Our Advocacy Victories
The American Lung Association has a proud history of fighting for lung health. We were among the first to tackle smoking as the nation's greatest preventable health risk and to make the connection between air pollution and lung disease. With your help, we push for laws and policies that improve lung health for everyone. Here are some of our major victories.
- Lung Cancer Screening
In 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (Medicare) approved coverage for low-dose CT scans in high-risk Medicare beneficiaries. The Lung Association testified at a hearing to urge Medicare to cover the lifesaving scans, submitted detailed recommendations and launched an online petition where 17,000 people urged Medicare to cover this critical early detection method. Through additional requirements in the Affordable Care Act for private insurance plans, most Americans who are at high risk for lung cancer now have access to free annual screening.
- Funding for National Asthma Programs
The Lung Association led the campaign to save the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Asthma Control Program from elimination. We continue our leadership by working with champions on Capitol Hill to increase funding for state programs, reducing asthma's terrible burden in our communities.
- Action on Climate Change
The Lung Association highlighted the damaging impacts of climate change on health and, in August 2015, stood with President Barack Obama when he announced the Clean Power Plan, the first national program to clean up carbon pollution from power plants. The Lung Association is now working with state governments to ensure that they implement the rule in a way that maximizes benefits to public health.
- Cleaner Vehicles and Fuels
SUVs, trucks, buses,ships, locomotives and more all are much cleaner today than they were even a decade ago. The most recent success came in March 2014, when the Lung Association helped U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announce cleaner gasoline and improved vehicle technology—the latest step to clean up emissions.
- Cleanup of Coal-Fired Power Plants
The Lung Association helped put long-overdue rules in place to clean up coal-fired power plants, one of the nation's biggest sources of dangerous, widespread air pollution. We took legal action to support EPA's efforts to reduce pollution blown across state lines in a decision upheld by the Supreme Court in 2014.
- Clean Air Act
The Clean Air Act took effect in 1970, allowing the EPA to set national air quality standards. After two decades of persistent effort, we successfully convinced Congress to strengthen the Clean Air Act, requiring cities to enact specific air pollution control measures. A year later in 1991, we began our first legal challenges to require EPA to comply with the Clean Air Act requirements. Over the past 25 years, Lung Association legal action has resulted in more protective air quality standards as well as holding the federal government to its obligation to clean up pollution sources.
- Smokefree Cities and States
Twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia have passed comprehensive laws prohibiting smoking in almost all public places and workplaces, including restaurants and bars, that meet the Lung Association's Smokefree Air Challenge. We won't stop until everyone lives and works in a smokefree city or state.
- Tobacco Regulation
In 2009, the Lung Association played a key role in passing the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which gives the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authority over the marketing, sale and manufacturing of tobacco products. The law will protect kids from the industry's predatory marketing efforts. We continue to play a leadership role in defending and implementing the law.
- Smokefree Flights
U.S. airline passengers breathe smokefree air as the result of groundbreaking legislation championed by the Lung Association and our partners. On February 25, 1990, all domestic flights of six hours or less became smokefree. The measure covered 99 percent of all flights in the U.S. Over the next decade, many airlines made all their flights smokefree. In 2000, Congress passed a law requiring all flights to and from the U.S. to be smokefree.
- 1964 Surgeon General Report on Smoking
The Lung Association was proud to stand with Surgeon General Luther Terry at the 1964 release of the first Surgeon General's report on smoking and health. This historic report linked smoking to lung cancer and lung disease for the first time.