Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common inflammatory airway disease predominantly associated with cigarette smoking, and its incidence is increasing worldwide. According to the Global Initiative for Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) guidelines, spirometry is used to diagnose the disease. However, owing to its complexity, spirometry alone may not account for the multitude of COPD phenotypes or the early, asymptomatic lung damage seen in younger smokers. In addition, suitable biomarkers enabling early diagnosis, guiding treatment and estimating prognosis are still scarce, although large scale ‘omics analyses have added to the spectrum of potential biomarkers that could be used for these purposes. The aim of the current study was to comprehensively profile patients with mild-to-moderate COPD and compare the profiles to i) a group of currently smoking asymptomatic subjects, ii) a group of healthy former smokers, and iii) a group of healthy subjects that had never smoked. The assessment was conducted at the molecular level using proteomics, transcriptomics, and lipidomics and complemented by a series of measurements of traditional and emerging indicators of lung health (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01780298). In this data note, we provide a comprehensive description of the study population’s physiological characteristics including full lung function, lung appearance on chest computed tomography, impulse oscillometry, and exercise tolerance and quality of life (QoL) measures.