American Lung Association of Florida

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The American Lung Association of Florida (ALAF) was founded in 1904 to fight tuberculosis and is the lead organization in the state working to prevent lung disease and promote health.[1] Lung disease death rates continue to increase while other leading causes of death have declined. The American Lung Association of Florida funds vital research on the causes of and treatments for lung disease. This organization is Florida's chapter of the national organization, American Lung Association. Like the national organization, ALAF is funded by contributions from the public, as well as gifts and grants from corporations, foundations and government agencies.

Programs and Services[edit]

To accomplish its mission, ALAF has many programs and strategies for fighting lung diseases, some of which are highlighted below.

Asthma Nationwide, 20 million Americans currently have asthma, and ALAF offers a variety of educational programs to help people with asthma understand and manage their illness. Programs include Asthma Camp, a free summer camp designed specifically for children with asthma, and Open Airways for Schools, a school-based program designed to teach children how to prevent asthma episodes and emergencies.

Tobacco Control About 8.6 million people in the U.S. have at least one serious illness caused by smoking, and smoking-related diseases claim an estimated 440,000 American lives each year. ALAF offers a variety of tobacco control, prevention and cessation programs. These include the Freedom From Smoking Clinic, which provides a behaviorally based, quit-smoking program to help adults, Not on Tobacco (N-O-T), a school program designed for teenagers who want to quit smoking, and Teens Against Tobacco Use (TATU), a coalition of teens who become peer teachers in tobacco prevention.

Patient Services Patient Services include a Call Center, which provides immediate and accurate information on lung health topics, a Flu Shot Locator, an online resource for to assist people with locating clinics, and Better Breathers Clubs, monthly support groups for those affected by lung disease.

Environmental Health Air pollution contributes to lung disease, which is the third leading cause of death in the T.S. ALAF is active in the pollution control arena and has become the leading public health advocate for clean air, as well as the chief source of information and public education on the health hazards of air pollution. Environmental Health services include Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools, promoting guidelines for proper operation of school facilities to improve air quality, and the State of the Air Report, the annual report on air pollution.

Research and Professional Education ALAF funds a broad program of grants and awards designed to further basic and applied research in lung function and lung disease. The funding has led to major breakthroughs such as the use of lifesaving surfactant therapy for thousands of premature infants with respiratory distress syndrome.

Advocacy Programs ALAF's advocacy programs seek to influence the development and enforcement of laws and regulations related to lung health at the national, state and local levels by providing authoritative information to policy makers. Examples of ALAF's advocacy impacts include their role in the passage of the federal Clean Air Act, as well as the law prohibiting smoking on domestic airline flights, and their leadership in increasing Florida's cigarette tax in 1991.

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