Computed tomographic measures of central airway morphology have been used in clinical, epidemiologic, and genetic investigation as an inference of the presence and severity of small-airway disease in smokers. Although several association studies have brought us to believe that these computed tomographic measures reflect airway remodeling, a careful review of such data and more recent evidence may reveal underappreciated complexity to these measures and limitations that prompt us to question that belief. This Perspective offers a review of seminal papers and alternative explanations of their data in the light of more recent evidence. The relationships between airway morphology and lung function are observed in subjects who never smoked, implying that native airway structure indeed contributes to lung function; computed tomographic measures of central airways such as wall area, lumen area, and total bronchial area are smaller in smokers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease versus those without chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; and the airways are smaller as disease severity increases. The observations suggest that (1) native airway morphology likely contributes to the relationships between computed tomographic measures of airways and lung function; and (2) the presence of smaller airways in those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease versus those without chronic obstructive pulmonary disease as well as their decrease with disease severity suggests that smokers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease may simply have smaller airways to begin with, which put them at greater risk for the development of smoking-related disease.