Campaigning for healthy lungs in Scotland

Our manifesto for the Scottish parliamentary elections could transform the lives of people living across the country.

We want the new Scottish Government to support us in helping those living with a lung condition. We ask that the new government will:

Improve lung health in Scotland

Research shows that lung conditions are on the rise. With a growing population and no decrease in chronic lung disease, more needs to be done to protect Scotland’s lungs.

We want the next Scottish government to make lung health a national priority, and commit to a national improvement plan. This approach should promote lung health across Scotland, encouraging people to take care of their lungs, get checked early and have improved access to information and services.

We want government and policymakers to involve people with lung conditions and health and social care experts in their approach to tackling lung disease. A combination of partners like this can integrate referral routes for people with a lung condition.

And this means that people with lung disease will be supported and encouraged to manage their condition and improve their quality of life.

Protect Scotland’s children from the dangers of air pollution

Poor air quality affects children disproportionately because their lungs are more sensitive to harmful toxins in the air.

It affects healthy children as well as children with existing lung conditions. Children growing up in areas of severe air pollution have been shown to be five times more likely to have poor lung development and have increased susceptibility to respiratory infection.

The current Scottish government acknowledges that dangerous air toxins are bad for children. However, aside from a ban on smoking in cars, they have yet to say what they will actually do to protect children from air pollution.

We believe that children deserve the chance to breathe clean air. For this reason, we ask that the next government will work to create a plan detailing how they will protect children from poor air quality.

Go beyond current practice

Lung disease is the 3rd most common cause of death in Scotland. Given the hundreds of thousands of Scots affected by poor lung health, we must find new ways of working.

We want the next government and policymakers to work with people affected by lung disease, health and social care experts and the third sector to design this change. This collaboration should be bold, innovative and based on robust intelligence.

We believe that new approaches to respiratory care will improve the lives of people living with a lung condition. By going beyond existing practice and improving the accessibility and reach of specialist care, Scotland’s lung health will increase.

Prove that targets for smoking cessation and air quality are being met

Smoking cessation

We recognise that smoking rates in Scotland have fallen. We welcome the news that smoking rates for teenage girls have dropped by almost 5% since the 2006 ban on smoking in public places.

The Scottish Government wants to make sure that by 2034, only 5% of Scots will smoke. We want to know how close we are to seeing a smoke-free Scotland. We ask the next government to regularly publish details of actions being taken to achieve the 2034 goal.

Air quality

Research shows that over 2,500 people die as a result of poor air quality in Scotland each year. Poor air quality contributes to lung conditions, with the very elderly and very young especially vulnerable.

To tackle Scotland’s problems with air quality, the government aims to ensure full compliance with EU regulations by 2020.

Although the current government publishes statistics about air quality levels across Scotland, we want the next government to go further. We want the Scottish public to be regularly updated on what is being done to clean up our air and keep Scotland’s lungs safe.

Support the creation of a cross party group for respiratory health

At present, the Scottish Government has cross party parliamentary groups that meet to discuss a range of health conditions, including cancer, asthma, heart disease and stroke.

A cross party group would allow for discussion of the prevention, care, and treatment of respiratory health between members of the Scottish parliament, people affected by lung conditions, third sector organisations and health care professionals.

We're the only charity looking after Scotland’s lungs. We want to make sure that one day, everyone will breathe clean air with healthy lungs, and we need your support to make that happen.

If you've got any questions about our manifesto for the Scottish parliamentary elections, please get in touch.