Latino Community and Lung Health

National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15) is a time in our country to recognize the contributions and influence of Latinos, whose ancestors come from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America, to the history, culture and achievements of the United States.

In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, the American Lung Association is proud to present the “Staff Super Estrellas Spotlight Series” highlighting Latino staff who are making a meaningful impact on the Lung Association’s mission and contributing to the effort to eliminate lung disease in their community.

We are also hosting a special webinar to explore the innovative research that Dr. Francisco Cartujano, 2020-2021 Catalyst Grant recipient, is conducting using text messaging as a smoking cessation intervention tool for Latino youth.

Join us in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month by learning more about our Super Estrellas, registering for the webinar and reading about our programs and specially designed resources available to support the lung health of Latinos throughout the country.

This observance first started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson. It was later expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988.1 The mid-month timeframes are significant because September 15 is the anniversary of independence for the Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30-day period.

Videos en Español!

The Electric Vehicle Solution (Spanish)

Climate change and air pollution threaten our health. Another thing they have in common? They are both caused – in part – by emissions from gas- and diesel-powered cars, buses and trucks. Widespread adoption of electric vehicles in the U.S. would save more than 6,000 lives and $72 billion in health benefits.

How Indoor Air Quality Impacts Your Lungs – Como Afecta la Calidad del Aire Interior a Sus Pulmones

This three-minute video describes how indoor air quality impacts your lungs, as well as providing practical tips for improving the indoor air quality in your home.

American Lung Association Programs and Initiatives for Latinos and Spanish Speakers

Research Studies

Representation in research studies is vital to allowing researchers to investigate and discover how lung disease and its treatments work in different people. To help make our clinical work accessible to more people, the American Lung Association is committed to translating many of our study on-boarding and recruitment materials into Spanish. Currently, we are in the process of doing so for our ongoing Lung Health Cohort Research Study and MATCH Study. We’re excited to make these resources available for those helping to shape the diverse makeup of our research studies.

BBC Resources

The American Lung Association Better Breathers Network is a nationwide, online patient support program providing lung disease management tools and virtual support groups. Anyone can join the Better Breathers Network. Signing up for the network is free and will provide you direct access to education, support and connection to others also living with chronic lung disease. Additionally, there are resources to support our Spanish-speaking Better Breathers Club members and their caregivers. From phone and online support tools, to educational videos and self-management action plans, the American Lung Association has numerous assets that have been translated into Spanish. Access these resources.

Haga clic AQUI para accesso recursos en Español sobre el salud pulmonar.

Youth Cessation

The commercial tobacco industry has targeted Hispanic/Latino communities in ways that have impacted generations; these predatory companies have donated to influential community groups, universities and colleges, and scholarship programs supporting Hispanic/Latino people. The tobacco industry has also provided significant support to Hispanic/Latino political organizations, cultural events, and the Hispanic/Latino art community.1 The prevalence of smoking is more than twice as high among U.S. – — born Hispanic women (10%) compared to foreign-born Hispanic women (3%).2 According to the 2021 National Youth Tobacco Survey, Hispanic Middle School Students reported highest rates of every using e-cigarettes, compared to their peers (8.4% compared to 7.5% amongst non-Hispanic White students, and 7.0% non-Hispanic Black students).3 We know that addressing tobacco use in Hispanic/Latino communities is important because 67% of Hispanic/Latino individuals who smoke want to quit smoking; yet are less likely to receive advice to quit from a healthcare professional, than non-Hispanic white adults who smoked,4 and Hispanic/Latino adults who smoke are less likely to use any evidence-based treatment (counseling or FDA-approved medication) to quit than non-Hispanic white adults, though use of treatment varied by Hispanic subgroup.5

The Lung Association’s Addressing Tobacco Use in Hispanic/Latino Communities Toolkit will feature a variety of culturally competent resources, trainings, videos, and other relevant materials in English and in Spanish, and will be focused on three key objectives:

  • Build Competence by learning about systemic racism and its impact on Hispanic and Latino communities
  • Encourage Connectedness by learning how to be an authentic ally and building better community partnerships
  • Empower to Act with materials, resources, and trainings to equip toolkit users to help improve their lung.

This toolkit will be available for download in Spring 2023! In the meantime, we encourage you to explore the other toolkits and resources at Please feel free to reach out to [email protected].

Lung Health & the Latino Community

165% How much more likely Latinos are to live in counties with unhealthy particle pollution
8.4% Hispanic middle school students reported highest rates of every using e-cigarettes compared to their white peers at 7.5%
14% Puerto Ricans that live in the U.S. have the highest current asthma rate of any racial or ethnic group

Get Social & Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with us.

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