Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a major cause of mortality worldwide and is characterized by an excessive airway neutrophilic response. The neutrophil chemoattractant proline-glycine-proline (PGP) and its more potent acetylated form (acPGP) have been found to be elevated in patients with COPD and act via CXCR2. Here, we investigated the impact of neutralizing PGP peptides in a murine model for emphysema. The PGP-neutralizing peptide L-arginine-threonine-arginine (RTR) was used first in a 6-week model of cigarette smoke exposure, where it attenuated lung inflammation. Then, in a model of chronic smoke exposure, mice were exposed to cigarette smoke and RTR treatment was initiated after 10 weeks of smoke exposure. This treatment was continued together with smoke exposure for another 13 weeks, for a total of 23 weeks of smoke exposure. RTR significantly inhibited neutrophil and macrophage influx into the lungs in the 6-week model of exposure. RTR also attenuated the development of emphysema, normalized lung volumes, and reduced right ventricular hypertrophy in the chronic exposure model. Murine epithelia expressed CXCR2, and this expression was increased after smoke exposure. In vitro, human bronchial epithelial cells also demonstrated robust expression of CXCR2, and stimulation of primary human bronchial epithelial cells with acPGP led to increased release of MMP-9 and IL-8. Overall, these results provide evidence that acPGP plays a critical role during the development of emphysema in cigarette smoke–induced injury, and highlight a new epithelial mechanism by which acPGP augments neutrophilic inflammation.