You've taken steps to quit smoking and are working on other areas of your health now that you've been diagnosed with COPD. Despite all of your efforts for staying healthy and avoiding harmful things, you still seem to be getting worse and have frequent, severe exacerbations.
It's true that some of the things that can have a significant effect on our lungs aren't things we have direct control over. We can wash our hands and get vaccines to prevent illness, avoid allergies and take medications, but it can be nearly impossible to avoid what is already in the air around us.
Pollution, whether man-made or natural, can have serious adverse effects on our lungs. People who have a chronic lung disease like COPD or asthma will feel the effects more than anyone since the lungs are more sensitive. BioMed Central, a medical journal and article publisher, conducted a study that says forest fires are having a significant impact on people with COPD, especially. They based the findings on reports from pharmacies filling more prescriptions than usually in areas that were close to where there were recent forest fires.