September 25, 2019 | Number of The Day
New Jerseyans with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

People are rightly concerned about vaping’s connection to serious pulmonary illnesses. Today is World Lung Day, and Dr. Andrew Berman, professor and chief of the pulmonary division within the department of  medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, suggests “the vaping crisis at hand is an example of why we need to do more to raise awareness, as we work to achieve the overall mission of World Lung Day: healthy lungs for all.”

Medics and health care officials around the world are using the day to draw attention to what are considered the “Big 5” lung diseases: COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease — it affects 384 million people worldwide and kills 3 million every year; tuberculosis, which is the leading cause of death from an infectious disease worldwide; lung cancer; acute lower respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia, and asthma.

COPD affects 370,000 New Jerseyans. Four-and-a-half thousand people in the state have lung cancer. And almost 15,000 residents have died from various kinds of pneumonia, including the flu, during the past decade.