Date: 16 November 2009 Ref: COPD Day Press Release Bristol Rovers help to raise awareness of lung disease in Bristol Bristol Rovers are supporting the British Lung Foundation and NHS Bristol to raise awareness of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). A number of events will be held throughout the city as part of World COPD Day, which takes place on Wednesday 18 November. People living with respiratory conditions are being invited to attend a conference on Thursday 19 November at South Bristol Sports Centre between 11am and 3pm. Attendees will learn how to better manage their own health, as well as exercise and relaxation techniques. There will also be a special market place exhibition, which will allow patients and carers to meet representatives of various organisations who can help support them in managing their condition. Dianne Frances, British Lung Foundation’s support and development manager for the south west said: “This conference is a great way for people affected by lung disease and their carers to meet other people with similar experiences in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. We hope it will also give them a chance to get advice on how to take control of their lung health. We hope to see as many people as possible there on the day”. The event is being sponsored by Air Liquide, a leading supplier of home oxygen services in the south west, who will attend the event. COPD is an umbrella term for a number of conditions including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. It is a progressive, irreversible lung disease yet it is both preventable and treatable and early diagnosis and treatment can slow the progression of the illness. Hugh Annett, NHS Bristol’s director of public health said: “There are 6,842 people known to have COPD in Bristol; however it is estimated that nearly 20,000 people are actually Page 2 of 2 living with the condition. It is a disease predominantly caused by smoking and a cough, sputum production and breathlessness on exertion are often the first signs. “The best way to avoid COPD is to not smoke. The NHS offers free local support that really works. One in two people who use their local NHS Stop Smoking Service are not smoking four weeks later. If you also use effective stop smoking medicines such as patches or gum to manage your cravings, you are up to four times more likely to successfully go smokefree.” The Bristol NHS Stop Smoking Service will be actively supporting World COPD Day by giving people advice on how to give up smoking and offering a lung ‘health check’. You can find the team at Asda, Whitchurch on Wednesday 18 November; Boots, Broadmead on Thursday 19 November; and Asda Bedminster on Wednesday 25 November. -ends- For more information, please contact Lawrie Jones on 0117 900 3410 or Julie Hendry on 0117 900 2549. Photo of Bristol Rovers players Photo 1 from L-R: Bristol Rovers: Aaron Lescott and Andy Williams (Bristol Rovers) and Sarah Jane Peffers, respiratory nurse specialist, British Lung Foundation, NHS Bristol. Notes to Editors: 1. COPD is the umbrella term for a number of lung conditions including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. It kills more people every year than breast, bowel or prostate cancer. 2. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a progressive, irreversible lung disease. It is both preventable and treatable. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment can slow the progression of the illness. 3. The UK faces a chronic lung disease time bomb. COPD is already the fifth biggest killer in the UK and it is the only major cause of death whose incidence is on the increase. 4. COPD is caused by smoking or by exposure to environmental pollution and to hazards at work such as dust, fumes and gases. In a very small number of people it is caused by a genetic deficiency. 5. The British Lung Foundation is the only UK charity working for everyone affected by lung disease including COPD. We provide support via a telephone helpline; booklets on lung diseases and related issues; a comprehensive website; BLF community nurses; and a Breathe Easy support network for anyone affected by lung disease.