Canadian Lung Association

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The Canadian Lung Association (CLA; French: Association pulmonaire du Canada) is a national organization and volunteer-based health charity, The Lung Association depends on donations from the public to support lung health research, education, prevention and advocacy[1]. The CLA’s mission is to improve the lung health of all Canadians.

Beginning as a movement in 1900 to control the spread of tuberculosis and provide better services for TB patients, the CLA today focuses on all issues that affect the ability of Canadians to breathe. This includes leading nationwide and international lung health initiatives to prevent lung disease, helping people manage lung disease, and promoting lung health. Their provincial and national offices work together to help the estimated 8 million Canadians who have breathing problems.


The Lung Association works at the national, provincial and community levels to improve and promote lung health. Its focus is primarily on chronic lung diseases like asthma and COPD, infectious diseases like TB, flu, and pneumonia, breathing disorders like sleep apnea, cystic fibrosis and lung cancer They provide information to both citizens and governments, and advocate for improved care for lung disease patients. To prevent lung diseases, the CLA conducts numerous initiatives including programs to inform people about the effects of air pollution and tobacco use. This includes providing help to smokers who are trying to quit, and providing educational material and programs to reduce the number of people who take up smoking. Transportation, radon and woodsmoke issues are the subjects of numerous Lung Association education and advocacy efforts across the country. They also encourage governments at every level to create regulations, laws and policies that strengthen societal lung health in Canada in general.

The CLA funds medical research in Canada to find treatments and cures for lung diseases. Primarily through the Canadian Thoracic Society and Canadian Respiratory Health Professionals, they assist doctors and allied health professionals to set and maintain the highest standards in patient care, and to develop and convey new knowledge about lung diseases and treatments. The CLA's medical journal, produced in collaboration with the Canadian Thoracic Society, is the quarterly Canadian Respiratory Journal.

Programs and services[edit]

The Lung Association offers various programs and services through its national and provincial offices.

The national office, located in Ottawa, supports the work of the provincial associations. In addition, the national office:

  • Coordinates national fundraising activities, including the annual Christmas Seal Campaign
  • Supports national lung health programs like Breathworks for those with COPD
  • Delivers online lung health information
  • Leads advocacy campaigns at the federal government level
  • Manages a national research program

The provincial organizations, working in every province and territory, deliver lung health services and programs through their local offices and volunteer networks. Provincial Lung Associations offer a variety of programs, such as:

  • Presentations and teaching materials on lung health topics
  • Quit lines to help smokers overcome their addiction
  • Support groups for people living with lung diseases
  • Information about lung diseases, treatments, and how to cope
  • Local fundraising activities
  • Expertise and advocacy on provincial lung health issues
  • Professional development and training for lung health professionals

A close connection between The Lung Association and the Governor General of Canada goes back to 1900 when the 8th Governor General of Canada - the Earl of Minto - helped found the Canadian Tuberculosis Association (as The Lung Association was originally known) in a meeting at Rideau Hall.


The Lung Association funds medical research in Canada to find treatments and cures for lung disease and to better understand lung function and physiology and the causes of lung disease. All research funded by the Canadian lung Association and the provincial Lung Associations is subjected to a strenuous peer-review process.

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