Nobody is immune. We are all at risk of the toxic air that surrounds us
Dr Penny Woods is Chief Executive of the British Lung Foundation (BLF), the leading UK research, campaigning and patient support charity for people affected by lung disease. Qualifying as a medical doctor in 1987, Dr Woods has also worked as a healthcare management consultant for a range of clients including governments in the UK and overseas, multi-national companies, NHS organisations and private providers of healthcare. Prior to joining the BLF, she spent three years as Chief Executive of the not-for-profit patient organisation, the Picker Institute Europe. Her passion for working on behalf of patients comes from personal experience with family members with motor neurone disease, cancer, asthma & obstructive sleep apnoea.
Toxic levels of air pollution are predicted to continue for at least another nine years. In this time, long-term damage will be done to millions of children's lungs. Pollution reduces children's lung growth, it irritates their airways and makes conditions like asthma worse.
17/11/2016 16:10 GMT
Many people now recognise the need to be concerned by a lump in their breast, or a pain in their chest. But sadly, millions of people are still dismissing the signs of lung disease, giving it time to progress and rob them of their health.
16/11/2016 13:20 GMT
Every week nearly half a million children are exposed to second-hand smoke in their family car in England and Wales. That's the equivalent of almost 15,000 classrooms full of kids being exposed to quantities of polluted air that not even Volkswagen would try and cover up.
28/09/2015 11:53 BST
Long-term diseases are the leading cause of death in the UK - according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), in 2013 there were over 360,000 deaths from long-term (chronic) diseases in England and Wales. That's 72 per cent of all registered deaths that year. Around 8 per cent of these deaths are caused by just one disease: COPD.
19/11/2014 17:29 GMT
This cancer kills most people it strikes, often with devastating speed. While around 85% of breast and prostate cancer patients are still alive five years after diagnosis, just 20% survive as long with this cancer. Barely half survive just three years.
05/10/2014 23:37 BST
It is estimated that more than 60,000 people will die from this dreadful disease over the next 30 years unless new treatments are discovered. Yet research into meso - the only thing that is likely to find those treatments - is shamefully underfunded, receiving a fraction of the investment received by diseases that kill similar number of people, such as skin cancer.
14/04/2014 09:59 BST
"A ban would be the nanny state going too far"? People once described the law against drink-driving as an example of the nanny state going too far, telling people what they could or couldn't do in their own car. Yet most now accept it as sensible. Other than being about protecting children within the car rather than pedestrians and other drivers outside, this law would be exactly the same. And given the number of children it affects, the benefits for the nation's health could be equally if not more dramatic.
09/02/2014 23:01 GMT
What we do know is that IPF can affect adults of all ages, and that it often kills with devastating speed: barely half those diagnosed with IPF are still alive three years later, and just one in five will survive five years.
14/10/2013 17:00 BST