Virtuoso Leonard Bernstein was also among celebrities with COPD. Like many famous COPD names, he was a lifelong smoker. The longtime conductor of the New York Philharmonic and composer of award-winning scores including "West Side Story" died at 72 from a heart attack caused by progressive lung failure. Smoking cessation can stop COPD progression, but researchers in Sweden found that some COPD patients find it impossible to quit. Famous or not, COPD patients were most successful when they had internal motivation.