Our manifesto

We’re calling on all politicians to take lung health seriously by committing to set new diagnosis targets, invest in lung health research and tackle toxic air.

The problem

How this affects people

As a result of this lack of action, millions of people are now suffering alone, waiting to find out why they can’t breathe or even to see a doctor. On average, this is about 2,000 people in each constituency.

Even when people do find out what’s wrong with their breathing, they often can’t get access to the treatment or care they need, and end up in A&E or admitted to hospital just to access the support they desperately need.

To make matters worse, air pollution is having a deadly impact on all our lung health. Toxic air is stunting our children’s lungs, leaving them with lifelong impacts. 

Our solutions  

This is life + breath. And this election is the time to take action.  

We’re calling on all political parties to finally take lung health seriously by committing to set bold new diagnosis targets, invest in lung health research and tackle toxic air.

In its first 100 days, the next government should: 

1. Commit to national diagnosis targets for lung conditions to make sure no one waits more than six weeks for a diagnostic test and to halve waiting lists by 2028. 

Timely and accurate diagnosis is critical to living a long and healthy life with a lung condition. But millions of people are missing out on a life-saving diagnosis. Diagnostic tests aren’t even available in many areas; there is still a huge waiting list from the pandemic; and breathlessness often goes ignored for far too long.

Without a diagnosis, people can’t get the care and treatment they urgently need, leading them to become seriously ill. Too often, this results in crisis – people are ending up in ambulances and hospital beds, costing the NHS billions more than needed each year and leaving many unable to work. Hospital admissions for lung conditions have doubled in the last two decades and are a leading cause of NHS pressures every winter. 

We urgently need to make sure there are ambitious targets for diagnosis, with funding attached, to make sure everyone who struggles to breathe gets the care they deserve.  

2. Transform lung health research by committing funding and leadership to enable life-saving breakthroughs in how we diagnose and treat lung conditions. By doing so, we will position the UK as a global lung research superpower. 

Lung health research has never been a priority, with just 2% of public health funding going towards it. That means, progress towards developing new treatments for the 12 million people affected by lung conditions has stood still for decades. As a result, people with long-term, devastating lung conditions like COPD have few treatment options available to them. In some cases, their diagnosis is nothing short of a death sentence.  

Three years ago, the government committed to change by setting out a respiratory research mission, but sadly little progress has been made since. We urgently need the next government to fund cutting-edge research and innovation to transform the way people with lung conditions are diagnosed and treated, making use of advances in big data and artificial intelligence.

Now is the time for a radical overhaul of the way we deliver lung research in the UK to address our globally dismal lung health outcomes, keep more people in work and allow people to breathe.  

3. Tackle toxic air pollution by setting out ambitious new clean air laws that protect those most at risk. 

Developing a lung condition isn’t inevitable. Millions of people in our towns and cities are being forced to breathe toxic air that affects our lungs at every stage of life. Toxic air can stunt the growth of children’s lungs, cause adults to develop conditions like lung cancer, and leave those with existing lung conditions fighting for breath.  

Air pollution contributes to up to 43,000 early deaths in the UK every year. But unless the government takes much-needed action, toxic air will continue to have a lifelong impact on all our lungs.  

We need bolder clean air laws now to protect those most at risk, as well as funding to help those who need it to switch to cleaner and healthier travel options.  

4. Introduce legislation to create a smokefree generation

Smoking is still the leading preventable cause of lung disease and a huge driver of health inequalities. Growing lungs need to breathe clean air. The new government must bring back the Smoking and Vaping Bill to create a Smokefree generation, raising the legal age of sale for tobacco products so that it will never be legal to sell them to people born on or after 1st January 2009.

Although e-cigarettes can help people who smoke to quit, there needs to be strong legislation to control packaging, marketing and displays that make them appealing to children. 

We’re calling on all political parties to finally take lung health seriously by committing to set bold new diagnosis targets, invest in lung health research and tackle toxic air.

Campaign with us

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Help us fix respiratory care today

Sign our petition urging the government to follow our three steps to fix respiratory care.
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Clean air campaigns

Air pollution is a health emergency. Across the UK it is at lethal levels and too little is being done to tackle it. Find out how you can help.
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Campaign with us

Together, we’re campaigning for better lung health. Find out how you can help.