Iowa House of Representatives Celebrates the American Lung Association’s 120 Years of Impact and Highlights Lung Cancer Awareness

Today, the Iowa House of Representatives adopted a resolution, HR 105 declaring November as Lung Cancer Awareness Month in Iowa and honoring the 120th anniversary of the American Lung Association. The measure was introduced by State Representative Mary Madison (D-Polk) whose family has been personally impacted by lung cancer and tuberculosis.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. According to the Lung Association’s 2023 “State of Lung Cancer” report, Iowa ranks as the 12th worst in the country for new lung cancer cases. The state saw 61.14 new cases per 100,000, higher than the national average of 54.6 new cases per 100,000. Iowa has a 7.1% lung cancer screening rate compared to the national average of 4.5%. Annual lung cancer screenings for those at high risk can reduce the lung cancer death rate by up to 20%.

“I am proud to sponsor HR105 to raise awareness about the leading cancer killer, lung cancer, the importance of screening and early detection and the lifesaving work of the American Lung Association,” said State Rep. Mary Madison. “This resolution is in honor of my father who died from lung cancer and the thousands of Iowans affected by this terrible disease every day. “

2024 also marks the 120th anniversary of the Lung Association. In the early 1900s, the U.S. faced the scourge of tuberculosis, which killed millions of people across the world. On June 6, 1904, a young doctor named Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau founded the National Association for the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis, which would later be called the American Lung Association. The innovative work of this doctor and organization virtually eliminated tuberculosis in the U.S.

The Lung Association pioneered a groundbreaking model of education, advocacy, and research to address critical public health and lung health issues. It was during these early years that Christmas Seals was launched, a volunteer-driven fundraising campaign, to end tuberculosis.

Since then, the Lung Association has contributed to significant public health achievements, from drastically reducing the U.S. smoking rate through educational and quit smoking programs, to making domestic airline flights smokefree and funding research that has saved lives around the world. The lifesaving work of the Lung Association is a result of funding research that led to crucial healthcare discoveries, advocating for clean air policies, working to end youth vaping, helping children better manage their asthma and much more.

“The American Lung Association has an incredible history of being at the forefront of lung health and improving public health across the United States. 2024 will be a year to celebrate our past and use our vast experience to help us save lives by addressing current and future lung health threats like catastrophic wildfires, climate change, vaping, COVID-19, RSV, pneumonia, lung cancer and much more,” said Harold Wimmer, President and CEO of the Lung Association.

Today, the Lung Association focuses on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer, create a tobacco-free future, champion clean air for all, and improve the quality of life for those living with lung disease.
The Lung Association also hosted its Advocacy Day at the Iowa State Capitol today to urge legislators to take bold action to support healthcare access for chronic disease patients, protect the state’s longstanding Tobacco Prevention Commission, adequately fund the state’s tobacco control program and modernize the Smokefree Air Act.

When you can’t breathe, nothing else matters®. Get involved and help the mission of the American Lung Association. Fight For Air Climb Des Moines is coming up this spring on April 7. Learn more at You can also view the Lung Association’s new historical timeline here, donate today at and purchase custom 120th anniversary gear here



For more information, contact:

Janye Killelea
[email protected]

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