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Hobbit Habit Harmful to Humans Who Do Not Inhabit Middle-earth
Pipeweed and Other Tobacco Goods Can Shorten Lives of Those Not Descended from the Atani or Hildor
LOS ANGELES – Concerning Hobbits and their smoking habits, a little pipeweed goes a long way in the stories of J.R.R. Tolkien. Those furry-footed beings and their long-bearded dwarven friends are constantly lighting up pipes as they make their way around Middle-earth. There is nary a song or a pint of ale that isn’t accompanied by some kind of hot pipe action.
The Men of Middle-earth are also known to smoke like chimneys. Fortunately, they have mystical DNA which leaves the mucus membranes in their lungs impervious to the ravages of lung disease. Alas, in a mundane world like our Earth, Humans are not imbued with such enviable physical traits.
Imagine the difficulty of climbing the Lonely Mountain when your lung capacity is so small you feel like you’re sucking oxygen through a straw? How likely are you to win a sword fight against a half-orc if the cables from your oxygen tank keep tripping you up? What happens when the treasure from the dragon’s lair isn’t enough to cover the healthcare costs for everyone in your village affected by lung disease?
Here at BREATHE LA, we recently funded a data analysis conducted by UCLA researchers to determine the prevalence of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in California and Los Angeles County. COPD, which affects up to 24 million Americans, is a combination of lung damage and mucus buildup that makes it hard to breathe. It can include chronic bronchitis, emphysema and other conditions. This progressive and incurable disease destroys the lungs and is often responsible for the end of life. The most common cause of COPD is smoking, though exposure to secondhand smoke is also considered a major factor.
The study revealed that more than 1.1 million people in California have been diagnosed with COPD, and more than two million people may have the disease. In Los Angeles County, there are nearly 400,000 people who may have COPD, the majority of them being women, and more than a quarter of those affected under the age of 45.
To put those numbers in perspective, the entire population of Middle-earth is estimated to have been less than two million beings of all races, including goblins. If those populations would have been susceptible to COPD, most would have died of lung disease before the Dark Lord attempted to reclaim The One Ring. His evil ambitions would have been limited to ruling wargs, oliphaunts and the few remaining ents.
BREATHE LA’s quest is to rid the world of the evil power of COPD through research, education, technology and advocacy. We provide COPD management techniques to help those with the disease lead more productive lives, and we ally ourselves with public officials, healthcare professionals and advocacy groups to make eliminating COPD a public health priority.
BREATHE LA is here to help anyone who is on an unexpected journey of COPD. For information, please contact us by email at email@example.com, call our COPD education department at (323)935-8050 ext. 237, or use Gondorian beacon fire.
About BREATHE LA
BREATHE LA’s focus on COPD is driven by its Board of Directors, which includes researchers and medical professionals in The Trudeau Society, a leading pulmonologist group. BREATHE LA targets outreach and education efforts through community health fairs and the Better Breathers Clubs™ program in neighborhoods of Los Angeles County that are most affected. This effort provides education, services, and support groups primarily to people living with COPD to improve health outcomes and quality of life. Through a partnership with the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, BREATHE LA established a COPD Regional Center in the western U.S. to raise COPD awareness and share best practices among health service providers.
COPD is a combination of lung damage and mucus buildup that makes it hard to breathe. It can include chronic bronchitis, emphysema and other conditions. This progressive and incurable disease destroys the lungs and is often responsible for the end of life. COPD can be managed to slow the progression of the disease.
The most common cause of COPD is smoking, though exposure to secondhand smoke is also a major factor. In addition, long-term exposure to other lung irritants, such as pollution, chemical fumes or dust, sometimes present in work environments, may also lead to the disease. A rare genetic condition, known as alpha-1 anti-trypsin deficiency, is also known to cause the disease.
COPD is diagnosed with a simple spirometry test, which shows how much air an individual’s lungs hold and how quickly each person can exhale. To be tested, health care providers will ask patients to breathe into a spirometer as hard and as long as they can. Spirometry should be a routine procedure for patients at risk, but unfortunately this diagnostic tool remains under-utilized.
BREATHE California of Los Angeles County (BREATHE LA) is a non-profit public benefit organization dedicated to the future of clean air and healthy lungs in Los Angeles County. BREATHE LA was established in 1903 and has over a century of accomplishments. Our mission is to promote clean air and healthy lungs through research, education, technology and advocacy. For more information, go to www.BreatheLA.org.