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European Lung Foundation (ELF) - Healthy Lungs for Life campaign launched in Milan

At the start of September, the European Lung Foundation (ELF) launched the 2017-18 Healthy Lungs for Life campaign in Milan, Italy at the European Respiratory Society (ERS) International Congress.

This year the campaign aims to raise awareness of lung health and the importance of clean air and a smoke-free life.

Free lung function testing

Activities kicked off with a lung function testing event on via Luca Beltrami – Piazza Castello in central Milan on Friday 8 September and Saturday 9 September.

ERS leadership and local politicians opened the event with speeches about lung health and clean air, before members of the Bersaglieri – a corps of the Italian Army – gave a performance, drawing a huge crowd. Paralympian basketball player Ian Sagar, who plays for Team Great Britain and Braintea84 Cantu, also joined the event and got his lungs tested.

After drawing a great deal of media attention from national and local newspapers and broadcasters, the event was hugely popular – with over 1,000 people coming for a free spirometry test and to learn about the lungs, air pollution and stopping smoking.

As well as being on hand to answer any of the public’s questions, ELF was joined at the event by local patient organisations and institutions, including Federasma, Women Against Lung Cancer in Europe, the Italian Association for Respiratory Care, Fondazione Umberto Veronesi and Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori.

Meet the expert evening

Members of the public also had the opportunity to learn about the importance of breathing clean air at a ‘meet the expert’ evening held at the Palazzo Reale, next to the iconic Duomo, on Monday 11 September.

ERS experts gave presentations in Italian on the topics of air pollution, work-related lung conditions and preventing smoking, before the audience could put their questions to them.

Promoting the campaign to Congress delegates

With over 22,000 healthcare professionals from around the world in attendance, the key Healthy Lungs for Life messages were prominent throughout the ERS International Congress to encourage them to share the messages in their own local areas.

Huge posters on the benefits of helping patients to quit smoking were throughout the centre, and the Congress programme contained many scientific sessions on air quality and smoking cessation.

Delegates could also visit the Healthy Lungs for Life stand and pick up a ’Breathe clean air’ information pack – a selection of documents and resources produced to help healthcare professionals answer their patients’ questions about air quality and smoking.

Rolling out the campaign worldwide

Now that the Healthy Lungs for Life campaign has been launched, ELF needs help from respiratory professionals and the public to take it worldwide and make sure the messages are being heard as widely as possible. The campaign website has toolkits and resources in a range of different languages to support with events – contact Emma Thompson ( if you are interested.

Read more about Healthy Lungs for Life and how you can get involved.

Access the Healthy Lungs for Life resources – including the ‘Breathe clean air’ pack.


Originally posted on 27 September 2017

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