At the beginning of a new year, it’s customary to take some time to envision what each of us can do to improve our well-being. Starting a new year with a new calendar can sometimes give us that extra spark that we need to make changes in our lives that we always want to achieve but keep putting off. Now is a good time to ask yourself what differences you would like to see in your current situation and what good things could come about by making changes. As you make plans for the coming year, please consider investing time and effort in improving your health – the payback can be huge. On behalf of everyone at the Lung Association of Saskatchewan, I wish you a very happy and healthy 2015.

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Brian Graham, CEO
Lung Association of Saskatchewan

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Volume 1, Issue 7

Sleep Apnea


Some Surprising Facts about Sleep Apnea


  1. Many people have sleep apnea, but don’t know it. A recent Canadian survey suggests that at least 1 in 4 people either have sleep apnea or are at risk of developing sleep apnea.  About 80% have not been treated.
  2. It’s not just overweight men who have sleep apnea.   After menopausal age, women are just as likely as men to have sleep apnea.
  3. It may seem like depression, fatigue or something else.  Sleep apnea symptoms are so broad they sometimes get missed. Depression, fatigue, trouble concentrating, a dry mouth and sore throat can all be symptoms of sleep apnea.
  4. Sleep apnea can lead to serious health problems.  Sleep apnea is linked to heart attack, stroke, diabetes and cancer.
  5. Sleep apnea treatment has few side effects.  People with sleep apnea are usually prescribed CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) and although it may take some time to get used to the therapy it is effective and has very few side effects.
Infectious-Diseases   CODP
Infectious Diseases

Improving care for people living with COPD

The outbreak of Ebola has once again brought attention to infectious diseases. According to the World Health Organization, the number one infectious disease killer are lower respiratory infections, commonly known as pneumonia and acute bronchitis. HIV/AIDS are still number two, but account for only about half as many deaths as pneumonia and acute bronchitis.

About 2.8 million people died from pneumonia and acute bronchitis in 2010.  Sadly, about half of these deaths were children under the age of five.  The death toll is greatest in countries that are resource poor.  Vaccination, improvement in nutrition, access to clean water, and the reduction of exposure to tobacco smoke and air pollution can all help reduce the number of deaths.

COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) is the leading cause for hospitalization of seniors. Some of these hospital admissions could have been avoided, even for those people receiving good treatment for COPD. A research team led by Dr. Darcy Marciniuk and Dr. Donna Goodridge at the Division of Respirology, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, University of Saskatchewan is working on a program to help people living with COPD to avoid emergency treatment. The project is funded by the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement, in partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd. Read more …



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Telehealth   Asthma
Telehealth Saskatchewan  

Asthma and Vitamin D

Know Your Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Action Plan & Medications

Jill Hubick BKIN, RN, CRE
Marion Laroque RRT, CRE

Thursday, January 15, 2015  

13:00 – 14:00

Saskatoon RUH Room 6625
RSVP to 306-655-1007

Other sites across the province – contact your regional Telehealth office

Conference # 688319

  • This event will be broadcast across the province over the Telehealth SK Network
  • Contact your local Telehealth coordinator by Jan. 9, 2015 for broadcast locations and to confirm attendance
  • Quote conference # 688319 when making your RSVP
  • Broadcast is not guaranteed without an RSVP

A large Israeli study has found that people with asthma and low vitamin D levels have a greater chance of an asthma attack.  The researchers recommend that people with poorly controlled asthma should have their vitamin D levels checked. (Is your asthma under control?) Low levels can be treated with vitamin D supplements.












Quitting Smoking, is it your 2015 New Year’s Resolution?

New Year’s is a time when many of us reflect on the year that is behind us and set goals for the year that lies ahead. Often people think more about their health this time of year and make quitting smoking a resolution.

If January 1 is your quit date, it is important to have a quit plan in place. It is imperative to talk with a health care provider when you are putting your quit plan in place. There are many myths about quitting out there and someone trained in helping people quit smoking can let you know about evidence based facts versus some of the many common myths related to quitting smoking. One of the most common myths is that people are hesitant to try nicotine replacement therapies because they think that it is the nicotine that causes disease. This isn’t true. Nicotine is the addictive component in tobacco products but it is the 4000+ other chemicals in a cigarette that lead to disease and illness.

Most people who smoke want to quit and are motivated to do so. What people often don’t think about when quitting is the physiological aspects of quitting. We all metabolize nicotine at different rates which can make quitting easier for some and more difficult for others. In other words, those that metabolize nicotine at a faster rate may smoke more and may find medications to help them quit even more beneficial. Genetics play a role in how people metabolize nicotine as well as diet, age, sex, use of estrogen-containing hormones, pregnancy, kidney disease and other medications. Racial and ethnic difference also plays a factor.

It is vital to know not only know what quit medications may work best for you, but also what dose is right for you. Even if you are considering using over the counter quit medications (nicotine replacement therapies), talk to a health care provider to find out what strength you require.

Did you know people who quit smoking often need to cut their caffeine use roughly in half? This is because when you quit smoking, your tolerance to caffeine may be different. Once you quit smoking, caffeine can stay in your body longer.

Too much caffeine can cause side effects (jittery agitation, trouble sleeping) and can be mistaken for nicotine withdrawal. Knowing how to recognize withdrawal symptoms and how to combat them can make quitting easier.

If quitting smoking is your 2015 resolution, know that quitting is the best thing you can do for your health and that every day is a great day to quit smoking. Contact us today to speak to a Certified Respiratory Educator to put your quit plan into motion.

  • Benowitz N., Hukkanen J., and Peyton J. (2009). Nicotine chemistry, metabolism, kinetics and biomarkers. Nicotine Psychopharmacology. Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology. 192, 29-60
  • Swanson J., Lee J., Hopp J, Berk, L. (1997). The impact of caffeine use on tobacco cessation and withdrawal. Addictive Behaviours. 22(1), 55-68.


Pay it Forward

"Pay it forward" is asking the beneficiary of a good deed to "repay" it to others instead of to the original benefactor.

The concept has been around a long time.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, in his 1841 essay Compensation,[2] wrote: "In the order of nature we cannot render benefits to those from whom we receive them, or only seldom. But the benefit we receive must be rendered again, line for line, deed for deed, cent for cent, to somebody."

Later the concept was rediscovered and described by Benjamin Franklin, in a letter to Benjamin Webb dated April 25, 1784:

“I do not pretend to give such a deed; I only lend it to you. When you meet with another honest Man in similar Distress, you must pay me by lending this Sum to him; enjoining him to discharge the Debt by a like operation, when he shall be able, and shall meet with another opportunity. I hope it may thus go thro' many hands, before it meets with a Knave that will stop its Progress. This is a trick of mine for doing a deal of good with a little money.”

In 2000, Catherine Ryan Hyde's novel Pay It Forward was published and adapted into a Warner Brothers film, Pay It Forward. In Ryan Hyde's book and movie it is described as an obligation to do three good deeds for others in response to a good deed that one receives. Such good deeds should accomplish things that the other person cannot accomplish on their own. In this way, the practice of helping one another can spread geometrically through society, at a ratio of three to one, creating a social movement with an impact of making the world a better place.

Life insurance is a perfect tool to “Pay it forward”. It provides for a gift from a donor to a charity which can allocate the gift to many recipients who are probably unknown to the owners of the life insurance policy. By using life insurance as a gifting tool, donors can multiply an annual gift of 1000.00 (insurance premium) many times over to 75,000.00. (death benefit for Joint Last to Die Non-Smoking Male/Female, Age 55) And it doesn’t stop there – the donors receive a tax deduction for the premium or the death benefit depending on how the policy is set up. Paying it forward is supposed to be a selfless act so the tax refund can be used to pay it forward again!

Random kindness is great but planned acts of kindness can provide a greater benefit.

Talk to your insurance advisor to learn how you can “Pay it forward” in a big way with life insurance.




Have you ever thought about where you would go if you could fly anywhere?  Well John Lagimodiere did just that when he found out he was the winner of two roundtrip tickets anywhere WestJet flies.  The grand prize draws for The Lung Association’s Truth or Dare for Lungs 2014 took place on December 8, 2014 at The Lung Association office in Saskatoon. The social media campaign was how The Lung Association celebrated the first ever Lung Month and it featured Lung Ambassador and former Saskatchewan Roughrider Don Narcisse. Read more …

Classified Ads

  • Resmed S9 CPAP machine along with a Mirage Quattro face mask for sale. If you are interested send Steve in Regina an email at: stevehwpeter@gmail.com

  • Respironics RemStar Auto CPAP with C-Flex for sale. This machine has a humidifier and extra humidifier chamber included.  Also a ResmStar M-series Auto and A-Flex with humidifier for sale. Call Hubert in Saskatoon at 306-652-5028.

  • ResMed continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device featuring Easy-Breathe technology. Suitable for cabin or motorhome, or small rooms. Purchased new in 2010 for over $1000. Contact Anastasia in Saskatoon via email: anastasia.gheyssen@gmail.com

The Lung Association of Saskatchewan is not responsible for any product purchased through ads in the Breathe Newsletter.

Questions about your lungs?
Call our helpline: 1-888-566-5864 or info@sk.lung.ca

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