Canadian Lung Association Blog

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Our Tobacco Free Tuesday Winner: Jennifer Kitt

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Jennifer Kitt from Salmon Arm “Your Tobacco Free Tuesday contest helped give me that final push and that final extra reason to quit and I’m so thankful that I took part in the challenge!” Jennifer’s Quit Story: What made you decide to quit? “I’ve been wanting to quit for a long time, like most people, but the extra push right now came because we’re really wanting to move and the renovation costs were crazy.  Quitting smoking would allow us to easily afford the extra renovations that we needed to place the house up for sale.” Have you tried before to quit?

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Bringing lessons of the past into the future of transportation

Martin Wachs Quote

Today, the car is demonized: It’s seen a source of obesity, pollution and time-consuming traffic. But when the automobile was first introduced, it was welcomed as a saviour. Until then, horses were the main method of transportation, and horse manure was a scourge on major metropolises like Manhattan. It provided a lush breeding ground for Typhoid flies, and officials predicted the piles building up in the streets would reach two stories high in just a few years. Moreover, the number of horse-related deaths was incredibly high. “People were kicked by horses, people were trampled by horses, people fell off horses,”

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The catch-22 of designing healthier neighbourhoods

Larry Frank Quote

When it comes to planning communities for healthier populations, cities are caught in a catch-22. Walkable neighbourhoods encourage the use of active transportation, such as walking, cycling and public transit, which can reduce the risk of obesity and heart disease. But, in Vancouver, areas that are more walkable also tend to have higher concentrations of some traffic-related air pollutants, according to Dr. Larry Frank, a professor of population and public health at the University of British Columbia. “Walkability leads to better health. We know that now,” said Frank at the BC Lung Association’s Air Quality and Public Health Workshop in Vancouver,

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Sharing is the future of driving

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Drivers and cyclists are used to being told to “share the road.” But before long, they’ll be sharing their cars and bikes, as well. That’s according to Dr. Adam Cohen, a transportation sustainability researcher at the University of California Berkley. He made the declaration in his talk “The Future of Driving,” at the B.C. Lung Association’s 12th annual Air Quality and Health Workshop last month. An increasing number of consumers are shirking car and bike ownership for a membership in a car- or bike-sharing service, what Cohen calls “shared-use mobility.” Currently, about 281,000 Canadians are members of a shared mobility

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Could the air pollution in your home be exposing your lungs to DNA-mutating radiation?

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“Without question, if you live in a home with high radon, your lungs are being exposed to DNA-mutating radiation which can cause lung cancer even in people who have never smoked a day in their lives,” says Dr. Goodarzi, a member of the University of Calgary’s Southern Alberta Cancer Research Institute who also holds the Canada Research Chair in Genome Damage and Instability Disease. “Radon is a significant public health concern, but one which is largely invisible to the public eye.” In 2013, 25,528 Canadians were diagnosed with costly-to-treat and potentially fatal lung cancer. Although smoking remains the primary cause

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Respecting tobacco: ceremonial vs. commercial tobacco use?

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The BC Lung Association was recently invited to attend a  Respecting Tobacco Training Session at the Musqueam First Nation, organized by the First Nations Health Directors Association. Ceremonial tobacco vs commercial tobacco. Is there a difference? Yes, a big difference.  Tobacco has been used traditionally by most Aboriginal cultures for thousands of years.  First Nations and Métis use tobacco for ceremony, healing and giving thanks, while commercial cigarettes serve an entirely different purpose. In fact they’ve been designed to be highly addictive and will make you sick. Tobacco plants are often on their own or combined with other medicinal plants such

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Get the most out of getting there

Dr. Jat Sandhu

“The way you commute to work can have serious implications for your health.”  That’s according to Dr. Jat Sandhu, a principal investigator with the My Health, My Community project, a non-profit partnership between Vancouver Coastal Health, Fraser Health and the eHealth Strategy Office at UBC that surveyed 28,000 people across Metro Vancouver. Sandhu presented his findings at the BC Lung Association’s 12th annual Air Quality and Health Workshop in Vancouver on March 25, 2015. Sandhu and his colleagues found that people who take active modes of transportation — transit, cycling and walking — are less likely to be overweight or obese,

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Meet Britt, our BC RadonAware champion

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Few people know that radon is our biggest source of radiation exposure. – Britt Swoveland, Provincial RadonAware Coordinator Why is the BC Lung Association championing the issue of radon? As a lung health advocate, we want to minimize British Columbians’ risk of lung cancer – and that means we strongly advise people minimize their exposure to radon gas in their homes. Radon is a radioactive gas that leaks into homes from the breakdown of uranium in the soil. It’s the leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. Few people know that radon is our biggest source of radiation exposure. We‘re

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Susan’s story: Never start smoking, and if you do smoke, quit now.

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Susan grew up in the ‘60s and ‘70s, a time when one in two Canadians over the age of 15 smoked, and smoked everywhere: in workplaces; universities; restaurants; airplanes; even in doctors’ offices. Like many of her generation, Susan started smoking in her teens. By the time she was in her twenties, she was a single mom with a serious addiction to nicotine. When Susan met Art in the ‘80s, the harms of tobacco smoke were becoming better known. Susan knew she had to quit smoking, and once she and Art decided to have more children, she finally had the

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Setting the Record Straight About Radon: Part 2

Radon - Is it in Your Home - Graphic

Last month, we dispelled 5 myths related to radon. This month we tackle 5 more misconceptions. To read Part 1 of this blog, click here. Myths: 1)       Help! I’m worried my granite countertop is releasing large amounts of radon. Fact: Radon is in fact produced by granite, which contains varying levels of uranium. Certain granites may contain more natural uranium that others, and therefore, may produce more radiation. In 2010, Health Canada conducted a study on granite purchased in Canada, and found that the granite produced no significant levels of radon. Radon generally occurring in the air of the home

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