholinergic bronchodilator on the rate of decline of FEV1. The Lung Health Study. JAMA 1994;272:1497-1505

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