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Red hair, red scooter, a real attitude, and COPD. Meet Trish Verrier.

Trish Verrier COPD

Yesterday I met a remarkable person while visiting the COPD clinic at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver. Meet Trish Verrier. To see this vibrant 65 year old with hair as red as her scooter and a smile that lights up the room, one doesn’t detect any signs of the sadness or pain she’s endured. Nor does one hear many complaints – which says a lot considering her very serious, and sometimes scary, lung condition. I had to learn more. Trish grew up in Thunder Bay, where she had suffered neglect and abuse at the hands of her father, leaving no

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Posted in COPD, Lung Health, Stories

COPD support team gives as good as they get

Trish Verrier COPD

“I feel pretty lucky. I get to meet the most amazing people,” said respiratory nurse Beth Hutchins. Beth is one member of the St. Paul’s Hospital COPD Outreach Team, a pilot program aimed at helping COPD patients remain healthy and well at home or in their communities. “Many of our patients are living alone, without family around.  They’re vulnerable, even more so just after they’ve suffered a lung attack (an acute flare-up of COPD symptoms). So the sooner we can put home support in place, the better. Ideally this happens soon after they are released from the hospital.” The program

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Posted in COPD, Lung Health, Stories

Tracey’s healthy workplace month tips

Healthy Workplace Month - blog.1

October is the one month that is “stuffed” with reasons to fall off the healthy wagon. From Thanksgiving feasts to Halloween treats (who hasn’t stolen a few goodies from their kids’ trick or treat bags?), it can prove to be difficult to keep up your healthy habits. So how have I stayed healthy at work throughout the month? I’ve shared some of my healthy workplace tips below; comment and share what your top tips are. Treat Swap In the spirit of October festivities, treats seem to make more appearances at the office.  Sticking to a healthy diet is almost impossible

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Posted in Lung Health

Colleen’s Story: On January 1, 1992 I made the decision to quit

Colleen's QuitNow Story

I started smoking when I was 15 due to the stress I felt I was under. As I look back, I realize I had little support or education to help me cope with family changes, deaths in the family, plus the challenges of being a teenager. In the 1970’s smoking was the thing to do. I watched my older brothers and sisters smoke, so one day I tried a cigarette myself. My smoking continued throughout high school, where I smoked occasionally. However, it wasn’t until I started nursing school that I really started smoking – we smoked everywhere, even including

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Posted in Lung Health, Smoking & Tobacco, Stories

Rosalind’s story: I knew I could quit for weeks at a time… however I always ended up being drawn back to smoking

Rosalind's Story

Guest blog by Rosalind Neis. As a social smoker for over 35 years, I always assumed quitting was something I could do any time I wanted. I knew I could quit for weeks at a time while traveling, and while I was pregnant I quit for 2 years, however I always ended up being drawn back to smoking. That all changed when my dad had a heart attack. Following the heart attack, a series of tests where performed eventually leading to open heart surgery. On July 17, 2014, I went to see him in the ICU where he lay unconscious and incubated.

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Posted in Lung Health, Smoking & Tobacco, Stories

Our Tobacco Free Tuesday Winner – Ravi Olekh

Tobacco Free Tuesday - Ravi

Ravi is our July winner for QuitNow’s Tobacco Free Tuesday. This is her story: I am a 23 years old and a mother to a sweet 2 year old boy. I started smoking around the age of 15 because my best friend at the time smoked. After smoking for 5 years, I quit when I found out I was pregnant with my son. I was very proud of myself for doing it cold turkey. Unfortunately, like many others, the stress of life got to me. Instead of finding a healthy way to cope, I picked up the habit again last

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Posted in Smoking & Tobacco

Disney stamps out smoking in youth-rated movies

Walt Disney Pictures

Does watching smoking in movies cause our kids to want to light up? Apparently so! According to the Partnership for Drug Free Kids, “children between the ages of 10 to 14 who view many movies with characters who smoke are more likely to try cigarettes themselves.” Well you can breathe easy Mom and Dad because Disney has set the stage (no pun intended) for movie makers to omit tobacco from any future productions.  Walt Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger said he would “absolutely prohibit” smoking in all Disney films going forward, including those produced by the studio’s wholly owned comic-book-movie division, Marvel

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Posted in Smoking & Tobacco

Need to breathe? Trees please!

need to breathe

With over 200 BC forests up in flames at the moment, and a recent air quality advisory in some regions, it might leave some wondering just how important are trees to our lung health? Most people are aware that trees play an important role in absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen, but do you know how much? Environment Canada states that “on average, one tree produces nearly 260 pounds of oxygen each year. Two mature trees can provide enough oxygen for a family of four”.  It is important to note that trees do not start producing significant amounts of oxygen

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Posted in Air Quality

Hazy days of summer – Forest fire smoke in Metro Vancouver

forest fire smoke- hazy days

The Ministry of Environment has issued an Air Quality Advisory for Metro Vancouver because of particulate matter in the air coming from wildfires outside the region. They advise that “Persons with chronic underlying medical conditions should postpone strenuous exercise until the advisory is lifted. Staying indoors and in air conditioned spaces helps to reduce fine particulate exposure. Exposure is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have diabetes, and lung or heart disease.” Here are some tips for staying safe and keeping your lungs healthy from the effects of smoke: Pay attention to local air quality advisories

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Posted in Air Quality

Our Tobacco Free Tuesday Winner – Natalie Thornhill Pirro

Part of Natalie's inspiration board on Pinterest

I was a smoker for 20 years; I tried quitting many, many times. Recently I was sick with a stomach bug and didn’t smoke for two days. I thought to myself, “well, I haven’t smoked for two days, I may as well quit while I’m ahead and seize the moment!” To help me with the process I did a few things: I created a board on Pinterest called “I’m a quitter” and I pinned all sorts of visuals so that every time I had a craving I could go and look at them. I kept a pack in my purse

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Posted in Smoking & Tobacco