Mission Moment January 2019

(January 15, 2019)

LUNG CANCER

Radon Action Month: Did you know that exposure to radon is our nation’s second leading cause of lung cancer? And, that an estimated 1 in 15 homes in America has elevated and dangerous levels of radon? The good news is radon testing for your home is easy, inexpensive and  could save your life. Learn about the importance of testing the air in your home for radon.

LUNG FORCE Hero: Hero Elaine N. shares the stirring story of her father’s brave battle with lung cancer, and how she learned about our LUNG FORCE Walks, in which she is now a regular participant, on the one-year anniversary of his passing.

RESEARCH

Reducing the Spread of Influenza Virus Through the Air: With funding from the American Lung Association, Seema Lakdawala, Ph.D., from the University of Pittsburgh, is investigating how the environment alters the stability of influenza viruses expelled into the air, in order to engineer control measures that can improve the air we breathe in confined indoor environments and reduce influenza infections.

Research Published: A study the Lung Association helped fund, to better understand the pathogenesis (the manner in which a disease develops) of the characteristics of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), has been published in the prestigious Annals of the American Thoracic Society. This study, Bioactive Sphingolipids in the Pathogenesis of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, could contribute to improved diagnostic and therapeutic options for COPD. We provided funding for two of the investigators in the study, Irina Petrache, Ph.D. and Russell P. Bowler Ph.D.

HEALTH PROMOTIONS

Did You Resolve to Quit Smoking? Quitting smoking tops many New Year’s resolution lists. If you resolve to quit in 2019, the Lung Association is your go-to source for proven quit smoking tools, like Freedom From Smoking® Plus.  Here are eight tips to help you quit smoking for good in the New Year.

Understanding E-Cigarettes: In December, the U.S. Surgeon General issued an advisory about the epidemic of e-cigarette use by youth , which was prompted by the 78 percent increase of youth e-cigarette use by high school students and 48 percent increase among middle school students from 2017 to 2018.  During the advisory, he warned parents and schools that any use of e-cigarettes, including the hugely popular JUUL brand.  Parents, teachers and others can learn more at our new resource Lung.org/ecigs.

It’s Not Too Late to Get Your Flu Shot – Did you know that flu season often doesn’t peak until February? That means you should still get immunized to protect yourself and those around you from the flu. Health officials recommend that everyone 6 months of age and older receive an influenza vaccination each and every year. Learn more.

Prepare for Winter Weather: Major snow storms, severe cold, power outages and other extreme winter weather events can have dangerous health consequences, especially for those with lung disease. Learn more on our new page with tips and tools to help you prepare for winter weather and protect your heath.

EVENTS

Climb Season Is Near: Are you looking for a way to get active, meet others who care about healthy air and healthy lungs and help us save lives all at the same time? Then join us at one of our upcoming Fight For Air Climbs. You will make a positive impact in the lives of those affected by lung disease by raising funds for research, education and advocacy.  Every dollar raised moves us closer to healthy lungs for everyone. Find a Climb near you.

ADVOCACY

Changes to Medicare’s Supplemental Oxygen Marketplace: Beginning on Jan. 1 competitive bidding for oxygen and other durable medical equipment will be suspended for a two-year time frame being referred to as the “gap period. ”  The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services is supposed to use this gap period to come forward with a series of reforms to the market during this time.  However, the Lung Association is concerned that patients, especially those who need liquid oxygen, will have more challenges getting the appropriate quantity and modality for their medical needs and quality of life. We are asking patients with problems with their oxygen to submit them to [email protected].

EPA Proposal to Undermine Mercury and Air Toxics Protections: On Dec. 28, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a proposal to undermine the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, a public health safeguard adopted in 2011 to limit mercury, arsenic, acid gases and other toxic air pollutants from power plants. In response, American Lung Association National President and CEO Harold P. Wimmer issued a strong statement opposing this proposal, stating that the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, which are already fully implemented, have significant health benefits including preventing up to 11,000 premature deaths each year and dramatically reducing mercury pollution, a potent neurotoxin that causes brain damage in babies. This fact sheet explains why these standards are so important to protecting health.

Protecting People with Pre-Existing Conditions: Following the Dec. 15 ruling in the case of Texas v. United States, which found all of the Affordable Care Act to be unconstitutional, the Lung Association joined with 37 other prominent patient groups to issue a statement protesting this decision which, if upheld by higher courts, would eliminate the critical protections for people with pre-existing conditions, such as COPD, asthma and lung cancer. The Lung Association will continue to fight to protect affordable, quality healthcare for those with preexisting condition and all other Americans in need.

You can help with these and all our Advocacy efforts by joining our Lung Action Network!

EACH Breath Blog

Najee Richardson, a former gymnast, is well-known as one of three 2018 finalists in NBC’s American Ninja Warrior championship. Known as “The Flying Phoenix,” Najee is also the American Lung Association’s National Fight For Air Climb Ambassador. Learn more about Najee’s inspirational story in our latest blog “Q&A with Najee Richardson.”

Thank You Volunteers! As we reflect on our many accomplishments in 2018, we want to thank our priceless volunteers all across the country.  Whether you are an event participant, storyteller, e-advocate, one of our thousands of trained volunteer health program facilitators, or volunteer in your community in your own, unique way, we salute you!  Your drive, dedication and generosity are at the heart of our lifesaving mission. Happy New Year and THANK YOU for all you do!

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