Tag Archives: ALA

Massachusetts Turns Turquoise to Recognize National Women’s Lung Health Week 

 American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE calls upon Massachusetts to share its collective voice to defeat the number one cancer killer of women – lung cancer 

Today, the American Lung Association in Massachusetts is supporting LUNG FORCE during National Women’s Lung Health Week (May 8 – 14) by turning local landmarks turquoise in an effort to raise awareness and defeat lung cancer in women. LUNG FORCE is a fast-growing initiative uniting the nation against lung cancer, the #1 cancer killer of women. In Massachusetts, the Basketball Hall of Fame, TD Garden, the Zakim Bridge, among other significant sites were illuminated turquoise on Monday, May 9.

“Lung cancer remains the leading cancer killer of both men and women,” said Jeff Seyler, President & CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast.  “We thank and salute the many landmarks, local governments, retailers and individuals here in Massachusetts and across the Northeast who are taking action to raise awareness about Women’s Lung Health Week and LUNG FORCE.  We know that it will take a force of supporters for us to be successful in beating lung cancer and saving more lives; and we are committed to building our number of supporters and our momentum each and every year.” 

Every eight minutes, a woman in the United States will lose her battle with lung cancer, yet awareness is shockingly low, only 1 percent of women say that lung cancer is a top-of-mind cancer concern. However, the number of women dying from lung cancer has nearly doubled over the past 30 years. A strong, healthy breath is critical to ensure women can speak out and raise their voices. LUNG FORCE uses the powerful stories of the nation – from celebrities and influencers, to families, friends and communities – to stand together with the collective voice, strength and determination needed to make lung cancer history.

LUNG FORCE is focused on driving more positive outcomes for the women and families whose lives have been forever changed as a result of a lung cancer diagnosis.

Now in its third year, LUNG FORCE is empowering women and men in Massachusetts to share their voice to make lung cancer a public health priority.

Towns and cities such as Boston, Auburn, Springfield and Holyoake have issued proclamations declaring May 8-14 Women’s Lung Health Week. The American Lung Association is also asking Massachusetts residents to share their voices in the fight against lung cancer. Visit www.LUNGFORCE.org to learn how to participate:

Walk: A LUNG FORCE Walk is scheduled in Boston this Thursday, May 12, at Boston Common. To register, participate or help raise funds for the important work LUNG FORCE is hosting in Boston and nationwide, visit LUNGFORCE.org/runwalk
 

Woo news you can use parked in A.I!

Picture (Device Independent Bitmap) 1
 
 
Clark University students to host ‘Splash,’ offer free workshops to area youth on April 10
 

Clark University’s Educational Studies Program, a student organization, will host Splash on Sunday, April 10, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on campus at 950 Main Street, Worcester. This day-long event enables hundreds of area students in grades 5-12 to take free classes taught by Clark students.
 
More than 75 Clark students will teach classes and workshops. Splash workshops include lmao (laughing my anxiety off), Silly Putty Chemistry, Introduction to Parody Song Writing, Basic First Aid, and Climate Change and the Future of Human Civilization.
 
Clark junior Corey Bernstein is the director of the Splash program; he has also taught Splash classes, including The Psychology of Optical Illusions.
 
“We believe that by giving students the opportunity and freedom to take classes outside of the traditional K-12 curriculum, they will become more curious, motivated, and engaged learners as they kindle new and old passions,” said Bernstein.
 
Splash also offers a program for the parents of Splash participants, which features workshops on secondary education.

Registration for Splash workshops ends Monday, April 4.

To register, visit the program’s website; the course catalog is available online. 

Food and beverages will be provided.  For more information, email clarkuesp@gmail.com.
 
Splash was started at MIT and has since spread to over 20 colleges nationwide, including Clark, Boston College, and Smith College by way of a nonprofit organization called Learning Unlimited, founded by MIT graduates. Clark’s Splash program began in the spring of 2012.

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OPERATION ROSARY

Putting a rosary into the hands of every member of the U.S. Armed Forces around the globe who wants one.
 
Operation Ranger Rosary will hold their next meeting on April 9, from 1 to 3:00 p.m., Phelan Center, Blessed Sacrament Church, and 551 Pleasant St.

We have also added to our program: Prayer Shawl knitting or crocheting
 
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Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

Information/Support Group

Specializing in Helping Grandparents Connect with Community Resources
 
1st Saturday of each month**

**April MEETING 4/2/16

**May MEETING 5/7/16**
 
Please let us know if you plan to attend!

10:45 am-11:15 am

at 484 Main Street Suite, 460

Call 508-796-1411 for more information or to RSVP*

**When the Center is open. *You MUST RSVP.  Bring new resources that you know of or questions about resources you are seeking. Enjoy a light snack and build on your contacts and supports.

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Boston LUNG FORCE Walk Slated for May 12 at Boston Common

 
BOSTON – The American Lung Association of the Northeast is pleased to announce that Lahey Health has signed on for the next two years as presenting sponsor of the LUNG FORCE Walk at Boston Common. The 2016 event will take place the evening of Thursday May 12.  LUNG FORCE, launched in May of 2014, is the American Lung Association’s singular movement to unite women to stand together against lung cancer and for lung health. Lahey Health presented the inaugural LUNG FORCE Walk Boston in 2015 which welcomed 500 participants and raised nearly $100,000.

“Lahey Health has been a partner with the Lung Association to help smokers quit for good with our Freedom From Smoking Program and educate the public about lung cancer screening,” said Jeff Seyler, President & CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast.  “We’re pleased to expand our partnership with Lahey and to step up efforts to fight lung cancer.”  In addition to its presenting sponsorship, Lahey will participate with a walk team.

Lahey Hospital & Medical Center (LHMC) in Burlington, MA, is a pioneer in low-dose CT lung screening, and has offered its screening program to eligible patients since January, 2012.

The Rescue Lung, Rescue Life team at LHMC has screened more than 3600 men and women and has detected more than 91 cases of lung cancer. Three out of four of these lung cancers have been Stage I, the most curable stage of the disease. In addition, LHMC’s team has shared information on how to activate similar programs at more than 600 hospitals in the United States and abroad. Programs like Rescue Lung, Rescue Life have the potential to save at least 12,000 lives across the United States each year.

“Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, exceeding the number of deaths from cancers of the breast, colon, and prostate combined,” said Andrea McKee, MD, chair of the Radiation Oncology department at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center. “We are proud to continue our sponsorship of the LUNG FORCE Walk because it shines the light on the fight against lung cancer, and helps pave the way for the research and innovation necessary to eradicate this awful disease.”

To learn more about LUNG FORCE or to sign up for the LUNG FORCE Walk in Boston, visit LungForce.org/Walk.  

About the American Lung Association of the Northeast 
The American Lung Association of the Northeast serves CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, RI and VT.  We are part of the American Lung Association, the oldest voluntary health organization in the U.S. established in 1904 to combat tuberculosis; our mission today is to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease.  The focus is on air quality, asthma, tobacco control, and all lung disease. www.Lung.org 

Worcester County gets an A!!! in American Lung Association’s State of the Air Report 2014. Report shows less particle pollution but more ozone in Mass.

American Lung Association’s State of the Air Report 2014 Shows Less Particle Pollution but more Ozone in Massachusetts

Five Massachusetts’ counties receive failing grades for ozone

(Trend charts and rankings for metropolitan areas and county grades are available at www.stateoftheair.org.)

(Worcester County improved its grade for ozone from an F to a D, with 7 orange days, 3 fewer than in 2013. An orange day means the air quality was unhealthy for sensitive groups, such as those with asthma and other lung diseases, as well as children and the elderly. The county is among the cleanest in the Northeast for particle pollution, maintaining its A grade.)

Waltham — The American Lung Association’s “State of the Air 2014” report released today shows that all eight counties in Massachusetts with particle pollution monitors cut year-round particle pollution (soot) levels compared to the 2013 report and the Boston metro area had its lowest year-round levels of particle pollution to date. This is in keeping with a trend seen across the nation of lower particle pollution levels. No county with a particle pollution monitor had more days when short-term particle pollution reached unhealthy levels. At the same time, five Massachusetts counties experienced more unhealthy days of high ozone (smog) while six experienced fewer days. And while the Boston metro area’s ranking on the list of most polluted cities for ozone improved from 68th in 2013 to tied for 69th in 2014, actual ozone levels worsened.

“With the Northeast and Massachusetts being the tailpipe of the nation, it’s not surprising that the grades we’re seeing for ozone remain a mixed bag,” said Casey Harvell, Massachusetts Director of Public Policy for the American Lung Association of the Northeast. “While we applaud the efforts the federal and state governments have made to protect the health of our air so far, our job is far from done. We need to see continued efforts and innovative policies particularly during budget season, to lessen the burden of unhealthy air on our most vulnerable populations, including children with asthma.”

“I’m pleased to see that Massachusetts continues to make progress to improve air quality, but this State of the Air report shows there is still much to be done to combat the hazardous effects of climate change,” said Senator Marc R. Pacheco (D-Taunton), Senate Chairman of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture as well as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change. “Climate change impacts the environment and our public health, but it also poses grave threats to our economy, our public safety and our national security. We must accept the reality of global climate change and do everything we can to limit air pollution to protect our planet and our posterity.”

Of the 12 Massachusetts’ counties with air pollution monitors, three –Berkshire, Hampden and Worcester – improved one letter grade for ozone pollution. Four counties, Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes and Hampshire received an F for ozone pollution. While there are the same number of F’s in the 2014 report as in 2013, Barnstable was added to the list after worsening ozone caused its grade to drop. At the same time, reduced ozone levels caused Worcester’s grade to improve moving it off the list of failing counties for ozone.

Ozone (smog) is the most widespread air pollutant, created by the reaction of sunlight on emissions from vehicles and other sources. When ozone is inhaled, it irritates the lungs, almost like bad sunburn. It can cause immediate health problems that continue days later. Ozone can cause wheezing, coughing, asthma attacks and premature death.

Massachusetts’ counties received all A’s and B’s for short-term particle pollution (soot), which comes from car exhaust and coal-burning power plants. This microscopic dust can get trapped in the lungs or pass into the blood stream, increasing the risk of heart disease and lung cancer, and triggering asthma attacks, heart attacks and strokes. Bristol, Essex, Middlesex, Worcester and Plymouth counties again received A’s for short-term particle pollution and were among the cleanest counties in the Northeast for the pollutant. Every county with a monitor saw its levels of annual particle pollution improve.

Particle pollution, called fine particulate matter or PM 2.5, is a deadly cocktail of ash, soot, diesel exhaust, chemicals, metals and aerosols that can spike dangerously for hours to weeks on end. The body’s natural defenses, coughing and sneezing, fail to keep these microscopic particles from burrowing deep within the lungs, triggering serious problems such as asthma and heart attacks, strokes, lung cancer and even early death. Much like ozone pollution is likened to sunburn on the lungs, exposure to particle pollution has been compared to rubbing sandpaper on the lungs.

“While we can celebrate the continued reduction of year-round particle pollution in Massachusetts, much of the Northeast and the nation thanks to cleaner diesel fleets and cleaner power plants it’s clear that we’re going to need to do even more to reduce ozone pollution which is a tremendous health threat to all of us but especially to people with lung disease,” said Jeff Seyler, President & CEO of the American Lung Association. “Warmer temperatures create a breeding ground for ozone pollution and climate change will make it even more challenging to protect human health. We call on Congress to not only uphold the Clean Air Act, but to ensure that the EPA and states have adequate funding to monitor and protect the public from air pollution. We simply can’t ignore the new threats that rising temperatures present.”

State of the Air 2014 report found that more than more than 147 million people – more than half of all Americans- live in counties that have unhealthy levels of either ozone or particle pollution. Safeguards are necessary to protect the health of the millions of people living in counties with dangerous levels of either ozone or particle pollution that can cause wheezing and coughing, asthma attacks, heart attacks, and premature death. Those at greatest risk from air pollution include infants, children, older adults, anyone with lung diseases like asthma, people with heart disease or diabetes, people with low incomes and anyone who works or exercises outdoors.

The American Lung Association calls for several steps to improve the air everyone breathes:

Clean up power plants. The EPA needs to reduce carbon pollution. Ozone and particle pollution that blows across state lines must be controlled. In the next year, the Administration has pledged to set standards for carbon pollution from new and existing power plants.
Strengthen the outdated ozone standards. The EPA needs to set a strong, health-based standard to limit ozone pollution. Strong standards will drive the needed cleanup of ozone across the nation.
Clean up new wood-burning devices. The EPA needs to issue strong standards to clean up new wood stoves, outdoor wood boilers and other residential wood-burning devices.
Fund the work to provide healthy air. Congress needs to adequately fund the work of the EPA and the states to monitor and protect the nation from air pollution.
Protect the Clean Air Act. Congress needs to ensure that the protections under the Clean Air Act remain strong and enforced.

The American Lung Association’s State of the Air 2014 report is an annual, national air quality “report card.” The 2014 report—the 15th annual release—uses the most recent quality assured air pollution data, compiled by the EPA, in 2010, 2011, and 2012. Data comes from the official monitors for the two most widespread types of pollution, ozone (smog) and particle pollution (PM 2.5, also known as soot). The report grades counties and ranks cities and counties based on their scores for ozone, year-round particle pollution and short-term particle pollution levels.

The American Lung Association of the Northeast urges the public to join the fight for clean air and to learn how to protect themselves and their families from air pollution by visiting www.stateoftheair.org. To learn more about air quality in Massachusetts, visit us online at www.lungne.org and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/LungNE and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LungNE.

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About the American Lung Association of the Northeast
The American Lung Association of the Northeast is part of the American Lung Association, the oldest voluntary health organization in the U.S. Established in 1904 to combat tuberculosis; our mission today is to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. The focus is on air quality, asthma, tobacco control, and all lung disease. The American Lung Association in the Northeast serves CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, RI and VT. www.LungNE.org

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Significant findings from the report for Massachusetts by region include:

Central/Western MA (see above)

Berkshire County improved its grade for ozone from a C to a B with 2 unhealthy orange days
(2 less than in 2013). An orange ozone day means the air quality was unhealthy for sensitive groups, such as those with asthma and other lung diseases, as well as children and the elderly. Berkshire has the lowest ozone level in the Bay State. Berkshire does not have a particle pollution monitor.

Hampden County improved its grade for ozone from a D to a C, with six unhealthy orange days (two less than in 2013) An orange ozone day means the air quality was unhealthy for sensitive groups, such as those with asthma and other lung diseases, as well as children and the elderly. Hampden showed no improvement in short-term particle pollution and once again received a B.

Hampshire County again received an F for ozone pollution with 11 orange ozone days, one more than in 2013. An orange ozone day means the air quality was unhealthy for sensitive groups, such as those with asthma and other lung diseases, as well as children and the elderly. Additionally, the Springfield-Greenfield Town metro area ranked 81st most polluted for ozone and tied for 96th most polluted for short-term particle pollution. The metro ranked tied for 126th most polluted for annual particle pollution.

Worcester County improved its grade for ozone from an F to a D, with 7 orange days, 3 fewer than in 2013. An orange day means the air quality was unhealthy for sensitive groups, such as those with asthma and other lung diseases, as well as children and the elderly. The county is among the cleanest in the Northeast for particle pollution, maintaining its A grade.

There are no air pollution monitors in Franklin County.

Southeast, Cape & the Islands

Barnstable County’s grade for ozone dropped from a C to an F with 10 orange days, 4 more than in 2013. An orange day means the air quality was unhealthy for sensitive groups, such as those with asthma and other lung diseases, as well as children and the elderly. The county does not have a particle pollution monitor.

Bristol County’s grade for ozone remained at an F, with 15 orange days, 5 more than in 2013. An orange day means the air quality was unhealthy for sensitive groups, such as those with asthma and other lung diseases, as well as children and the elderly. The county again earned an A for particle pollution, with no days of unhealthy levels of the pollutant.

Dukes County remained at an F for ozone pollution and again had the most dangerous ozone level statewide. Dukes also had the biggest increase in the number of unhealthy ozone days in the Bay State compared with 2013. Dukes experienced 16 orange days, 7 more than in 2013 and 3 red days, one more than in 2013. An orange day means the air is unhealthy for sensitive groups, such as those with asthma and other lung diseases, as well as children and the elderly. A red day indicates that everyone may begin to experience some adverse health effects from the air pollution and members of the sensitive groups may experience more serious effects. Dukes County does not have a particle pollution monitor.

Plymouth County does not have an ozone pollution monitor. It again earned an A for short-term particle pollution and a place on the list of the cleanest counties for the pollutant.

There are no air pollution monitors in Nantucket.

Greater Boston Metro Area

Essex County dropped from a C to a D for ozone pollution. It had 7 orange days, one more than in 2013. An orange day means the air quality was unhealthy for sensitive groups, such as those with asthma and other lung diseases, as well as children and the elderly. The county also received an A for particle pollution and once again earned a spot on the list of cleanest counties in the Northeast for short-term particle pollution.

Middlesex County maintained its C grade for ozone although it experienced 3 orange days, two less than in 2013. An orange day means the air quality was unhealthy for sensitive groups, such as those with asthma and other lung diseases, as well as children and the elderly. Middlesex has among the lowest levels of short-term particle pollution in Massachusetts.

Suffolk County remained at a C for ozone although the county had three orange days in this year’s report, two less than in 2013. Suffolk also maintained its B grade for short-term particle pollution, experiencing one orange day and one red day, the same as in 2013. Suffolk has the worst level of both short-term and annual particle pollution in the Bay State.

Norfolk County’s grade for ozone remained a C. It had 5 orange days, one less than in 2013. An orange day means the air quality was unhealthy for sensitive groups, such as those with asthma and other lung diseases, as well as children and the elderly. The county does not have a particle pollution monitor.

Veterans should speak to their doctors about their risk for lung cancer

As we salute the men and women who served our nation on Veterans Day, the American Lung Association wants veterans and their loved ones to know that those who served have a higher incidence of lung cancer than the general population.  November is also Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and the message that veterans have an increased risk for acquiring this dreaded disease is an important one that’s too often overlooked in the stories we typically read about both veterans and about lung cancer.

It’s no secret that tobacco use in the military was once encouraged and that many who served developed a lifelong addiction.  Yet despite all that we now know about tobacco’s dangers, members of our military still smoke at rates that exceed the general population.  Add in the exposure to chemicals like asbestos, depleted uranium, smoke from burn pits and other harmful emissions, and this risk becomes even greater.

The Lung Association urges veterans to talk with their doctors about their risk for lung cancer.  We also encourage veterans who smoke or did smoke to visit lungcancerscreeningsaveslives.org, to see if lung cancer screening might be appropriate for them.
We are here for veterans, and all Americans, who need help quitting smoking.  It’s the most important thing a person can do to reduce his or her risk for lung cancer.  Learn more about how we can help you quit at quitterinyou.org.

Our Lung HelpLine, at 1-800-LUNG-USA (586-4872) is available 7 days a week to answer questions about lung health and provide reliable information about quitting smoking.  To learn even more about lung cancer, lung disease and how to best protect your lung health, visit our website at LungNE.org.  Working together, we can raise awareness about lung cancer, reduce its incidence and increase the number of survivors.

Jeff Seyler
President & CEO
American Lung Association of the Northeast

 

InCity Voices: Protecting against childhood asthma by limiting carbon emissions

By Sean Palfrey, MD

Every time 8-year-old Mia leaves the house to play outside with friends, her mother, Rachael, worries that her daughter might suffer a serious asthma attack. Although she knows it would be unfair and unhealthy to keep Mia trapped inside every day after school or prevent her from participating in sleepovers and school field trips, it is sometimes hard for Rachael to let go of the memory of Mia’s early years.

Mia, like an ever-increasing number of Massachusetts children, has had to endure more than her fair share of severe asthma attacks. During one attack, she coughed so hard that she burst blood vessels in her eyes. Although these attacks are somewhat less frequent now, countless visits to the emergency room hardened her family to the harsh realities of raising a child with asthma, which can be deadly at worst and terrifying at best.

Because air pollution can be a recipe for disaster for Mia, Rachael continues to be vigilant about checking air quality forecasts and has often changed her family’s plans if an unhealthy air quality day is on the horizon. On days when the air quality is going to enter the code orange or red zones, Rachael knows it’s safer to keep Mia indoors than to risk her having an acute asthma attack.

One in ten people in the Bay State suffer with asthma, which is higher than the national average. We are seeing and treating an increasing number of children like Mia whose lives could be so much safer, happier and more successful if only we could only write a prescription for healthy air.

While those of us in the medical community do not have the power to write such a prescription, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does. Much to its credit, the EPA has finally taken necessary steps to clean up the most prolific stationary source of air pollution in this country—coal-fired power plants. No other industry produces more carbon pollution, and as temperature trends continue to rise, the dangers of carbon pollution increase exponentially because of this simple equation: heat plus carbon pollution equals smog.

Nearly a third of our state’s residents live in failing or near-failing air quality zones, according to the American Lung Association’s 2013 State of the Air report. Massachusetts is not only threatened by pollution from its own coal-fired power plants but from other downwind sources that grant us the loathsome distinction of being know as America’s “tailpipe”. It’s no wonder Rachael has struggled at times to keep Mia’s asthma attacks at bay. No matter how aggressive Massachusetts healthy air laws are, our children and adults will continue to suffer until a national solution is established.

The EPA’s current proposal applies to all new coal-fired power plants, but should also stimulate technological advances that could one day dramatically reduce pollution from our nation’s expansive fleet of power plants. As a country that prides itself on ambitious innovation, we certainly have the ability to make clean energy and healthy air a reality for our children’s and for all future generations, if and when we have the will.

The truth is, we can’t afford not to. Pollution from coal-fired power plants alone costs hard working people, including the Murphy family, tens of millions of dollars every year in health care expenses from hospital bills to costly co-pays. Taxpayers also shoulder the burden of these increases health care costs.

The bottom line is that air pollution kills and makes healthy living difficult for many. Dirty air not only triggers childhood asthma attacks, but is also known to cause the cancers, strokes and heart attacks that take from us those closest to us and most vulnerable—older adults and people with chronic lung and heart disease.

Shouldn’t we be asking the EPA when our country will finally begin to clear the air?

Dr. Palfrey is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and Public Health at the Boston University School of Medicine and a volunteer for the American Lung Association in Massachusetts’ Healthy Air Campaign

“Tips from Former Smokers” continues its success

NEW YORK – A report released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows the tremendous impact the second “Tips from Former Smokers” media campaign had on helping smokers quit and on saving lives. The report in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report shows that the media campaign increased calls by more than 150,000, a 75 percent increase to 1-800-QUITNOW. The campaign’s website, www.cdc.gov/tips, also received 2.8 million additional visits during the campaign.

Television ads made the biggest difference in prompting tobacco users to seek help in quitting. The report shows the efficacy of television advertising reaching smokers and points to the need for increased and sustained levels of funding for paid media campaigns. The “Tips” campaign was funded by the Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health Fund.

“The “Tips from Former Smokers” campaign is a true success story and proves that these types of hard-hitting media campaigns create change,” said Jeff Seyler, President & CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast. “This campaign was particularly effective because it featured real, relatable people. These former smokers could be a family member, co-worker, or any number of loved ones. What we have seen in the Northeast mirrors what the rest of the country has seen; more smokers have made successful quit attempts. The CDC’s latest weekly report shows that when funds are invested in promoting the quit smoking resources people need, they pay attention and more will make quit attempts.”

The latest “Tips” campaign ran for 16 weeks in the spring of 2013. The “Tips” ads featured several people whose lives have been changed forever by their smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke. One of the most well-known and emotional ads featured Terrie Hall, who was diagnosed with smoking-caused oral and throat cancers at age 40. Sadly, Ms. Hall passed away this week from a recurrence of her cancer. The compassionate reaction to this news on social media on Tuesday showed that Terrie’s message resonated.

This report comes on the heels of news last week from The Lancet that the first “Tips from Former Smokers” campaign that ran in 2012 reduced the number of smokers in the U.S. by 100,000, with 1.6 million more smokers attempting to quit.  Together these studies show that the investment of the Prevention and Public Health Fund in this media campaign is driving down tobacco use.

Following on the CDC’s “Tips” campaign, the American Lung Association launched the “Quitter in You” campaign to empower people trying to quit smoking by acknowledging that past quit attempts are not failures, but are normal and necessary steps along the way to quitting for good. The campaign features a web site at www.quitterinyou.org, radio in English and Spanish and Out-of-Home public service announcements, and a wealth of personalized tools and support from the American Lung Association.  These include the Lung Association’s Lung Helpline (1-800-LUNG-USA), Freedom From Smoking® Online and Freedom From Smoking® in-person clinic.

“The majority of smokers are only successful in their quit attempts after several tries,” said Seyler. ”The American Lung Association is available every step of the way to support smokers with all they need to quit for good.”

 

From the ALA

Dear Editor,

Soon the Obama Administration will issue a new, innovative proposal to protect public health from air pollution fueled by climate change. By requiring all new coal-fired power plants to limit their carbon emissions, people with chronic lung diseases such as asthma and COPD will one day be better protected. The American Lung Association has led the call for updated standards, and as a volunteer and a medical professional, I also believe the time has come.

Dirty air is responsible for tens of thousands of asthma attacks, millions of missed days of work and school, countless emergency room admissions and hospitalizations and even shortens lives. Climate change will make it harder to clean up our air, making breathing more difficult for the one in ten Massachusetts’ residents who suffer from asthma. This is an especially scary thought for any parent, who has watched their child struggle to breathe when they have an asthma attack.

It’s a long overdue relief for those of us in the public health community to see that the president recognizes the urgency of protecting the health of the American people by moving forward with proposing sensible air quality standards that will undoubtedly benefit generations to come.

Megan Sandel, MD
Boston

ALA 2013 “Healthy Air Agenda”

American Lung Association in Massachusetts Releases Top Priorities of 2013 “Healthy Air Agenda”
Waltham – The American Lung Association in Massachusetts released the priorities of its 2013 Healthy Air Agenda, a plan of action for the Obama Administration and the 113th Congress that will ensure the Clean Air Act is implemented and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains its authority to safeguard the air Americans breathe.

Despite ongoing interference from Big Polluters and some Members of Congress, the Lung Association in Massachusetts and its allies have made progress on cleaning up the air and will work to continue to do so throughout the coming year, using the Agenda as a roadmap.
The Agenda is organized into four key areas of focus with additional details as to which regulations, rules or activities will remain of focus within each area.  These include:

·         Smokestacks – Clean up coal-fired power plants (both existing and new)
Power plants, in particular those fired by coal, are a major source of hazardous pollutants, and are the biggest source of carbon pollution that is linked to climate change.

·         Tailpipes – Clean up gasoline and vehicles
The EPA needs to update standards to control smog-forming and particle pollution from passenger vehicles by reducing the amount of sulfur in gasoline and setting tighter tailpipe pollution limits on new vehicles.

·         Funding Research & Enforcement
Preventing additional cuts to the EPA will enable the agency to effectively monitor air quality, implement critical air quality programs to protect public health and meet national clean air goals.

·         Implementation without weakening or delays
To truly improve the health of millions of people across the nation and save thousands of lives every year, full implementation of all Clean Air Act updates, rules, and standards is needed – without threats to these life-saving protections.

“In the coming year, it is important that polluted air continue to be viewed and understood as a pervasive threat, affecting our most vulnerable populations here in Massachusetts,” said Katie King, Director of Public Policy of the American Lung Association in Massachusetts.  Some of those who are most susceptible to air pollution include children, seniors, those with lung disease, heart disease and diabetes, people with low incomes, and those who work and exercise outdoors.

King expressed concerns that the looming, automatic federal budget cuts due on March 1 will harm public health by reducing the EPA’s ability to monitor air quality, ensure compliance with air pollution laws, and enforce violations.  “Without an environmental cop on the beat, we could be subjecting the residents to breathing dirtier air and jeopardizing their health,” she said.

The American Lung Association’s 2012 State of the Air Report found that 2.7 million Massachusetts residents, more than a third in the state, live in a county with failing air quality.  Six counties received an F grade for ozone pollution.
By identifying these four critical areas of focus, and key solutions for addressing each, the Lung Association in Massachusetts will be able to devote focused efforts to the life-saving work that protects the Clean Air Act and the health of millions of people across the country and here in the Bay State.