The first thing you do in life... is take a deep breath. And it begins. From here on out—before you give a speech, before you dive into a lake, as you calm panicked nerves, gasp and before a big belly-laugh—you breathe.

For each one of us, breathing is essential to life, from our first breath to our last. Lungs in themselves are fascinating, composed of various specialized cells and tissues—not just simple tubes or pipes—that extract oxygen from the atmosphere and transfer it into the blood stream. The lungs play a critical role in the body – extracting oxygen and distributing it to each and every cell. To me, the simple existence of lungs and how they work are an important reminder of the fragility and wonder of life.

Supporting healthy lungs and clean air is core to the work and mission of the American Lung Association. To better understand the critical importance of lung health and make this real in our daily lives, we want to begin conversations around lung health. So I am pleased to introduce the new American Lung Association blog.

This blog is intended to illustrate and celebrate the importance of lung health, and also address ways to keep lungs healthy and treat lung disease. We will also take a look at the Lung Association's impact on reducing the burden of lung disease on individuals and families in your community and across the nation through research, patient advocacy and education.

In this blog, you can expect to hear directly from experts, researchers, staff and volunteers about lung disease, lung health and healthy air. And we'll be sure to have a little fun in the process.

So welcome, take a deep breath, and read on.

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