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Mission Moment October 2019

(October 14, 2019)

Lung Association Takes the Lead on E-Cigarettes: The American Lung Association has become the leading voice in the effort to protect the public and our kids from dangerous e-cigarettes, as cases of hospitalization and death related to vaping continue to rise. In light of the severe lung injuries caused by these products, the increasing youth use of these products is even more concerning as the developing lungs of kids are more at risk. The Lung Association has been mentioned and quoted in thousands of news stories and major media outlets, including: Good Morning America, CNN, CNBC, CBS This Morning, NBC Evening News, ABC World News Tonight, FOX News, NPR, The New York Times, PEOPLE, PBS News Hour and many more. On September 18, several major media outlets announced that they would no longer run advertisements for Juul and other e-cigarettes, including CBS, Viacom and Warner Media, whose CEO said in a statement that the American Lung Association's warning about e-cigarettes factored into their decision. The Lung Association is calling on the FDA to immediately remove all flavored tobacco products from the market nationwide and halt online sales of e-cigarettes.

Helping Schools Address the Teen Vaping Crisis:  In September, we launched INDEPTH - Intervention for Nicotine Dependence: Education, Prevention, Tobacco and Health, a new alternative program to suspension or citation that helps schools and communities address the teen vaping problem in a more supportive way. INDEPTH is a free, interactive program that teaches students about nicotine dependence, establishing healthy alternatives and how to kick the unhealthy addiction that got them in trouble in the first place. We're also offering N-O-T (Not On Tobacco) our proven teen smoking and vaping cessation program, which is taught by a trained and certified adult in ten, 50-minute sessions. We also encourage parents to talk to their kids about the harms of vaping before they're hooked with “The Vape Talk” conversation guide, and offer additional resources for teens, with more resources coming this fall for schools

LUNG CANCER

Lung Cancer Dream Team Celebrates Half-Way Mark: The Lung Cancer Interception Dream Team was born of an innovative partnership between Stand Up To Cancer, LUNGevity and the American Lung Association. The goal was to bring together the top lung cancer researchers to find better ways for early detection and treatment so that more lives can be saved. The team is now half-way through their initial wave of funding, and Dr. Steven Dubinett, co-principal investigator with Dr. Avrum Spira, shares the progress made and what it is like working with such a diverse panel of experts. One of our recent blog entries gives us an update — "Dream Team Celebrates the Half-Way Mark."

LUNG FORCE Hero.

LUNG FORCE Hero: Read her story and watch a video about Danielle W., a comedienne who is fighting lung cancer with laughter.

RESEARCH

Headshot of Piro Lito, M.D., Ph.D.

Treating Lung Cancer with KRAS Mutation: Approximately 25 percent of patients with lung cancer harbor mutations in a cancer-causing protein called KRAS. This is the most frequently activated protein found in cancer patients. With funding from the Lung Association, Dr. Piro Lito is investigating how cancer cells bypass inhibition of KRAS and he will then identify optimal combination therapies, in order to maximize the effect of these drugs in patients.

HEALTH PROMOTIONS

Natural Disaster Response: This Hurricane Season, we successfully deployed our natural disaster plan in response to Hurricane Dorian and Tropical Storm Imelda. In the affected areas, we issued press releases with health and safety tips, offered our medical spokespeople to local and national media for expert comment on the risks to lung health-related to major storms and emailed our constituents with messages about how to prepare for storms and return home after flooding. Our health and safety tips for emergencies and natural disasters, from wildfires to tornadoes, floods and more are always available on our website.

Now is the Time To Protect Yourself and Others from the Flu: Flu season is here, and vaccination is the best protection against the flu. Influenza (flu) is a highly contagious and sometimes, even life-threatening disease. Vaccination is the best prevention. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone 6 months of age and older get an annual flu vaccine. Learn more about the flu and get quick tips on how to protect yourself and your loved ones.

HEALTHY AIR

October Al Rizzo and Deb Brown at Climate SummitUN Climate and Health Event: On September 22, our Chief Mission Officer Deb Brown and Chief Medical Officer Albert Rizzo, M.D., were honored to attend an event organized by the World Health Organization on climate & health at the United Nations in New York City. This event, attended by various leaders from around the world, highlighted the critical need to act on climate change in order to protect health. The event was held the day before the UN's Climate Action Summit.

Year of Air Pollution & Health: This month during the Year of Air Pollution & Health, the focus is on supporting youth engagement in clean air and climate advocacy. Everyone's health is at risk from air pollution and climate change, but children and teens are even more vulnerable to these threats. Their lungs and bodies are still developing, and they are more vulnerable to the health harms of air pollution and other climate-related health threats like extreme weather and the increased spread of many diseases. As part of this effort, the Lung Association will be joining the Children's Environmental Health Network, the National Children's Campaign, and youth climate leaders to hold two events for U.S. House and Senate staff on October 23 in Washington, DC. We're highlighting two great short films - "Asthma Alley" and "Words Have Power" - that focus on youth impacts and activism around clean air and climate change.

TOBACCO

Dr. Rizzo testifies E-Cigarette Harms Explained to Legislators: On September 24, the U.S. House Oversight and Reform subcommittee began two days of public hearings focused on the outbreak of lung disease and CDC's urgent warning not to use e-cigarettes. Among the presenters was American Lung Association Chief Medical Officer Albert Rizzo, M.D. who gave expert testimony on how e-cigarettes harm the lungs, especially those of young users. He made it clear that switching from combustible cigarettes to e-cigarettes was not the same as quitting. He also refuted claims that e-cigarettes can help smokers quit. "The FDA has not found any e-cigarette to be safe and effective in helping smokers quit," Rizzo said. The Lung Association has proven resources to help smokers quit. Earlier that week, our National President and CEO Harold Wimmer also testified before the Illinois House Mental Health Committee about the dangers of e-cigarettes.

EVENTS

Take a Walk for Lung Health: LUNG FORCE Walk & Run/Walk season is in full swing. By participating in a Walk or Run/Walk you can join others for a fun, inspiring event, enjoy the cooler fall weather, all while supporting lung health. Every dollar you help raise gets us closer to healthy lungs for everyone. Find an event near you.

EACH Breath Blog

Our EACH Breath Blog continues to educate, expose and inspire with the latest news about lung health. On September 25 — World Lung Day — we shared "5 Simple Steps You Can Take to Clean Up the Air." A recent blog also explored nicotine, the highly addictive substance in tobacco products. And Dr. Lecia Sequist gave us an update on her revolutionary Lung Cancer Research Study.

Christmas seal with teddy bear

Did you get your American Lung Association Christmas Seals® packet? Supporting Christmas Seals is an important way to show you care about healthy air, healthy lungs and a healthier America. You can order your seals online and learn about this lifesaving holiday tradition. For more than 100 years Christmas Seals have harnessed the spirit of the season of giving to support our lifesaving work.

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