Lungs for Life!

The BC Lung Association, supported by the BC government, QuitNow and community partners, is encouraging British Columbians to take proactive steps to safeguard their lung health this November, Lung Month 2017.

Lungs for Life Tips

Avoid Smoking

If you do smoke, try to quit. We can help.

Most people who smoke want to quit. But overcoming nicotine addiction can be difficult and often requires multiple quit attempts. The good news is solutions exist proven to help people through the quit process, and you don’t have to quit alone.

British Columbians have access to free smoking cessation programs, services and community resources. These include proven prescription and non-prescription medications as well as online, text and phone coaching. When used in combination, they’ve been proven to double a person’s chances of quitting for good.

Learn more:

Limit Exposure to Harmful Air Pollutants

Get informed. about pollutants - indoors and out.

Exposure to harmful air pollutants can cause or worsen heart and lung conditions. Exposure to indoor radon gas, for example, can cause lung cancer. And exposure to smoke, (whether from tobacco, wood or wildfire smoke,) vehicle exhaust and road dust can cause or aggravate your breathing, particularly for people with pre-existing heart and lung conditions.

Make your home a smoke-free zone, and if you use a wood stove for heating, burn smart. (Don't burn trash or wet wood.) Learn more about pollutants, indoors and out.

Learn more:

  • Visit RadonAware.ca and learn how simple it is to test your home for radon. 
  • Use the Air Quality Health Index to check outdoor pollution levels and reduce or avoid exercising outdoors on poor air quality days.
  • BCAirQuality.ca is also a great place to learn about air pollution and ways to minimize exposure. 

Get Regular Health Care

Be sure to consult your doctor if you’re experiencing breathing difficulties.

Are you short of breath while doing even small chores? Coughing? Wheezing? These may be symptoms of chronic lung disease. Left untreated, COPD can get serious and difficult to treat. But if you’re diagnosed and manage your condition effectively, you can live a full, active life.

Also be sure, if you live with a diagnosed lung condition such as asthma or COPD, to check in with your healthcare providers regularly, report changes in symptoms, and take medications as prescribed.

Learn more:

Arm Yourself Against Influenza

Get your flu and pneumonia shots.

Immunization does more than just protect you; it protects the people around you too. While for most people the flu is a relatively mild illness, it causes thousands of hospitalizations and deaths in Canada each year – particularly for those at highest risk. Look after yourself (and those around you) by getting vaccinated. Wash your hands often, cover your mouth when you cough, and stay home if you’re sick.

Learn more:

  • To find a flu clinic near you visit ImmunizeBC.ca. Flu shots are free for BC residents at high risk.

Keep Moving

Stay active and keep your lung health, and lung conditions, in check.

Exercise is one of the best medicines there is. The more fit you are, the easier it is for your lungs to keep your heart and muscles supplied with oxygen – it can even help keep your lung capacity from getting worse. And for those affected by breathing problems, there is a program of exercise, education, and support, called Pulmonary Rehabilitation,  specifically designed to teach people living with a chronic lung condition to breathe—and function—at the highest level possible.

Learn more:

  • Pulmonary rehabilitation is a program that includes exercise, education and emotional support, and is proven to help people with chronic lung conditions learn to breathe and function at the highest level possible. Find Pulmonary Rehabilitation programs available in BC.