Ontarians can breathe a bit easier after 2017 Ontario budget revealed

Government of Ontario moving in the right direction on lung health issues, but more still needs to be done

TORONTO, April 28, 2017 /CNW/ - In Ontario, more than 2.8 million people live with chronic lung disease and have difficulty breathing each day. This significant fact, one that places a large human and economic burden on the health-care system, is making ground in the 2017 Ontario budget.

The Lung Association is pleased to see the government on the right track in protecting the lung health of all Ontarians through several new measures: raising the tobacco tax by $10 per carton of cigarettes - the most effective way to encourage smoking prevention and cessation; providing universal drug coverage for everyone aged 24 and under - helping the one in four children who suffer from asthma; increasing access for lung cancer screening through Cancer Care Ontario; and modernizing the Smoke-Free Ontario strategy to include free nicotine replacement products through smoking cessation programs.

"These steps will help ensure that more Ontarians will not have to struggle for their 22,000 breaths each day," says George Habib, President and CEO of The Lung Association – Ontario. "Now is the time to build upon these announcements and make Ontario the healthiest province to breathe."

The Lung Association is urging for a renewed commitment from the Government of Ontario to pass Bill 71, The Lung Health Act, that calls for the establishment of a Lung Health Advisory Council and the development of a Lung Health Action Plan that will invest in research, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of lung disease and ensure all Ontarians get equal access to the supports and medicines they need to breathe.

Of the four chronic diseases responsible for four in five deaths in Ontario - cancer, cardiovascular disease, lung disease and diabetes - lung disease is the only one without a dedicated province-wide strategy. A coordinated approach to how lung disease is prevented and treated in Ontario, and the resources required to develop and implement it, is needed now more than ever.

About The Lung Association – Ontario                                                       
Breathing. It's what unites us. It's what inspires us. And it's what keeps us pushing ahead, whether it's searching for cures to lung diseases, helping people to quit smoking and ensuring that children never start, or fighting for clean air.

The Lung Association is the leading organization working to promote lung health and prevent and manage lung disease.  We do this by funding vital research, pushing for improved treatments and better policies, and helping people manage their health.

SOURCE The Ontario Lung Association

For further information: Media Contact: Chris Yaccato, Government Relations & Public Affairs Manager, The Lung Association, cyaccato@lungontario.ca, 416-303-4589


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