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  • FY15 Annual Report Advocacy

FY15 Annual Report Advocacy

Standing Up for Lung Health

Changing minds, changing hearts and changing laws to protect our health is part of our advocacy work. The American Lung Association works to defend the Clean Air Act and the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, supports legislation that protects our children from deadly air pollution and tobacco products, and supports funding for critical lung disease research and health programs at the federal level—and much more.

This past year, we advocated for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to adopt a strong final Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon pollution from new and existing power plants. To highlight the health impacts of climate change, we hosted EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy at a roundtable in Chicago this April and participated in the White House Summit on Climate Change and Health in June in Washington, DC.

Pictured left to right are American Lung Association National President and CEO Harold P. Wimmer, along with American Lung Association volunteers Crystal Garrett, Sumita Khatri, MD, and Cheryl Clark at the White House Summit on climate and health in June 2015.Lung Association highlighted the importance of strong health-protective ozone standards so kids can safely play outside.

In April, President Obama, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD, and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy joined a roundtable at Howard University where Lung Association volunteer Tyra Bryant-Stephens, MD, shared her concerns about the health impacts of climate change on children with asthma, including those she serves through her work at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Thanks in part to Lung Association legal action, the EPA proposed to strengthen the national standard for ozone pollution in November 2014. Following the proposal, the Lung Association helped organize more than 30 health professionals and volunteers to testify at EPA public hearings in Texas, California, and Washington, DC. We also, along with 12 other national health organizations, submitted comments to EPA and helped recruit more than 1,000 health professionals to join the fight urging EPA to set the most health-protective standards.

The Lung Association continues to provide the latest data trends to inform and engage the public in our advocacy for greater health protections.

  • Our 16th annual "State of the Air" report showed that more than four in 10 Americans live in counties where ozone or particle pollution levels make the air unhealthy to breathe. The report findings were cited in testimony before Congress and in editorials nationwide with more than 1.67 billion earned media impressions.
  • Our 13th annual "State of Tobacco Control" report found that states and the federal government are not doing enough to meet the our three bold goals to put the U.S. on a path to eliminate tobacco-caused death and disease.

This year, we also urged the Obama Administration to move quickly and protect public health and the health of the nation's youth by giving the Food and Drug Administration oversight authority over all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, cigars and hookah.

In April 2015, New Orleans went smokefree in all public places and workplaces, including bars and casinos. The Lung Association in Louisiana played a pivotal role in passage of the law and defending it against attacks from opponents.

Reducing pollution from power plants will save lives and improve health.

Wondering how carbon pollution threatens your health? This video makes it clear!

Inspirational stories from friends and supporters of the American Lung Association

The Kelloggs: When Working for Healthy Air Is a Family Affair

When you're the mother of three kids with asthma, nothing could be more personal than making sure they have healthy air to breathe. Laura Kellogg and her husband have three children with asthma who constantly struggled just to breathe despite excellent medical care—and having a nurse for a mom!

"As a parent, it's really heartbreaking when you see your children struggling to breathe, every day," Laura explained. "And when you can't breathe, nothing else matters—nothing!"

Recently, the Kellogg family shared their story on the national stage as they stood with President Barack Obama as he announced the Clean Power Plan, and were featured in the video below from EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.

Poor air quality, which can trigger life-threatening asthma attacks, has affected where the Kellogg family can live. When their New England hometown was consistently rated as one of the unhealthiest areas for asthmatics, the family's pulmonologist recommended they move to a warmer, coastal climate.

"Imagine how helpless you would feel if you had to watch your child struggle to stay afloat in the deep end of a swimming pool knowing you couldn't jump in to save him. That is how I feel each and every time one of my three children struggles to breathe during an asthma attack. There are even moments when all three have had attacks at the same time," said Laura.

Now living in Wilmington, North Carolina, Laura and her whole family are passionate advocates for healthy air. They went from surviving to thriving, and they don't want to see climate change and pollution take that away.

"Asthma no longer defines my children's lives. Their lung function is normal and a low dose of daily control medicine keeps their symptoms well managed. The best news is that our children are able to enjoy life and to pursue their talents," Laura said.

"It is a true moment of grace for me to be able to share my family's story," Laura explained. "I believe we all have a moral obligation to ensure that our children never feel as if they are drowning in a sea of polluted air."


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