Health Minister Terry Lake says while Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) – also known as emphysema – can be life-threatening, it’s never too late to make life changes to prevent the disease or for those who contract it to manage their symptoms.
“I have seen the effects of COPD first-hand – supporting my mother’s battle with the illness that ultimately took her life and standing by my father as he fights for his,” Lake said in a release on Wednesday, which was recognized as World COPD Day.
COPD is the fourth-leading cause of death in Canada, according to the release by the ministry, and has the highest rate of hospital admissions among all chronic diseases.
It slowly damages the lungs, causing persistent coughing, infections, fatigue and shortness of breath.
“The best way to prevent COPD is to quit smoking,” Lake says.
“Fortunately, British Columbians can get help through the Smoking Cessation Program. This program offers free quit-smoking aids such as nicotine gum, patches and medications, and is easily accessed by dialing 8-1-1. Participants can get further support via phone, web and text with BC Lung Association’s QuitNow Services.
“Along with quitting smoking, living a healthy lifestyle, including getting exercise and eating healthy foods, can help those diagnosed with COPD improve their quality of life.”
Learn more about COPD at www.healthlinkbc.ca