Breathing is essential to life, yet is often taken for granted. We believe that everyone deserves to breathe better and we exist to ensure that lung health remains a priority in New Hampshire.
Tobacco use remains the leading cause of premature and preventable death in the US. Tobacco kills 2 out of 3 users, and for every person who dies, another 20 Americans have at least one serious tobacco-related illness. Statistically, 9 out of 10 smokers start smoking by age 18. Each year in New Hampshire, tobacco use takes approximately 1,900 lives and costs our state $730 million in healthcare expenses. The harmful effects of smoking extend beyond the user, impacting thousands of people through exposure to secondhand smoke. There is no risk-free level of exposure to tobacco smoke, and there is no safe tobacco product.
COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a serious lung disease that over time makes it hard to breathe. Also known as emphysema and chronic bronchitis, COPD is now the 3rd leading cause of death in the US and a major cause of illness and disability. Yet, one in three Americans remain unaware of COPD or its symptoms. As many as half of those living with COPD remain undiagnosed. While other leading causes of death are decreasing, deaths from COPD are on the rise. Approximately 1 in 15 New Hampshire adults, the equivalent of the total population of the towns of Concord, Keene, Berlin and Somersworth combined, reported having COPD.
Asthma is a chronic lung disease and New Hampshire continues to have one of the highest rates of adult asthma in the country. Asthma is also the most common serious chronic childhood disease. Approximately 4,000 adults and 3,000 children are diagnosed with asthma every year in New Hampshire alone and more than one-third of children with current asthma live in a home with a smoker (cigarettes, cigars or pipes.)
The quality of the air we breathe has a direct impact on our health, particularly for those who have existing lung conditions. It is vital that we remain aware of the things that impact air quality, both indoor and outdoor. The average American spends about 90% of their time indoors. Indoor pollutant levels may be 2 to 5 times higher than outdoor levels. Indoor pollutants such as dust mites, molds, pet dander, secondhand smoke and some chemicals can trigger asthma attacks
We are New Hampshire's only state-wide lung health resource. Our strategy is simple - we combine our understanding of New Hampshire’s unique needs with a grassroots approach to advance our mission.
We fill an important gap in our state's public health system as NH has a limited public health infrastructure compared to many other states.
We are invested solely in the lung health of New Hampshire people, and our financial support stays local to benefit those who live and breathe here.
We collaborate with and value the perspectives of a diverse group of stakeholders, including individuals living with lung conditions and their family members, caregivers, healthcare providers, volunteers, community partners, and others.
We are a local resource for valuable and user-friendly health information, serving New Hampshire schools, families, businesses, and community leaders.
We involve and empower individuals living with lung conditions, as well as their caregivers and families. We are often the only voice for those impacted by breathing conditions in New Hampshire.
We engage and support youth advocates through education, training and organizing opportunities for action.
We are the only public health organization in New Hampshire focused on reducing the impact of COPD.