A new respiratory health plan launched today by Wales’ Health Secretary Vaughan Gething has been welcomed by tobacco control charity ASH Wales.
The updated plan outlines work to improve smoking cessation services and support to better diagnose Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, known as COPD. A life-limiting disease, 90% of cases are due to smoking. There is an estimated 57,000 people in Wales with the condition, which doesn’t usually develop until someone reaches their 40s to 50s.
A number of other lung conditions can be caused by smoking or can be exacerbated - asthma, cancer and persistent chest infections – and support for these is also included within the plan which was launched today at Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil.
Suzanne Cass, Chief Executive of ASH Wales Cymru, said: “With an estimated 57,000 COPD sufferers in Wales, this plan is a huge step forward in better supporting those with this illness and helping others to be diagnosed timely, so they can receive the right treatment they need and sooner.”
“The best possible thing for anyone’s lungs is to quit smoking, or for a non-smoker, to stay away from others smoking around them. Quitting smoking isn’t easy but there’s free support advice out there, including Wales’ Help Me Quit service.”
The Help Me Quit service and website offers tailored advice specific to the needs of would-be quitters. To find out more call 0800 085 2219 or visit helpmequit.wales