Hunger for air is a terrible curse for too many people. Consider the following:
- 65 million people suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and 3 million die from it each year, making it the third leading cause of death worldwide.
- 10 million people develop tuberculosis and 1.4 million die from it each year, making it the most common lethal infectious disease
- 334 million people suffer from asthma, making it the most common chronic disease of childhood.
- Pneumonia kills millions of people each year making it a leading cause of death in the very young and very old.
- At least 2 billion people are exposed to toxic indoor smoke; 1 billion inhale polluted outdoor air; and 1 billion are exposed to tobacco smoke.
To compound the tragedy, many conditions are getting worse!
We cannot sit still and allow this to happen. We must unite for lung health and reduce this terrible burden.
World Lung Day is a rallying point for advocacy related to respiratory health and air quality. Lung disease is the only major chronic disease group that does not yet have a World Day. World Days can be important reminders of things we take for granted–we cannot live without breathing, and air quality is critical to our health and well-being.
World Lung Day will be a focal point for promoting initiatives that influence lung health. It will be a time to promote healthy life styles and impugn factors leading to lung disease.
We invite everyone to sign on the Charter for Lung Health to express your solidarity for respiratory health. We also ask people and organizations to carry out activities to celebrate the gift of breathing on World Lung Day. Activities may include editorials, newsletters, and letters-to-the-editor articles, legislative proclamations, social media exposure, free spirometry, smoking cessation guidance, and carbon monoxide testing, but the most important ones will be those that you or your organization devise yourself. A number of leading lung health organizations have expressed their support for World Lung Day, and we encourage everyone to follow their example.