A Look Back at 2015–The Year in Lung Health
(January 1, 2016)
2016 is here, but we invite you to take a look back at 2015, which turned out to be one of our most impactful years ever!
- Our 13th annual "State of Tobacco Control" report outlined a roadmap for states and the federal government to meet the our three bold goals to put the U.S. on a path to eliminate tobacco-caused death and disease.
- New Orleans passed a historic ordinance to go smokefree in virtually all public places and workplaces, including bars and casinos. It’s the first major city in the nation to pass a law that requires smokefree casinos and protects the public from secondhand e-cigarette emissions.
- Fight For Air Climb season had Lung Association supporters across the U.S. scaling thousands of steps in these unique endurance events at some of the tallest structures in their cities while raising funds for lung disease research and educational programs.
- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (Medicare) announced it would cover annual CT scans for individuals at high risk for lung cancer.
- The Institute of Medicine found that raising the minimum age for legal purchase of tobacco products to at least 21 years old will significantly reduce smoking rates and could prevent about 223,000 deaths among people born between 2000 to 2019, including 50,000 fewer dying from lung cancer, the nation's leading cancer killer.
LUNG FORCE Expos, one-day educational events featuring the latest trends, resources, treatments and research on lung cancer, opened across the country.
- At the Presidential Roundtable on Climate Change and Public Health, childhood asthma expert Tyra Bryant-Stephens, M.D., an active volunteer with the Lung Association, had the chance to personally talk to President Barack Obama about the importance of protecting children from the health impacts of climate change.
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.
- During National Women’s Lung Health Week we celebrated LUNG FORCE with Turquoise Takeover, and released the new Share Your Voice video featuring inspiring stories from our LUNG FORCE team turquoise celebrities, all in support of the fight against lung cancer in women.
- A new study from our Airways Clinical Research Centers (ACRC) Network found that a common nutritional supplement—soy isoflavone—taken by many people with asthma, did not result in improved lung function or clinical outcomes. The findings can potentially save consumers from spending thousands of dollars on an ineffective treatment and potentially prevented adverse drug interactions.
- Lung Association leaders and experts participated in the first White House Summit on Climate Change and Health. They shared their experience with health impacts already seen across the U.S. as a result of climate change and called attention to the need for a strong response.
- We began a new alliance with the Patient Access Network (PAN) Foundation to provide comprehensive support for people living with asthma, non-small cell lung cancer and respiratory syncytial virus. Patients referred to the Lung Association from PAN will receive support and resources from our Lung HelpLine (1-800-LUNGUSA).
- Participants across the country joined LUNG FORCE Walks to raise money and awareness to defeat lung cancer.
- We announced our plans to fund more than $6.49 million in grants in 2015-2016, $3.89 million of which for newly awarded research on lung disease throught the nationwide Awards and Grants program. Including the new LUNG FORCE Research Innovation Project: Lung Cancer in Women Award which will be the largest research award in lung cancer ever funded by the Lung Association.
- National President and CEO Harold P. Wimmer and National Board Member Dr. Sumita Khatri joined President Barack Obama at the White House as he announced the final Clean Power Plan, reducing carbon pollution from power plants and protecting lung health.
- We launched a new partnership with Inspire to host three online patient communities: "Lung Cancer Survivors," "Living with COPD" and "Living with Lung Disease" to further support individuals living with chronic lung conditions.
- As children with asthma went back to school, we offered schools asthma-friendly resources including a Stock Bronchodilator Model Policy, the Student Readiness Assessment Tool, and Asthma Basics, a free online course on asthma management.
- The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice published Albuterol Overuse: A Marker of Psychological Distress? using data from the Airways Clinical Research Center Network, looking at the relationship between albuterol use and hospitalization. The study found an association between albuterol "overusers" and depression. If a healthcare provider suspects overuse of albuterol, depression may be considered as a potential co-morbid condition.
- The EPA announced stronger ozone pollution limits that will reduce pollution and help protect public health.
- The new Lung.org went live! Our tools, resources, information and engagement opportunities are now available in a new user- and mobile-friendly website.
The 2015-2016 Research Award Nationwide report highlighted the Airways Clinical Research Centers (ACRC) Network, and 69 novel and innovative research projects funded by the Lung Association. Two new videos highlight how our researchers are scoring against drug-resistant cancers and using targeted therapies to take aim at lung cancer.
- The results of our second Women’s Health Barometer were released, including a new video and infographic. We were excited to announce that GRAMMY Award-winnerMs. Patti LaBelle joined us to add her voice and powerful personal story in support of LUNG FORCE. And on our first-ever LUNG FORCE Giving Day, you helped us raise $219,000 to help fund lung cancer research, awareness programs and patient/caregiver resources.
- In honor of COPD Awareness Month, we raised awareness of COPD through our Living with COPD online support community and new COPD videos: How to Properly Use a Nebulizer, How to Properly Clean a Nebulizer, Pursed Lip Breathing and Belly Breathing.
- The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a new proposed rule that would make all federally-owned public housing smokefree. This is an important step forward which the Lung Association has supported and worked on for nearly six years.
- Along with other national health groups, we launched the national plan to fight radon, detailing strategies to reduce 3,200 deaths from lung cancer by 2020. Exposure to radon gas is the second-leading risk factor for lung cancer.
- We wrapped up our Reducing the Burden of Asthma at Work projectwhich aims toincrease the ability of adults with asthma to reduce their exposure to air pollution at work, with resources that include Asthma in the Workplace, a Guide to Controlling Asthma at Work, a Guide to Safe and Healthy Workplaces and Breathe Well, Live Well: The Guide to Managing Asthma at Home and Work.
- COPD can be a high-cost chronic disease, making it difficult to determine out-of-pocket costs for the year, and what health plan might be the best option. To support patients with COPD, we developed an infographic report to guide patients and their loved ones in choosing the best healthcare plan.