§ 37. Mr. Blizzard
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he will take to reduce the number of deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. 
§ Ms Blears
The major cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is smoking. That is why the Government have set up a comprehensive smoking cessation service. In the four-year period to 2003, we have allocated £73 million to the national health service to provide a national NHS smoking cessation service. Smoking cessation aids have also been made available on NHS prescription. Additionally an important element of the overall tobacco strategy is the health education programme to which some £55 million has been allocated in the period 1999–2000 to 2002–03.
Officials are holding a meeting in the new year with the National Asthma Campaign, British Thoracic Society and the British Lung Foundation on 28 February to discuss respiratory illness in the national service framework (NSF) for older people, and the effect of general NSF principles including rehabilitation on COPD patients.751W
Expert groups such as the British Thoracic Society have developed clinical guidelines for the treatment of COPD.
Pulmonary rehabilitation is increasingly offered in COPD, particularly to older people, to help them achieve their highest level of function and independence. It has been shown to improve exercise capacity, and to reduce anxiety and depression.