Canadian Lung Association encourages Canadians to butt out and breathe better

New survey reveals Canadians aren't aware of the severe reality of COPD

OTTAWA, Jan. 12 /CNW/ - During National Non-Smoking Week, the Canadian Lung Association (CLA) is asking smokers to imagine what everyday activities they would miss most if they were unable to breathe easily -whether it's playing with kids or grandkids, climbing a set of stairs, or even walking the dog. For over 750,000 Canadians, this isn't something they have to imagine - it's the reality of living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD.  According to a new poll of Canadians at risk for COPD, many are missing activities because they suffer from symptoms of this disease.

COPD, also known as chronic bronchitis and/or emphysema, is a chronic lung disease usually caused by smoking, but can also be caused by inherited conditions or occupational exposures. 

"So much of your life is unnecessarily lost if you can't breathe properly. Too many smokers are experiencing symptoms, but do not realize they could be living with COPD," says Dr. Darcy Marciniuk, Canadian Lung Association spokesperson, professor of medicine at the University of Saskatchewan and Chair of the Canadian Thoracic Society COPD Committee.  "It's so important for smokers to think about quitting and talk to their doctor about spirometry."

COPD: Misunderstood by Canadians at risk
The Quit Now - Breathe Better Survey commissioned by the CLA shows that many at-risk Canadians do not understand COPD, nor are aware of the signs and symptoms:

  • Many people hesitate speaking to their doctors as they think the COPD symptoms are a normal part of aging;
  • Once diagnosed, many patients living with COPD do not always take their medication as prescribed.

Interviews are available on January 17 with:

  • Dr. Darcy Marciniuk, professor of medicine at the University of Saskatchewan and Chair of the Canadian Thoracic Society COPD Committee, with expert medical advice on the importance of diagnosis and proper management
  • Ed Pauls who has been diagnosed with COPD and can paint a picture of the true day-to-day reality of living with COPD
  • Lung Association regional contacts are available to speak to the rising rates of COPD in Canada, what is being done to prevent and manage COPD, and where people can get help.

SOURCE Canadian Lung Association

For further information:

or to book an interview, please contact:

Noemie Wiggett
Environics Communications

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