Health Minister Terry Lake issued the following statement in recognition of awareness campaigns that aim to bring attention to lung health this month.
“The average person takes over 6 million breaths per year. For those with lung disease, each breath can be a struggle. November is Lung Month, Lung Cancer Awareness Month, Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month, and today, November 19, is World COPD Day. These campaigns serve as reminders of how important it is for British Columbians and all Canadians to maintain healthy lungs.
“One in five Canadians has lung disease. Though there are hundreds of forms of lung disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer are among the top causes of death in Canada. The BC Cancer Agency estimates over 3,000 British Columbians will be diagnosed with lung cancer every year.
“The best way to maintain healthy lungs and prevent the onset of these debilitating, and often fatal, diseases is to avoid tobacco smoke. While not all lung diseases are preventable, COPD and lung cancer, among others, are significantly linked to smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke. B.C.’s smoking cessation program gives British Columbians access to a free 12-week supply of nicotine gum or patches or, if they are on Fair PharmaCare, coverage of prescription smoking cessation medication. Participants can also get 24-hour free support via web, text or telephone with the BC Lung Association’s QuitNow services.
“For those who have been diagnosed with lung disease, Healthy Families BC offers programs that aim to mitigate further damage and improve quality of life by supporting British Columbians in lifelong healthy eating and becoming more physically active.
“Healthy lungs are integral for overall health. November is the perfect time to improve the health of yourself or someone you love by taking advantage of B.C.’s smoking cessation and healthy living programs."
For more information, please visit: www.healthyfamiliesbc.ca or www.health.gov.bc.ca/pharmacare/stop-smoking
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Health
250 952-1887 (media line)