There is no cure for emphysema. But the condition can be controlled.
People with mild emphysema who quit smoking have a normal life expectancy. Those who adopt good health habits can enjoy a fairly normal lifestyle for a long time. Even people whose emphysema is severe have a good chance of surviving for five years or more.
In people with emphysema who continue to smoke, smoking dramatically increases the severity of the illness. It may reduce life span by 10 years or more.