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World No Tobacco Day: 31 May 2019

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Every year, on May 31st, the World Health Organization (WHO) and its global partners celebrate World No Tobacco Day (WNTD). The annual campaign raises awareness about the harmful and deadly effects of tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure, and discourages the use of tobacco in any form.

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FIRS in Guardian article: air pollution may be damaging 'every organ in the body’

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The Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) features in the Guardian article, revealing how air pollution may be damaging 'every organ in the body'.

The article and interactive body comes after FIRS published two articles in the journal CHEST on the effects of air pollution on health and evidence for its association with many diseases.

The research shows head-to-toe harm, from heart and lung disease to diabetes and dementia, and from liver problems and bladder cancer to brittle bones and damaged skin. Fertility, foetuses and children are also affected by toxic air.

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The Forum of International Respiratory Societies calls on healthcare providers worldwide to STOP for asthma!

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On World Asthma Day, the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) recognises this year’s theme: “STOP for asthma.” FIRS calls on global healthcare providers to STOP for asthma and evaluate symptoms, test response to therapy, observe and assess, and finally proceed to adjust treatment.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 235 million people suffer from asthma, which can cause wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing. Although asthma cannot be cured, it is possible to control the disease to reduce and prevent asthma attacks, also called episodes.

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Air Pollution: What air are you breathing?

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Air pollution kills an estimated 7 million people worldwide every year. World Health Organization (WHO) data shows that 9 out of 10 people breathe air containing high levels of pollutants. 

Ambient air pollution

There are 4.2 million deaths every year as a result of exposure to ambient (outdoor) air pollution. Ambient air pollution affects everyone−rich and poor, developed and developing countries, but it hits the hardest where the exposure is greatest, low and middle-income countries.

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The Forum of International Respiratory Societies attends United Nations hearing on universal health coverage

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On 29 April 2019, the Forum of International Respiratory (FIRS) attended and presented comments at the interactive multi-stakeholder hearing at the United Nations in New York. The hearing was part of the preparatory process for the UN High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UHC), which will take place on 23 September 2019 in New York.

“Universal Health Coverage” is a call for more effective and universal medical care, where all people receive the health services they need without suffering financial hardship.

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Acceleration of UN High-Level Meeting Commitments on TB Focus of International Respiratory Societies

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This World TB Day, 24 March, the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) urges governments to leverage the success of the first-ever United Nation (UN) High-Level Meeting (HLM) on the fight against tuberculosis (TB), held in 2018. The meeting produced a UN political declaration on TB and endorsement at the highest level to take the necessary steps to end the TB epidemic.

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The lung is not the only organ affected by air pollution, warns international respiratory group

The Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) warns that air pollution exposure affects many organs beyond the lungs, posing a great risk to health. Outdoor fine particulate matter exposure is the fifth leading risk factor for death in the world, accounting for 4.2 million deaths and 103 million disability-adjusted life years lost according to the Global Burden of Disease Report.

FIRS’ Environmental Committee published two articles in the journal CHEST on the effects of air pollution on health and evidence for its association with many diseases.

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Was treibt die Lungenärzte an? FIRS statement in response to Frankfurter Allgemeine article on air pollution

Read the latest response statement:

In English (09/04/2019)
In German (29/01/2019) 

Was treibt die Lungenärzte an?* –Better respiratory health for all!

In response to an article published in Frankfurter Allgemeine on January 24, 2019, the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) respectively disagrees with the group of about 100 pulmonologists and agrees with the German national standards, the European standards, and the World Health Organization (WHO) standards.

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World Lung Day 2019 Partners

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The Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) would like to thank all organisations who have pledged to support World Lung Day 2019.

World Lung Day falls on 25th September and is a day to rally advocacy for respiratory health and air quality globally. You can see the full list of organisations supporting World Lung Day 2019 below.

No signed up yet?

If you would like to support World Lung Day please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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World TB Day - 24 March 2019

World TB Day, falls on 24 March each year, a day designed to build public awareness that tuberculosis (TB) today remains an epidemic in much of the world.

TB is preventable and curable, yet it remains the world’s most common infectious disease killer. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 10 million people fell ill from TB in 2017 and 1.6 million people died.

Only 64 percent of the estimated 10 million global cases of TB were actually diagnosed and notified. 

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World AIDS Day, FIRS Highlights Link Between HIV and TB

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Tuberculosis (TB) is the world’s leading infectious disease and it accounts for one in three deaths from HIV/AIDS, according to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) 2018 report on TB. This is why on World AIDS Day the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS), calls on governments, health advocates and non-government organisations to strengthen their response to AIDS and TB.

“AIDS and TB are a deadly combination,” said Polly Parsons, MD, President of American Thoracic Society, a FIRS founding member. “In the developing world, TB is often the first sign a person has HIV. Together, the diseases are far worse than they are alone.”

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The Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) warns of a link between ambient air pollution and the high incidence of hypersensitivity pneumonitis in urban cities

An article published in the European Respiratory Journal found that a higher proportion of patients diagnosed with hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) lived in cities with higher levels of air pollutants. [1].

“We discovered that the majority of patients with HP in India, were living in urban cities, prompting an investigation into the link between ambient air pollution in urban India and the high incidence of HP,” Ganesh Raghu, MD, senior research author and Professor of Medicine and Laboratory Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. [2]

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It is never too early, never too late for COPD diagnosis and treatment: The Forum of International Respiratory Societies

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a preventable and treatable disease that causes breathlessness, chronic sputum production and cough, there are 251 million current cases of COPD in the world. COPD is currently the 3rd leading cause of death globally and is highly prevalent in low resource countries. Exposure to tobacco smoke and other inhaled toxic particles and gases are the main risk factors for COPD, although recent research has identified that suboptimal lung growth before and after birth can also increase the risk of COPD later in life.

World COPD Day is an annual global initiative run by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD), who are members of the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS).

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World AIDS Day - 1 December 2018

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World AIDS Day,  1 December, is an international day dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic. 

Shortly after AIDS emerged, it fuelled a global resurgence of Tuberculosis (TB) that continues in many low and middle-income countries. TB is the world’s leading infectious disease and it accounts for one in three deaths from HIV/AIDS, according to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) 2018 report on TB.

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The Forum of International Respiratory Societies joins ‘call for urgent action’ at the first WHO Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health

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The Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) is attending the first ever global event to focus on both air pollution and health. The Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health takes place from 30 October to 1 November in Geneva bringing together global, national and local partners to share knowledge and mobilise action for cleaner air and better health globally.

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World COPD Day - 21 November 2018

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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a preventable and treatable disease that causes breathlessness, chronic sputum production and cough, there are 251 million current cases of COPD in the world. COPD is currently the 3rd leading cause of death globally and is highly prevalent in low resource countries. World COPD Day is an annual global initiative run by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD), who are members of the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS).

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World Pneumonia Day - 12 November 2018

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Pneumonia is one of the most preventable and treatable illnesses in global health, yet every minute two children die from this illness, primarily because they are denied the benefits of prevention, accurate diagnosis and treatment.

World Pneumonia Day on 12 November brings people from all over the world together, uniting to demand that something be done to fight pneumonia.

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Forum of International Respiratory Societies calls on all countries to commit to ending TB

The UN High-Level Meeting (HLM) on Tuberculosis will take place today at the United Nations in New York. This will be the UN General Assembly’s first-ever meeting to accelerate efforts against this disease.

The Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) calls on all countries to commit to ending TB at this historic meeting, which includes commitments to significantly increase funding for TB detection, treatment and prevention program and accelerating research and development into new TB diagnostic, treatment and prevention tools.

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Let’s unite on World Lung Day and call for global lung health action

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Today on World Lung Day, people affected by and working against respiratory disease, come together for lung health action.

Too often we take breathing for granted. World Lung Day, on 25th September, is an opportunity for us all to unite and advocate for better lung health globally. Organisations and individuals from around the world have joined the campaign, to shine a spotlight on the alarming statistics, and to hold their own lung health events.

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