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Athens Marathon runners receive ‘no smoking’ advice

EXPOVIP_2Picture1The 29th Classical Marathon took place in Greece this week (13 November 2011). This year’s historic race saw over 18,000 runners compete on the original marathon course in Athens.

This year the Chair of the ERS Tobacco Control Committee, Prof Christina Gratziou, joined race participants for scientific sessions as a representative of the ERS and the Hellenic Thoracic Society (HTS)

During the sessions, Prof Gratziou discussed the importance of athletic activities and smoking cessation for healthy lungs and highlighted the national no smoking campaign run by the HTS. All participants received a T-shirt with the key message of the campaign: “I’m running to quit… smoking cessation clinics.” The campaign has also hosted a discussion on Facebook, where users posted their reasons for quitting.

Free spirometry tests were also offered to 1000 participants to raise awareness of the importance of lung health.

Prof Gratziou also spoke about the EU commission initiative, ‘Ex-Smokers are Unstoppable’ which celebrates the achievements of the ex-smokers from all over Europe and offers free help to stop smoking.

Prof Gratziou said: “Despite the bad weather conditions, an impressive number of athletes took part in this year’s Classical Marathon. The event was a great opportunity to highlight the importance of smoking cessation and physical activity and the respiratory health.

“The awareness campaign surrounding World Spirometry Day next year will also advocate smoking cessation and physical activity as an important part of normal healthcare. We hope as many ERS members as possible will host events for World Spirometry Day and join us in raising awareness of the importance of physical activity, both to maintain lung health and to improve the quality of life for people with a lung disease.”

Read more about the Ex-Smokers are Unstoppable campaign

More about HTS campaign Run to Quit

More about HTS campaign Run to Quit (in Greek)

Read more about World Spirometry Day

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