Canadian Lung Association Blog

Breathing: More than gas delivery

Five added benefits of controlled breathing Breathing is a fascinating process that, unlike many other natural processes in the body, can be done voluntarily or involuntarily and can be done with one of two body parts. You can breathe through the mouth (this is a great alternative to breathing through the nose when unpleasant smells surround your area or when you want to win a bet by pretending you can hold your breath longer while secretly breathing nasally) or through your nose. Breathing through the nose offers several advantages. This inconspicuous holder of glasses and canvas for piercings offers a

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Breathing: the greatest thing for hipsters since return of vinyl

Breathing is not merely a life-sustaining process that powers the body and brain. For hipsters everywhere, this process is the most valuable of life functions altogether because the various elements make them who they are. Many of the benefits might be too obscure even for true hipsters to spot, but The Lung Association is here to help shed light on the benefits of breathing in the life of a hipster. The Nose Many might see the nose as simply the filtration system that allows inhaled air to enter the lungs. While the nose’s ability to filter out polluting particles and

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Breathing Towards Victory: How Olympians Use their Lungs

As the Olympic torch arrives in Rio, elite athletes will get ready for performances of a lifetime. During the days that follow, we will hold our breath as we watch our athletes perform, exhale with relief as the athletes finish a feat and shout in exhilaration as medals are hung around the necks. But as we breathe together with our athletes, our athletes breathe even deeper. Elite athletes must use their lungs more effectively than any of us. Oxygen powers performance. This is true for all level of athletes. Each of us can exercise to increase the volume of our

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Season’s Sneezings : April showers bring May flowers

For most people, spring time is a time of the year when we shed winter coats and breathe in the long-forgotten smells of budding flowers and trees. But almost a quarter of Canadians suffers from allergies in the spring that make this time of the year difficult to enjoy. Jaimie Peters is a Registered Nurse and Certified Respiratory Educator with the Canadian Lung Association’s Helpline. She shares her tips on dealing with seasonal allergies. What causes springtime allergies? Most spring allergies are caused by pollens that are released from grass, trees, and flowers. Spring allergies cause hay fever, otherwise known as allergic

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Posted in Air Quality, Asthma, Lung Health

Got milk; need answers: New research looks at breast milk in asthma prevention

Imagine a nutritional food source that gives your baby exactly what she needs, when she needs it. Breast milk is just that. It provides your baby with nutrients, helps fight off infections and changes as the baby’s needs change. And yet, it might have even more benefits than that. Dr. Meghan Azad is a Winnipeg-based researcher and a recipient of Canadian Respiratory Research Network ERLI award, who is committed to learning just what other super powers this nourishment holds. “We’re looking at how breast milk potentially protects babies from developing asthma,” she explains, adding “So far, we’re seeing early signs

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Posted in Asthma, Research

My Experience With Lung Cancer – Epilogue

TNT-medal

[See previous posts – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6] On March 17, 2016, 26 months after receiving her diagnosis of lung cancer, Dr. Terry-Nan Tannenbaum passed away. The courage with which she struggled against lung cancer is evident from the six instalments of her blog. The Lung Association was truly blessed to have a friend such as Dr. Terry-Nan Tannenbaum. From 1999 to 2006, Terry-Nan was the Medical Director of a project to develop a TB control program in Ecuador. The project was funded by CIDA through the Canadian Lung Association. During this time, Ecuador went from having the

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Posted in Lung Cancer, Research, Stories, TB

How safe is that ‘new smell’?

Britt Swoveland, RadonAware Manager at The Lung Association – British Columbia, shares her knowledge about indoor air quality. Like most soon-to-be parents, my husband and I couldn’t wait to set up our baby’s room. We spent weeks looking for the perfect crib and matching dresser, material for sewing curtains, and of course, a new colour for all the walls. The bedding was new, the furniture was new and the walls received a fresh coat of paint. A few weeks before my due date, I started to organize baby clothes, when I noticed a strong ‘chemical’ smell upon opening our new dresser’s drawers. I

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Life as a Quit Coach – Kelli’s story

Every time you call the QuitNow phone line, type a question into Live Chat or even interact on Facebook, an amazing, qualified Quit Coach is there to help you, support your quit, and answer any questions you may have along the way. Kelli is one of those Quit Coaches. Kelli’s story Even before beginning her nearly five years as a Quit Coach, Kelli was no stranger to helping those in need. Having worked with young pregnant women in crisis and gained an educational background in social work, she has been blessed with a natural ability to build a rapport with

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Posted in QuitNow, Smoking & Tobacco, Stories

When quitting runs in the family: Darlene & Verla

“I was very young when I started and addicted before I even grew into a woman.” – Darlene Bjork In families where smoking is prevalent, it can be difficult to break the cycle of addiction. Darlene and Verla know this all too well, as both have struggled to quit at different times in their lives. When we first met Darlene (right), she was ready to give up on her most recent quit attempt of one week. Cigarettes had formed an incredible hold on her after smoking for 45 years, and because it was publicly accepted, she’d never found the motivation

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Posted in COPD, QuitNow, Smoking & Tobacco, Stories

QuitNow in the Community – Nancy Viney, Regional Nursing Lead: Tobacco Reduction for Northern Health

At QuitNow, we help British Columbians quit smoking, but we couldn’t do it all on our own. In fact, much of our success relies on community partners. One of these partners is Nancy Viney, who has dedicated the last eight years of her career to decreasing tobacco use and increasing smoke-free spaces in Northern British Columbia As a registered nurse, Nancy has witnessed firsthand both the physical and financial consequences of smoking. “I would see low birth weights in babies, and impoverished families spending 700 dollars a month on their addiction,” she says. “After working in a sexual health clinic

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A Mother’s Love: Stephaine’s Story

In August 2016, Stephaine celebrated two years as a non-smoker. She had been addicted to cigarettes for 34 years and hated it, but felt completely helpless to quit. Nothing seemed to help her succeed, including medications, meditation, and changing her routine – until she found a reason that motivated her more than ever before. When Stephaine’s daughter’s spouse passed away, the impact was significant. The couple had been planning to hike the Pacific Crest Trail together, and, as part of her healing process, her daughter asked Stephaine to join instead. With the knowledge that she wouldn’t be able to complete the

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Radon Awareness and Education with HGTV’s Jon Eakes

Jon Eakes from HGTV’s Just Ask Jon Eakes sat down with RadonAware to talk home renovations, construction, and the importance of testing and mitigating for radon. Britt: Why is it so important for builders and contractors to learn about radon? Jon: Radon is a major cause of lung cancer. There are small amounts of radon in most Canadian homes, old and new. Although the levels of radon vary, every house in every region could potentially be dangerous. But there’s no way of knowing until the house is built, occupied and tested. When building, there are different ways you can limit radon

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QuitNow in the Community – Health Promoter Andrea

At QuitNow, we offer free one-on-one quit coaching, personalized quit planning, daily motivation and community support to help British Columbians quit smoking. To spread the word about our services, we rely in no small part on our team of regional health promoters – including Andrea. A passion for public health and disease prevention Andrea has a Master’s Degree in Cardiovascular and Respiratory Sciences and is passionate about Epidemiology (the study and analysis of the patterns, causes, and effects of health and disease conditions). She found studying the factors that contribute to overall health interesting – and of course, quitting smoking

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Life as a Quit Coach: Christine’s Story

Every time you call the QuitNow phone line, type a question into Live Chat or even interact on Facebook a qualified Quit Coach is there to help you, support your quit, and answer any questions you may have along the way. Christine is one of those Coaches. Christine’s story With a background in sociology and child psychology, Christine cares deeply about how people think and feel. Using a combination of strategy, intuition, and exemplary listening skills, she is able to support others in their decision to quit smoking by quickly identifying the best solution for their unique needs. Though a skilled

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Posted in Lung Health, QuitNow, Smoking & Tobacco, Stories

QuitNow in the Community: Health Promoter Louise P.

At QuitNow, we offer free one-on-one quit coaching, personalized quit planning, daily motivation, and community support to help British Columbians quit smoking. To spread the word about our services, we rely on our team of regional health promoters – including Louise. A passion for healthy living A committed public health champion, Louise works in the Interior Health region. Her career began in public health nutrition, and soon after grew to include work in a range of health promotion areas.  Prior to joining QuitNow eight years ago, Louise worked as a Tobacco Reduction Coordinator for Interior Health.  She also worked as a

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Posted in QuitNow, Smoking & Tobacco, Stories