About Us

    The Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) was established in 2001 by the international professional respiratory societies, the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST), American Thoracic Society (ATS), Asian Pacific Society of Respirology (APSR), Asociación Latino Americana De Tórax (ALAT), European Respiratory Society (ERS), International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (The Union), and Pan African Thoracic Society (PATS). The Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), and the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) joined in 2017.

    In total FIRS’ organisations have about 100,000 professional members working in the broad field of respiratory health. These specialists advise and set standards for other specialists and primary care health providers who manage patients with respiratory illnesses around the world, thus magnifying the effects of the societies.

    FIRS’ professional organisations develop guidelines to help their members practice and position papers to promote lung health policies. Leading experts of the societies present compelling scientific evidence and health perspectives to support these guidelines and positions. The reputation of the societies often carries a weighty influence on the practice of medicine.

    Each society holds a large annual meeting and, in aggregate, more than 100 regional and specialised meetings annually. Most new research in the field is presented at these conferences. More than 50,000 people attend these meetings yearly.

    The societies publish 17 journals that bring out more than 2000 articles per year. The articles present the latest research and are rigorously peer-reviewed to present a trustworthy global resource. The journals raise awareness of new findings and alert the public to lung health concerns.

    FIRS’ societies have a presence in essentially every country in the world, and their social media extends broadly to the public as well as the respiratory community. Read our constitution here.

    Our Mission

    The mission of FIRS is to promote respiratory health worldwide. It does this in a complementary way to its own organisations through advocacy and by working with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other global organisations representing the respiratory community.

    FIRS is concerned with all factors relating to lung health but particularly those affecting the most people globally and ones that can provide the greatest improvement to respiratory health. It endorses the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, the functions and activity of the WHO, and many other organisations working to improve lung health.

    FIRS’ major activity is global advocacy especially in preventing diseases cause by tobacco products and air pollution. A major goal is to alert the world to the importance of lung health and the global impact of respiratory disease.