I also have Emphysema, and I asked my Doctor the same question.
My understanding of COPD is this. If it is really early in the disease,
there can be some improvement by quitting smoking. If it is more advanced,
and there is real damage done to the Lung tissue, quitting smoking will
slow down the progression of the disease, but it will not reverse it.
COPD is more of a mechanical problem with the lungs, rather than
a viral or bacterial disease. Think of it as a cracked mirror; if you stop
hitting the mirror, it will stay cracked, but it will not heal itself.
This is what we are up against with COPD.
When I stopped smoking, I did feel much better after a few weeks,
because the Bronchitis eased up from not having to put up with
the constant irritation of the cigarette smoke and chemicals.
In either case, please continue to quit smoking. If you do not,
than the COPD will get worse. After all, COPD is the fourth leading
cause of death in this country.
Good Luck to You, with quitting, and your Precious Health,