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BLF is thrilled to support Fresh's COPD awareness campaign

7 October 2011

The British Lung Foundation (BLF) is thrilled to support Fresh, the UK’s first regional tobacco office set up in 2005, in their “Every breath” campaign to raise awareness of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and the dangers of smoking.

Fresh will be airing television adverts featuring the word’s to North East born star Sting’s song, “Every breath you take”. The campaign also features a radio commercial adapted from one of the world’s most successful stop smoking campaigns first aired by Quit Victoria and the New South Wales Cancer Institute in Australia, which invites listeners to participate in a breathing exercise where they experience the later stages of breathing with COPD.

Despite achieving the biggest drop in smoking in the country, the North East still has the worst prevalence of COPD in the country.

But COPD is a disease few people know anything about. Most think the telltale signs – such as feeling out of breath from the mid 30s onwards– are a normal part of smoking. A new survey by Fresh found that out of 500 smokers, 67 per cent were completely unaware of COPD and only 16 per cent unprompted realized it involved having difficulty breathing.

It means many patients do not realize the damage being done with every cigarette and will not seek attention from their GP until they have the disease in its later stages.

Dame Helena Shovelton, Chief Executive of the British Lung Foundation said:

“We are pleased to support Fresh’s campaign which brings to light how smoking can lead to COPD. The disease can leave you feeling suffocated, isolated and invisible however it is avoidable. It is essential that smokers quit as early as possible and speak with their GP if their cough won’t stop or are feeling breathless.”

Ailsa Rutter, Director of Fresh, said:

“Whatever is happening nationally, we want people in the North East to be the best informed in the country about the health risks of smoking.

“Most smokers say they know that smoking is bad for them, and have heard of lung cancer, but there are really worrying awareness levels of other serious conditions like COPD. Especially so for many younger people who have not see or heard a health related smoking campaign for years.”


Watch Fresh's TV advert

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