When you can't breathe, nothing else matters.™ That was true more than 110 years ago, when our organization was created to battle tuberculosis, and it's just as true now. Breathing is essential to life, and as we look back at our fiscal year 2017 and forward to the future, it becomes apparent that our mission to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease is more important than ever. As we confront many current threats to lung health—infectious respiratory disease, smoking, air pollution, climate change and more—we are deeply grateful for the many individuals, families, foundations and businesses whose support makes our work possible.
Our LUNG FORCE initiative enabled us to dedicate $2.2 million this year toward lung cancer research. We are also collaborating with Stand Up To Cancer and the LUNGevity Foundation to fund the Lung Cancer Interception Research Teams, for which we have committed another $2 million over the next two years—our largest single investment in lung cancer research to date. Your support made this groundbreaking investment in the fight against lung cancer possible. Thank you.
We continue to work hard to ensure that the air we share is clean and healthy for all Americans. We have been—and will continue to be—the champion for those with lung disease, providing information and tools to lessen their burden, and defending the healthcare coverage so critical to their treatment. We've made great strides to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases with innovative new tactics like "Tobacco 21" state laws and our new Freedom From Smoking® Plus program, and we will continue our tireless efforts to reduce tobacco use, the nation's leading cause of preventable death and disease.
As you explore our annual report and learn about our nationwide work, we think you will agree that when you can't breathe, nothing else matters. Thanks to you, we can continue to fight for what really matters. On behalf of our National Board of Directors, our dedicated staff and our amazing volunteers, we hope you take pride in what we have done together, and we thank you for your generosity and ongoing support. We can't do it without you.