The British Lung Foundation launched Northern Ireland’s first ever ‘Love Your Lungs’ campaign on No Smoking Day in Belfast.
Northern Ireland has a higher rate of COPD than the UK average, with over 30,000 confirmed cases. It is thought that many more people suffer from the condition without knowing it. The ‘Love Your Lungs’ campaign aims to find those who need a referral and ensure everyone has the information they need to stay healthy.
Shoppers at Connswater Shopping Centre were invited to have their lung function tested and learn more about the services offered by the British Lung Foundation.
The event was supported by local politician Chris Lyttle MLA and the recently honoured respiratory nurse consultant, Anne Marie Marley MBE.
Mr Lyttle said: “I’m really impressed with the work being undertaken here by the British Lung Foundation. This campaign reminds us all to be pro-active and keep on top of our health.”
Anne Marie Marley MBE said: “With COPD, early diagnosis is crucial. There’s no cure, but it is possible to manage the symptoms.
“Smoking is a major cause of COPD and will make the sufferer’s condition to worse, but there is a lot of help available to anyone trying to kick the habit.”
Nessie Blair, British Lung Foundation Development Officer for Northern Ireland said: “The ‘Love Your Lungs’ campaign got off to a great start in Belfast. I’m delighted to say we tested the lungs of over 100 people and referred roughly a quarter of them!
“I’m really grateful to Chris Lyttle MLA and Anne Marie Marley MBE for coming along to show their support.”
Dr James Cant, Head of British Lung Foundation Scotland & Northern Ireland said: “I’m thrilled that Northern Ireland’s first ever ‘Love Your Lungs’ campaign was launched so successfully in Belfast on No Smoking Day.
“Most people don’t think about their lung health until it becomes a problem. ‘Love Your Lungs’ aims to ensure as many people as possible have the information they need to take action.
“Discovering you have a lung condition can be a lonely and overwhelming experience, so the British Lung Foundation offers a range of services to support people through that difficult time and beyond.”