Canadian Lung Association Blog

Blog Archives

Meet Volunteer Anne Kennedy Mitchell

Anne Kennedy Mitchell and Darcy Murdoch - NVW2017

Anne is the volunteer president of our Lung Association Better Breathers support group in New Westminster (also known as the New Westminster Puffers’ Club). During the week, Anne manages a dental clinic. In her spare time, she finds it rewarding to be of help to others, like herself, who often feel isolated and alone in coping with a chronic breathing problem. Anne has struggled with respiratory illness all her life. “I was eleven years old when I was diagnosed with asthma. It became progressively worse over time and in 2008, I was diagnosed with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease),” she

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Posted in Asthma, COPD, Lung Health, Stories, volunteer

Meet Volunteer Ken Fisher

Ken Fisher and Gina Walton - NVW2017

When Ken retired in 2002, he found himself having trouble breathing. His doctor sent him to a COPD support group – which turned out to be the Langley BC Better Breathers group, run by the BC Lung Association. For the past 9 years, Ken’s been the volunteer leader of the group, which consists of a monthly support group with an invited guest speaker, and two exercise groups, each running 3 times per week. The goal of Better Breathers Groups are to help patients coping with chronic lung conditions (such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, and lung cancer) as well as their caregivers,

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Posted in COPD, Lung Health, Stories, volunteer

World health expert talks dirty

Nino Kunzli II

The BC Lung Association organizes an annual meeting of world authorities on health-damaging pollutants. At a recent meeting we spoke with visiting pollution expert Dr. Nino Künzli and asked, given we know dirty air poses risks to health, what can we advise people do to protect themselves? According to Künzli individuals and communities would benefit from thinking of the health risks in terms of ‘susceptibility’ – in other words – in terms of an individual’s likelihood of being adversely affected by exposure to health-damaging pollutants. How susceptible we are to pollution is affected by factors such as where we live,

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Posted in Air Quality, Lung Health, Research

How air pollution is messing with our genes

Student in air pollution study - blog

Air pollution can make it hard to breathe. It also can increase someone’s blood pressure and heart rate. Those problems are well known. Now research, in part funded by the BC Lung Association, suggests breathing diesel fumes can trigger another toxic change. It can inappropriately turn some genes on, while turning others off. Just two hours of exposure to diesel exhaust fumes can lead to fundamental health-related changes in biology by switching some genes on, while switching others off, according to researchers at UBC and Vancouver Coastal Health. The study involved putting volunteers in a polycarbonate-enclosed booth — about the

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Posted in Air Quality, Asthma, Lung Health

Becoming Air Aware – How Canada’s AQHI Can Help You

AQHI

The Air Quality Health Index or “AQHI” is a scale designed to help you understand what the air quality around you means to your health. It’s a health protection tool designed to help you make decisions to protect your health by limiting short-term exposure to air pollution and adjusting your activity levels during increased levels of air pollution – and it’s particularly important for those whose health is at most risk from air pollution. The AQHI is designed to give you this information along with some suggestions on how you might adjust your activity levels depending on your individual health risk from

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Posted in Air Quality, Lung Health

Air pollution at home

Air pollution at home - Perry Hystad

When we speak of air pollution, we generally think about the air outside. However, the vast majority of our time is spent indoors. Few studies have looked at how outdoor air pollution affects indoor air quality.  We sat down to gain some insight with Perry Hystad who completed his doctoral studies on air quality at the University of British Columbia.  Why is it important to study indoor air quality? We only spend about 10 percent of our day outdoors and around 70 percent of our time in our houses. Being that that’s where you spend most of your time, that’s

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Posted in Air Quality, Lung Health

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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Posted in QuitNow, Smoking & Tobacco, Stories, Uncategorized

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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Posted in QuitNow, Smoking & Tobacco, Stories, Uncategorized