Part of Canadian History

The Canadian Lung Association was founded in 1900, under the original name The Canadian Association for the Prevention of Consumption and other Forms of Tuberculosis. As one of Canada's first voluntary health organization, its first aim was to provide facilities for the care of TB patients. Throughout its past years, The Canadian Lung Association has helped achieve dramatic changes in the status of tuberculosis, and now a steady decline in TB has been realized. There is still, however, a lot of work to be done and The Lung Association is dedicated to do everything possible "to improve respiratory health."

In fact, since its founding, The Lung Association has undergone several name changes, changes that reflect the shift in the Association's work from the treatment of tuberculosis to the prevention and control of non-infectious lung diseases (such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and smoking-induced illnesses). The first change was in 1923, to the more succinct title: The Canadian Tuberculosis Association. Then, in 1969, the name was changed to The Canadian Tuberculosis and Respiratory Disease Association. The final adjustment was made in 1977, and thus began The Canadian Lung Association.

The motto "to improve respiratory health" serves as a constant positive reminder that The Lung Association's chief purpose is to combat both disease and environmental threats to the lungs. The Lung Association strives to change the reality of lung disease in Canada, and the toll it takes on thousands of Canadians every year. Our primary work involves research, education and the promotion of healthy living. One leading objective is to influence people not to start smoking, and to quit if they do smoke. Lung Associations promote smoke-free air in the workplace, and actively support legislation to regulate and/or prohibit smoking in public enclosed areas. Lung Associations across Canada work with public health officials, hospitals, universities, community groups and other volunteer health agencies to protect the air we breathe.

The Lung Association's programs and activities are conducted at the national, provincial and municipal levels. There are ten provincial Lung Associations and one territorial (the North West Territories) Lung Association in Canada. Each provincial Lung Association maintains a professional staff (including health educators) who work with volunteers in developing and conducting community program services.

The Lung Association is non-profit and volunteer-based. Because of this, the Association depends greatly upon generous donations by the public. Each year since 1927, Christmas Seals have been the primary source of funding for the Association. It is through the funds from the annual Christmas Seals Campaign, as well as other fund-raising activities throughout the year, that The Lung Association is able to provide awareness, information and patient support programs in every province to improve the respiratory health of Canadians -- lungs are for life!


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Page Last Updated: 12/09/2022